How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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How do I pick the right contractor to fix my stucco?

Thursday, October 7, 2021

If you are asking this question, it’s likely that you have a stucco-over-wood-frame home with large crack patterns, bulges, and wet spots in the stucco. These problems tend to happen more often in Florida homes constructed during the building boom up to 2009, and many of them are like the one shown above: concrete block first floor and wood frame second floor, with all the stucco problems at the second floor level.

    We asked Brice Miller, of Miller Building Consultants, to answer this question for you. His engineering consulting company has extensive experience dealing with stucco problems in Florida. Here’s what he recommends:

  • Get 3 bids - Be wary of price outliers.  Cheaper is not always better.
  • Check out the bidders - By asking for references for similar type repairs that were completed at least 2-years prior. Actually follow-up and call the references.
  • Review the scope of work with the contractor - Ensure the contractor is knowledgeable regarding the two code standards that govern stucco installation: ASTM C926 and C1063. 
  • Review their planned schedule - Stucco over wood should be repaired in 3-coats.  The first and second coats (scratch and brown coats) can be installed on the same day in a code allowed “double-back” method and should be moist cured for 48-hours after being installed.  The third coat (finish coat) should be installed 7 days after the first two coats.  Be wary of any one-day repair.  
  • Show-up during repairs - Ensure that the new WRB (Water Resistant Barrier) and lath are being tied into the existing ones.
  • And the regular rules apply - Have a good contract, make sure a permit is pulled, get a release of lien for all payments, etc. 

    Also, see our articles Why is my stucco cracking? and How can I tell if a crack in a stucco wall is a structural problem and what is causing it? 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

And here’s links to some of our other blog posts about STUCCO:

Do stucco walls mean a house is concrete block?

What causes raised white lines of residue on a block wall that are crusty and crumbling? 

What is the difference between EIFS and stucco? 

What is the difference between Acrocrete and EIFS? 

What is the average life expectancy of stucco? 

• Is the stucco on a wood frame house allowed to extend down into the ground? 

Does stucco need expansion joints?

• What are common problems with stucco? 

Why is stucco that goes into the ground a problem at a wood frame house?

• What are the signs of stucco wall leaks? 

        Visit our EXTERIOR WALLS AND STRUCTURE page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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