Stucco failure is a devastating problem for Pennsylvania homeowners due to the level of moisture in their climate and the improper construction practices at the time of installation. Damaged stucco doesn’t stop with surface issues—it can spread mold and mildew throughout your home, insulation, and drywall.
For over twenty years, millions of homes were built using stucco siding. It was a popular choice because it was easy to install and looked great. But as a result of poor installation methods, homes develop water, mold, and termite damage—sometimes this damage is so extensive that the homes have to be condemned or torn down if not caught in time.
If left unaddressed, homeowners risk compromising their biggest investment.
Pennsylvania homeowners who are concerned about the stucco on their home need a dependable, reputable, trustworthy contractor who understands home construction from the ground up.
At Distinctive Homes, we’re here to help homeowners fix their stucco failure problem and save their homes through our stucco remediation and siding replacement services. We’ll replace your failing stucco with durable fiber cement siding like James Hardie or vinyl siding so you can say goodbye to your siding worries once and for all.
Here in southeast Pennsylvania, many homeowners have been affected by a plague of failing stucco siding. While many thought this issue was just a cosmetic one, there are countless cases of wall rot lurking behind the stucco.
Why does stucco siding fail? Typically, it’s because of the way that the stucco was installed. The main causes of stucco failure include:
The signs of stucco damage often go undetected for several years, until the damage is widespread. You might see discoloration below the windows, also referred to as “stucco tears,” caused by mold and mildew. What other warning signs should you be aware of?
Some homeowners may be tempted to powerwash their stucco to remove the signs of mold and mildew. However, this can further compound the damage, leading to more damage. Stucco siding should never be power-washed.
Letting these kinds of problems go unaddressed can put your greatest financial investment—your home—at risk. This can impact your financial future when you plan to resell your home and buy a new one, pass on your inheritance to your loved ones, or make a move to a retirement home in your later years. Instead, this siding should be replaced with moisture-resistant siding panels, like James Hardie’s Hardie Board siding.
How can you tell if your home’s stucco has been compromised by moisture? There are a few levels of inspection that can give you some information about the status of your stucco siding.
First, you can conduct a visual inspection of your stucco. Search for signs of damage like stucco tears, cracking, or mold and mildew, especially at transition points and around features like windows and vents.
Next, you should hire a professional to conduct a non-intrusive inspection of your stucco. This is a comprehensive look for any damaged spots or improper installation, searching especially at points like:
Here, a professional will look for any deficiencies in installation and search for external visible siding damage. Some professionals may even use infrared technology to seek out temperature variations that may indicate moisture trapped behind your stucco siding.
Thirdly, you may need a more intrusive professional inspection to give you a full picture of how extensive the issues are behind your stucco. This involves taking moisture meter readings within and behind the stucco siding and requires probes to penetrate the siding to reach the substrate. These readings are used to verify suspected damage. A professional will have to drill small holes in areas where there is suspected damage to determine if the moisture levels are elevated; it’s the best way for a contractor to examine the plywood underneath.
It’s wise to hire a third party to test the moisture levels beneath your stucco siding. These tests aren’t always accurate, but they’re the best option currently available. While rain and humidity can impact the outcome of your testing, it’s still a good idea to consult with a professional. Why?
In addition, a trusted contractor may need to pull siding away from your home in a small area or even cut into an interior wall to determine how deep your damage is. The advantage to this level of intrusive inspection is that you’ll get a more accurate estimate on the cost to fix your stucco failure once and for all.
Should you opt to have your stucco siding repaired, or does it need to be fully replaced? Stucco repair is the practice of finding and fixing specific, isolated areas of stucco failure. But if you’re replacing the damaged area with more stucco, repair won’t treat the underlying defects, which can only get worse.
In the meantime, your home could fall into further disrepair, lowering its value. Plus, when you choose to merely repair your stucco, the same issues like cracking, discoloration, and deterioration can come right back.
Compared to stucco repair, stucco remediation means fixing the underlying defects too. This involves replacing your home’s stucco system and repairing accompanying damage to fix the root cause of the damage: faulty installation. You’re doing more than just addressing cosmetic issues; you’re fixing it forever. And, you won’t have to continue to pay to repair compromised stucco over and over again. It’s the only solution to permanently fix stucco failure.
What will your stucco remediation entail? It happens in five steps:
When it’s time to remove your stucco siding, we’ll help you choose the right siding materials to replace it. In our experience, when this siding comes down, it needs to be replaced with vinyl or fiber cement siding. You need siding installation services following your remediation.
Why do we recommend James Hardie Fiber Cement siding? Homeowners choose this siding option more than any other because it’s durable, long-lasting, and low maintenance. It’s a perfect solution for replacing stucco for several reasons:
At Distinctive Homes, we’ll replace your home’s siding with top-performing James Hardie siding for a long term solution that keeps moisture outside where it belongs. We start with HardieWrap; a protective weather barrier that protects your entire home from moisture damage.
Hardie siding also offers a nearly limitless variety of style options and products that come in just as many fade-resistant colors—and we’ll even help you through the design process. With the manufacturer’s hover design tool, you can even come up with a good idea of what your home will look like after remediation.
Vinyl siding is an affordable option to replace your home’s stucco. It comes in a wide array of styles and colors, and won’t fade in the sun. Perks of vinyl siding include:
Many things can factor into the cost of your stucco remediation, including:
The cost of a damaged sheet of plywood behind stucco is around $100 per piece. While there are all kinds of circumstances that can determine the price, you should weigh the cost of lost home value, or the risk of waiting until your home is beyond repair.
One option? In some cases, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of remediation—oftentimes only if your stucco installer was certified and licensed. Sometimes, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover the cost if the cause is water damage, which makes it all the more important to catch these issues early.
When you replace your stucco with Hardie siding, you get all kinds of financial benefits:
Distinctive Homes knows that when you need stucco remediation, you might not have a lot of time to budget and wait. We offer financing options to ensure you can get the help you need, as soon as you need it.
What should you be looking for in a contractor to handle your stucco remediation services? You have already learned that improper application of stucco can lead to lasting damage—you want to be sure you’re hiring the right company to handle all of the issues your stucco siding has created.
Before you choose a stucco remediation company, you should ask questions like:
Especially when installing new James Hardie siding after repairing damage from stucco, you want to be sure that your products are properly installed to protect your warranty. As an experienced contractor known and trusted in the southeast Pennsylvania area, we can do just that. You’ll love (and trust) your new siding for years to come!
At Distinctive Homes, we go far beyond fixing cosmetic issues; we search for the root cause of the damage, then make a full repair to ensure your home is dry—and that it stays that way!
We’re well-versed in dealing with the fallout of stucco failure in Chester County, and we’ll help you choose superior products to keep your home protected long after we leave. We’re home remodeling experts, and we’ll never cut corners. We’ll also provide a full estimate, itemizing every detail, so there are no surprises along the way. This gives you a better idea of the final cost.
You can rest assured that your new James Hardie siding is protected — we offer our own 10-year workmanship warranty. We don’t just repair homes; we build them from the ground up, which means we understand how to properly repair your stucco failure to reestablish your home’s structural integrity.
You shouldn’t lose sleep at night wondering whether the next rainy night will ruin your biggest investment: your home. We’ve helped thousands of Chester County homeowners protect their homes from the destruction that failing stucco can cause. It’s time to handle your stucco problem for good. We’ll make it happen.
Don’t leave your home unprotected from Pennsylvania weather because of failing stucco. Schedule a consultation today.