Do you have stucco siding? If so, you’ll want to pay careful attention — because you may have years of damage lurking just underneath the surface.
Moisture can creep its way unseen behind your lovely stucco walls — resulting in mold, mildew, and rot that compounds over time. The longer the issue stays invisible and forgotten, the more your beautiful house can deteriorate, leaving you to deal with costly repairs and decreased home value.
Here are a few tips from the pros at Distinctive Homes about what you need to know to protect yourself from stucco failure and keep your home in top-notch shape.
Reasons Your Stucco May Be Failing
It’s sad to say, but during housing booms such as the one Pennsylvania experienced in the early 2000s, some construction companies choose to cut corners. If a builder rushes through a project and doesn’t carefully install siding, the results can damage the homes they’ve built.
Homebuyers see what looks like an attractive home, not realizing that the stucco isn’t firmly in place. Moisture gets behind the siding and does its damage in secret, leading to costly issues down the road after the builder is long gone.
Pennsylvania homes are at particular risk of moisture problems due to the region’s tendency to get a lot of snow, rain, and ice.
Since this dampness and its immediate results are not visible at a quick glance, homeowners often don’t know they have a problem until they have a home inspection. Then, they find to their dismay that their stucco siding has been masking damage that needs repair.
This is one reason that Chester County homeowners turn to James Hardie siding for their home exterior remodeling. Hardie siding stands up to the region’s climate and provides peace of mind.
Signs Your Home Has Stucco Failure
While it’s true that moisture can sneak behind your siding without your knowledge, there will be signals that you may have a problem to address. Inspect your stucco regularly, looking for hints of failing stucco like these:
Greenish-black wall stains
Moisture behind your stucco can cause mold, mildew and algae to grow, and it eventually seeps downward, leaving stains beneath window sills.
Leaks not caused by faulty plumbing
Stained ceilings, streaks on your wall, peeling paint, moldy odors — all the signs of a leaky roof or window can also be an indication you may have moisture damage behind your siding.
Missing or aged caulking
When windows and doors don’t have a secure seal around their trim, it means water can be sneaking into your home’s exterior walls.
Lack of sealant between stucco and other materials
The areas where siding is connected to other materials should be properly sealed, or moisture will seep into the unsealed spaces.
Discolored or cracked stucco
Excess moisture can cause stucco to show cracks, breaks, dark stains, black streaks, and even bulges. In addition, stucco might actually start falling off your exterior.
Neighbors having problems
If you live in a neighborhood where all the homes were built at the same time, pay attention if neighbors are having stucco failure. Your home is likely to be facing the same issues.
What Happens When You Ignore Stucco Issues
Once moisture gets behind your siding, it can do a lot of damage as time passes:
- Seeps into insulation, damaging it and making your home less energy-efficient
- Encourages mold growth, leading to unhealthy air quality and allergic reactions
- Causes rot in window frames, drywall, and chimney, leading to costly repairs
- Impairs support structures such as beams, house frame, and walls, putting your home’s structural integrity at risk
- Adds up to highly expensive repair bills that create stress and frustration
High Dollar Repairs that Risk Your Home Investment
The longer the moisture problem goes unaddressed, the worse the damage grows. Homeowners can end up dealing with thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs. So, it’s easy to see why keeping stucco protected against moisture incursion matters so much — and why it’s so crucial to make needed repairs as soon as possible.
Two Ways to Address Stucco Siding Failure
Your home is one of your most significant assets, and it’s crucial to preserve its condition and protect your investment in it. Our team recommends considering these two approaches to addressing your stucco concerns. Both options offer advantages depending on your particular situation.
Get Expert Stucco Remediation Services — Not Just Cosmetic Repairs
Keep in mind that stucco failure is due to what is happening behind your siding. That means cosmetic repairs to your home exterior don’t address the underlying moisture problem. Stucco remediation addresses the main cause of failing stucco, which is faulty installation. As a result, it can be costly because it often means removing and replacing your entire existing stucco system.
Unlike many general home repair issues, stucco remediation is a highly specialized skill. Not every contractor will be able to do it properly. So it’s important to find a dependable, reputable home renovation company with experience and training in effective stucco repair techniques.
Invest in Lasting, Moisture-Resistant Fiber Cement Siding
If you want to eliminate your issues with stucco for good, replacing it with James Hardie siding is a smart move. Hardie siding is designed to resist moisture much more efficiently than stucco, and it also is extremely low maintenance. With gorgeous colors and styles to choose from, homeowners love the curb appeal provided by Hardie siding, as well as the decades of enduring protection their houses get from this premium exterior product.
Fix Your Stucco for Good and Get Peace of Mind
There’s no reason to let hidden damage keep eating away at your stucco, your peace of mind, and your home investment. Our expert stucco remediation team will make it easier to restore your house to “like new” condition, looking beautiful and retaining its value for years to come. We’ll conduct a thorough inspection, answer your questions, and provide a detailed plan that restores your dwelling and protects your investment.