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Right way to fix bad stucco job

qualityjob's picture

I have two stucco houses belonging to family members in PA to remediate that are relatively newly built (6 years) but poorly detailed.

Windows were set into framing without proper flashings, drip edges, and a drainage plane, and the stucco is 5/8" and comes right to the windows without a bead (a few windows have EZ Bead, most do not).

Water is leaking into the interior in two places and the source appears to be the windows. There are also high moisture readings in other spots on all walls.

I am trying to determine if there is a proper fix short of removing all the stucco, which one stucco contractor feels is required to properly address issues.

Several other subs feel that they can cut out around windows, install flashings, beads, and caulk, and then paint with an elastomeric paint (they both seem to like Behr). The claim the paint will last many decades and stop most problems.

I do not build with stucco and am therefore eager for advice, but if I was building from scratch I would certainly install new housewrap, a drainage plane, and have a thicker wall. It appears it will cost $70k more to remove all the stucco then to try and rework it.

I'm all for the less expensive rework approach if it makes for a reliable repair, but I worry you end up with a wall detail that is not ideal. I don't have experience to decide if this is an appropriate concern and wanted to hear what any of you who might have experienced this have to say.


many thanks

For the stucco to work like (post #207077, reply #1 of 2)

For the stucco to work like it's supposed to you probably do have to tear it off, or at least parts that aren't working and cobble it back together so it drains correctly.

However as long as you keep it caulked/painted (with the waterproof paint made to span stucco cracks) it will be just fine as is.  

You will have to decide if the added expense of regular preventative maintenance is worth the price and hassle of making it a maintenance free exterior.

If I could edit my location it would say I'm now in Reno :-)

Assuming the stucco is (post #207077, reply #2 of 2)

Assuming the stucco is applied over a framed wall, not having a drainage plane is likely to result in water intrusion elsewhere. By drainage plane I am referring to a suitable water resistant membrane that can sheet the water so that it exits the termination at the bottom of the wall. Without this you are toast.

If the "drainage plane" you are referring to a material that spaces the stucco from the moisture barrier I referred to above, If everything else is done correctly, the lack of such a spacer is not big deal in my humble opinion.

If the above conditions are met it seems the problem is just the winow installation and/or the interface of flashings and wall drainage. This should be remedied by re-installing the window, flashing, and surounding moisture drainage properly. Becareful with caulks. Some are incompatable with flexible flashing materials and also can create dams and diversion of water where it is not wanted if not thought out correctly. Think like water. :)