Dealing with Stucco Water Damage: Repairing, Recognizing, and Preventing

Stucco, known for its sturdy and classy look, has been a top choice for many homes’ exteriors. But even this classic material isn’t immune to a major foe: water damage. For homeowners with stucco, dealing with water damaged stucco is crucial, not just for looks but mainly for the building’s health and strength.

The Dangers of Water Damaged Stucco

Stucco has this classic charm that never gets old and is a popular choice for many homeowners. However, despite its sturdy exterior, stucco is susceptible to water damage. This sneaky compound can slip through tiny cracks and fissures, quietly causing damage to the surface below. If left unchecked, water damage to stucco can have serious consequences, risking the structure’s stability and setting the stage for mold and decay.

What Causes Water Damage in Stucco?

Water damage in stucco doesn’t just pop up out of the blue. It comes from a mix of different factors. Some are preventable, and some just come naturally.

  • Sprinkler Systems: When sprinkler heads decide to shower stucco walls, they’re not just washing away the stucco; they’re inviting moisture in, especially in older units.
  • Inadequate Sealing: Stucco needs a strong moisture barrier. If the sealing is off or the sealant fails, water sneaks in and starts causing trouble.
  • Faulty Installation: Even the top-notch materials can’t handle poor-quality installation. It leaves openings for water to sneak in and cause damage over time.

How to Identify Water Damage in StuccoStucco water damage

Stucco water damage usually shows up with visible signs, but sometimes these cues can be subtle. Knowing how to spot them early on is like having a defense plan ready in advance.

  • Watch Out for Cracks: Keep an eye on the stucco for cracks; remember, they’re not just surface flaws but paths for water to seep in.
  • Pesky Mold Stains: Damp stucco loves mold. If you spot any discoloration or dark spots, it might mean there’s unwanted moisture hanging around.
  • Peeling Paint Drama: When the paint on your stucco starts peeling, especially in lower areas, it’s a sign of possible moisture troubles.
  • Sniff Test: Detect a musty smell inside? It could be mold growing due to wall humidity.
  • Off Color: Water-damaged stucco might look different in color, with dark streaks or discolored patches, signaling an issue lurking beneath the surface.

How to Check for Moisture Behind Stucco

To check for moisture behind stucco, besides checking on the signs talked about before, using an exterior probe test is the most accurate way to determine the level of moisture damage behind stucco. Other options include using infrared cameras, using a camera to scope the area, or invasive measures like pulling back sections of the siding.

How to Repair Water-Damaged Stucco

Repairing water-damaged stucco requires attention to detail and following proper procedures. If the stucco is significantly deteriorated, such as in cases involving mold or structural instability, it’s advisable to seek assistance from professionals. Avoid quick fixes as they may not address the underlying issues effectively.

For minor repairs, you can undertake the task yourself. Start by removing the damaged stucco carefully. Afterwards, choose a stucco mix that matches your home’s aesthetic and apply it in layers. Ensure each layer dries before applying the next one. Prior to finishing the repair work, thoroughly clean and dry the affected area if the stucco has been absorbing water over an extended period.

In situations where water damage is extensive, consulting a certified professional, preferably with an IICRC certification, like Jenkins Restorations, is recommended. Their expertise will ensure a thorough assessment and appropriate resolution of the issue.

Does Stucco Absorb Water?

Yes, stucco can absorb water. Traditional stucco is a porous material made from cement, lime, and sand, which means it can absorb water when exposed to it. However, this isn’t necessarily a problem under normal conditions, as stucco is designed to manage and release moisture without damage to the structure. Properly applied and maintained stucco has a drainage system that allows any absorbed water to evaporate or drain away, preventing moisture from accumulating within the walls.

Issues arise when there is excessive water exposure without proper drainage or when the stucco is damaged or improperly installed. In such cases, water absorption can lead to problems like mold, mildew, and structural damage. Modern stucco systems often include a water-resistant barrier and proper flashing to prevent these issues, enhancing the material’s ability to handle moisture.

Stucco Water Damage Repair Experts

The reality is, fixing water-damaged stucco isn’t a simple, quick solution. Dealing with a water-damaged stucco surface involves a process of removal, drying, and remediation that demands time and dedication to execute effectively. Ensure the task is handled properly by reaching out to the experts at Jenkins Restorations. Our reliable IICRC-certified technicians will assess the extent of the water damage and offer the expert resolution required for restoration. Contact us today or schedule an appointment to begin the process.

Have You Recently Dealt With Water Damaged Stucco?

After water damage, make sure to call Jenkins Restorations to get your home – and your life – back to normal again.