Owner Beware: Stucco is Not Maintenance Free
By Michelle N. Delehanty, PE, PMP
MDCSystems® Consulting Engineer
In our last Advisor issue, we discussed stucco on residential homes and common issues found in those built over the last two decades. If you are the owner of one of these types of homes you should be aware of typical signs that there may be water infiltration and take the steps discussed below to prevent potential problems in the future.
As detailed in our previous article, water can get into the exterior building envelope, including the stucco wall system through cracks, improper sealants, improper flashing, and high-sitting plant beds. Keeping up with the maintenance of your home in these areas is the easiest way to prevent moisture issues. Performing a simple visual inspection of the exterior of the wall system on a regular basis (once or twice per year) for holes, significant cracks, or separations as well as noting changes from your previous observations is a great way to keep yourself abreast of potential issues.
You should also take some time during or immediately following a heavy rainstorm or the melting of a large snowfall to observe the reaction of your walls. If there is water getting into your house or your stucco system, this is when it will be obvious. On the inside, pay close attention to the areas where the walls meet the ceilings as well as around windows. At the exterior of the home, telltale signs of moisture are sustained darkened spots on the stucco, usually found under windows. If the water marks don’t lighten up after a few days, the wall system in that area is having a hard time drying out.
Preventing Water Infiltration and Retention
Surface cracks should be noted during your routine inspections and compared to previous observations. If they are noticeably bigger than previously seen, moisture testing in that area should be conducted. In the meantime, a breathable clear coat should be applied to the surface of the stucco to prevent moisture infiltration into the microscopic cracks. If cracks that are found exceed around an eighth of an inch, you should have a contractor perform a proper restoration. This restoration typically involves either the crack being cut out and patched or the installation of a control joint.
MDCSystems® receives 2013 SBIEC Pennsylvania Excellence Award
December 16, 2013 – MDCSystems® has been selected for the 2013 Pennsylvania Excellence Award amongst all its peers and competitors by the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce (SBIEC).
Each year the SBIEC conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community. Small businesses of this caliber enhance the consumer driven stature that Pennsylvania is renowned for.
MDCSystems® has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values. This recognition by SBIEC marks a significant achievement as an emerging leader within various competitors and is setting benchmarks that the industry should follow.