Stucco Repair vs Remediation
Stucco and EIFS homes have begun experiencing significant problems due to poor design and poor installation of water management systems under the Stucco or EIFS. These problems, when left unattended, grow in severity to the point that some homeowners have seen their walls begin to buckle. Therefore, the solution to this problem is stucco remediation. The stucco remediation process involves much, much more than merely repairing or resurfacing your stucco.
What is Stucco Repair?
Stucco repair happens when the water management system fails and only cosmetic issues are fixed. Then, the damaged materials are replaced with more stucco. In the big picture – stucco repair is like a band-aid. Since, you did not fix the damage by addressing the underlying issue, and the repair is likely to be needed again. While repairs are a less-invasive and a less-expensive option, the repairs leave water damage in areas of a home where the damage was not corrected.
What is Stucco Remediation?
Webster’s defines remediation as “the act or process of correcting a fault or deficiency.”
When stucco or EIFS remediation occurs, the underlying defect is usually within the water management system. The water management system must be fixed correctly, rather than only addressing the cosmetic or functional systems. Therefore, properly fixing the underlying issue, means that it is doubtful that you will have to remediate/ repair that area again.
Once wall rot has been discovered, it is essential to remediate the problem as soon as possible. Therefore, the longer the water sits behind the wall, the worse the problem will become.
Where to Begin?
The first step in remediation is determining where and why the water is coming in. Determining the origin ensures that the problem does not continue after the restoration process is complete. The typical issue causing the water damage is a poorly designed or even non-existent Water-Resistant Barrier System (WRBS.). A specialist will arrive on-site to preform test spots on the exterior wall and determine the extent of rot. When wall rot is found within the walls, the next step is to discover how far the water has moved. All flashing should be replaced since that is most likely what is causing the water damage in the first place.
Several methods used to determine cause and extent:
- Remove exterior areas of stucco/ stone to reveal the extent
- Remove drywall from inside to inspect from the back
- Infrared cameras
- Moisture meters
Homeowners will try to work with a company that will patch or repair the area affected. Unfortunately, this rarely works as the problem is related to the failure of the entire system, not just a single area. As a result of improper remediation, the problem will get worse, become more expensive, and eventually could lead to the collapse of the home.
Remediating the damage: Stucco and flashing
The method may include:
- Remove the stucco, stone, or brick as needed to gain access.
- Remove sheathing to uncover and determine if rot effected the framing.
- Remediate the rotted wood on the wall. This requires the removal of all affected lumber of the home to restore the home to original condition.
- Replace all damaged construction elements, studs, joists, plates, sills, band board, sheathing, and insulation.
- Install proper water management system including water resistant barrier material, flashings and weep screed.
- Replace windows (if necessary)
- Apply new stucco or EIFS
- Photo documentation
The project includes removing the exterior walls (or a portion of the wall) from a home and restoring the affected wall(s). It is essential to prepare for this project to take several months (exact time will always be subject to change depending on the scope of work.) In areas like Ohio, the seasons and temperatures also play a role in when work can be performed. Stucco needs the right conditions to dry correctly. Cold, rainy months is not the time to start this kind of project.
Finding The Right Contractor
When it comes to stucco remediation, finding the right contractor for the job is important. Online sources like testimonials will give you a better indication of a contractor’s craftsmanship and how they interact with customers. Find a contractor that shows you respect by the way they treat you, handle your property, and pay attention to details. A professional contractor will not try to persuade you over with shady sales tactics. Instead, they will win your business with their professionalism and reputation.
If you or anyone you know comes across wall rot in your home. Please contact Thompson Building Associates, and we will be able to take care of the remediation and put back of your exterior wall.
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