Can stucco actually cause water damage?
If your stucco siding has been improperly installed, water damage is sure to follow. The purpose of any type of siding is to protect your home from rain, snow, and other elements. But if the siding is installed carelessly, it will be unable to do its job and water damage will make itself known in an unattractive (an expensive) way to.
The primary culprit causing water damage in stucco results from improper sealing in the areas where the stucco connects with windows, flashing and other joints. Improper sealing makes it much harder to repair stucco water damage. Have you noticed dark, rusty-looking streaks seeming to drip from the corners of windows, particularly in older structures? These are called “stucco tears” and they are an obvious indication that water damage within the stucco has occurred. These “tears” cannot simply be wiped or power-washed away, as there is a deeper issue at hand. If you ignore the underlying issues causing this damage, you will be continually using such “band aid” remedies. You must establish the cause of the damage, then apply the proper repair for a lasting solution.
Determining whether there is moisture damage behind your stucco
Obviously, stucco tears are an indication that there is underlying water damage. However, water damage may be occurring beneath the siding, revealing no outward signs of damage. On the surface, everything looks fine to homeowners yet there may be mold, mildew and rot lurking beneath that nice surface, making a meal of your property. Don’t wait for the stucco tears to show themselves!
How can you tell if there is water damage happening under the stucco? Well, a visual inspection isn’t enough—you’ll need a moisture test to determine if your property has this problem. This isn’t a DIY opportunity—you’ll need to hire a professional to perform the moisture test. Once the issue has been diagnosed, you’ll be given recommendations on whether to repair or replace the stucco.
Should the moisture damage be caught early, it’s possible that repairs may be enough to fix the issue. Unfortunately, those repairs are often not a permanent solution. If moisture damage has occurred once before, it may happen again and again. In fact, if the damage is extensive or the recommended repairs intensive, the more cost-effective (and easiest) solution may be to have the siding replaced completely.
If you choose to replace your damaged stucco, there are many other siding options available. Your best bet is to select fiber cement since it is excellent in resisting damage from both hot and cold weather—even holding up well to impact from hail. Fiber cement will even remain solid in the most humid of climates. Best of all, fiber cement is very easy to maintain.
Fiber cement won’t rot or warp, unlike with stucco. With proper care its finish can last up to 15 years. It’s also cost-effective: fiber cement siding costs 20 percent to 50 percent less than what you might spend on brick, stone or stucco. The only siding that matches fiber cement in price is high-end vinyl siding.
Here’s another plus: fiber cement siding can mimic other siding options, including stucco. That’s a bargain any way you look at it: you’ll have the look of stucco at lower cost and without the risk of moisture damage in the future. That’s hard to beat.
For the best home restoration in San Diego be sure to contact us, and be sure to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages. Our technicians are San Diego’s best for repairing stucco water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation.