stucco home

Proper Exterior Stucco Installation – Asheville Home Inspections

livninavl Inspectors Corner, Uncategorized

Proper Stucco Installation

What Does Proper Exterior Stucco Installation Look like

In a previous blog post that looked at general home inspection results when trying to determine what is important I introduced a concept of major deficiencies. One area that can lead to a major deficiency is improperly installed exterior stucco.

Over the course of performing many Over the course of performing many Asheville home inspections, one theme occurs a lot, and that is the improper installation of exterior stucco. In order to understand how exterior stucco is improperly installed we must look at how to install stucco correctly.

By using the image to the left for graphic representation, we can see the proper layers and steps that should be followed to insure an exterior finish that can stand up to mother nature. For the purpose of this article we will be looking at the proper installation of stucco over wood framing since that covers nearly every home in Asheville.

To Check Inspection Rates- Click Here & Select City

Missing Weep Screeds & Flashing Details #1 Most Missed on Exterior Stucco Applications

Lets start with what most exterior stucco installers get right.

  • Without fault most installers already have a housewrap installed when they start, because this is a code requirement and is inspected by the county builder inspectors. Though proper install techniques indicate that this really should be a double layer.
  • Every installer gets the installation of wire mesh, because without the mesh the stucco simply would not stick to the wall.
  • Unfortunately, that is about it. Now lets look at where installers come up short.
Stucco Damage From Improper Installation
Remember, when looking at exterior siding the one thing to keep in mind is that water is the enemy.Brian Barrett

Everyone thinks that keeping water out is the only job that exterior siding performs, but they always forget is that nothing in this world is perfect and water can find ways behind the finished surface. So, the number reason water gets behind the stucco surface? Lack of proper flashing details at window and door penetrations! If your stucco finish butts up directly to your window or door frame, it is incorrect. All home inspectors in Asheville, should be looking closely at this detail.

If we look at the diagram above you will note that the stucco finish should never butt up to the penetration! At the top of the penetration there should be a metal flashing detail that prevents water from entering at the top. Around the sides there should be a gap that is filled with a backer rod and sealant to remain flexible, because wood buildings are not static. At the bottom of the penetration should be another flashing detail. This system provides for protection from water penetration while allowing our wood structure to change over the seasons without compromising our exterior protection.

Ok, we have looked at what fails to allow water in. So, what happens when water does get in? Without the proper drainage plains and weep screeds along the bottom of these drainage plains, nothing! and that is the problem. If installed properly, water is allowed to travel down the drainage plain until reaching a weep screed and then it is allowed to exit.

It is time that installers stop cutting corners to save a little bit of time, because the damage caused and the cost or repairing a rotten exterior wall can be devastating.

MTS Inspections – One of Asheville’s Most Highly Rated Home Inspections Companies

As of the writing of this article, Mountains To Sea Inspections had 50 – 5-STAR ratings on Google, more than any home inspections company in the Asheville area. We are proud of this fact and it is because we bring the most experienced home inspectors in Asheville. All of our home inspectors have years of experience in the construction industry and know your home better from the footer to the roof than any home inspector. Let our knowledge and experience work for you on your next home inspection. Check out our rate sheet and you will see that we are also the most affordable home inspection in Asheville. We look forward to seeing you at your next home inspection.

To Schedule Appointment - Click Here & Select City

To Check Inspection Rates - Click Here & Select City