Complete Remediation Guide for Stucco

Stucco Remediation

Everything Southeastern Pennsylvania Homeowners Need to Know About Stucco Remediation

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.

Causes and Warning Signs of Stucco Failure

Stucco Remediation

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.

The Causes of Stucco Failure

Why does stucco siding fail? Typically, it’s because of the way that the stucco was installed. The main causes of stucco failure include:

  • Improper door or window installation, which prevents water from running off effectively.
  • Improper flashing installation, which impacts water diversion and can lead to stucco deterioration.
  • Improper sealing of moisture at entry points like vents and electrical outlets, piping, and light fixtures.
  • Improper deck installation without elements like barrier membranes, rain screens, and ledger board drip flashing that carry water away from stucco siding.
  • Issues at “transition points” between stucco and other siding like brick, stone, concrete, or vinyl or fiber cement siding. Water can creep in at these transition points.

What to Look for

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?

  • Cracking and flaking stucco
  • Missing or chipped caulking
  • Stucco tears or other discoloration around window and doors
  • The smell of wood root
  • Water leaking into your home at the ceiling, walls, and flooring
  • Dry rot surrounding the windows
  • Mushroom growth

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.

The Proper Inspection Process to Test Moisture Levels in Stucco Homes

Test Moisture In Stucco Homes

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.

Visual Inspection

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.

Professional Non-Intrusive Inspection

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:

  • Windows and door frames
  • At flashings and visible edges
  • Anywhere there is a break in the siding like at hose bibs, utility systems, wires, electrical systems, plumbing fixtures, lighting, and other points of concern

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.

Intrusive Inspections to See For Yourself

Stucco Moisture DamageThirdly, 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?

  • You can gain peace of mind
  • You might be able to avoid excessive repairs
  • You can detect damage early and reduce the cost of remediation

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.

Is Stucco Repair or Remediation the Best Choice for My Pennsylvania Home?

Stucco Remediation Guide | Southeastern Pennsylvania

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.

The Importance of Stucco Remediation

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.

The Stucco Remediation Process

What will your stucco remediation entail? It happens in five steps:

  1. Identifying the problem
  2. Removing all damaged stucco pieces
  3. Addressing underlying problems like mold and wood rot
  4. Repairing issues with windows, doors, and other features
  5. Re-wrap and re-side your home, sealing it off from moisture

Fiber Cement Siding and Vinyl Siding Options to Protect Your Home Investment

James Hardie Stucco Replacement

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.

Replacing Stucco with James Hardie Siding

James Hardie SidingWhy 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:

  • Unlike stucco, James Hardie siding resists moisture
  • Hardie Board siding is eco-friendly
  • Fiber cement siding doesn’t harbor mold or mildew like stucco
  • James Hardie siding keeps you protected with the best warranty on the market
  • Hardie siding comes rated for Pennsylvania weather and lasts for decades

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 and Remediation

Certainteed Vinyl SidingVinyl 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:

What Does it Realistically Cost to Fix Stucco Failure Once and For All?

Stucco Repair Costs

Factors That Influence Stucco Remediation Cost

Many things can factor into the cost of your stucco remediation, including:

  • The extent of the damage and stucco failure
  • How long it takes to fix
  • The materials you choose to replace your stucco
  • If your windows and doors need to be replaced
  • How much siding you need
  • How many windows you have
  • The cost to relocate during remediation (if necessary)

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.

Can Homeowners Insurance Help?

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.

Hardie Siding is Worth the Cost

When you replace your stucco with Hardie siding, you get all kinds of financial benefits:

  • Improved resale value and curb appeal
  • Better energy efficiency and lower utility bills
  • An outstanding warranty
  • Fade-resistant color that doesn’t require constant painting

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.

Hire a Local Experienced and Skilled Contractor to Remediate and Replace Your Stucco

Stucco Replacement Contractor

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:

  • How much experience do you have in stucco remediation?
  • How long will it take you to complete the job?
  • Are you a certified contractor?
  • What are your qualifications for installing new siding?
  • Is your company insured?
  • Do you offer any workmanship warranty?
  • Do you have a list of customer reviews?
  • Can I get a full estimate including a remediation plan ahead of time?
  • How do you determine the scope of the damage before work begins?
  • Do you replace stucco with more durable siding options?

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!

Why Choose Distinctive Homes to Replace Your Stucco with Hardie Siding

Why Choose Distinctive Homes?

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.

Be sure to take a look at our client testimonials and see what current projects we have underway.

Why Risk Your Home Investment?

Stucco Remediation and Repair

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.