Uncovering water damage within the walls of your home is an unwelcome surprise for any homeowner. Unfortunately, those with stucco homes constructed from the early 2000s through the mid-2010s have been grappling with this very issue. Improperly installed stucco systems have paved the way for extensive and costly water damage.
When water infiltrates your walls, it poses threats to both your health and the structural soundness of your home. Swift identification of water-trapped stucco is essential, and enlisting the expertise of a stucco remediation professional is crucial.
Taking action promptly to remediate your damaged home is of paramount importance. Water damage compounds over time, leading to escalated remediation expenses.
To ascertain whether your stucco is harboring water damage, there are seven critical indicators to watch for:
1. Formation of Cracks
Not all cracks in your stucco spell water damage. Some may not even denote damage at all. Various factors, such as your home’s foundation settling, can trigger cracks in your stucco.
However, this doesn’t mean you should disregard any cracks that surface. Otherwise, they wouldn’t make this list. If you spot cracks forming, it’s wise to also search for other signs of water damage in the vicinity.
Hairline cracks might be indicative of damage, especially if accompanied by additional signs. In contrast, larger cracks are the real concern. They often result from stucco’s expansion and contraction due to trapped moisture. Even if you encounter a larger crack with no other evident water damage, it’s prudent to arrange for stucco repairs. While the crack itself might not be due to water, it could serve as a pathway for water to infiltrate your walls, causing harm.
2. Manifestation of Stains
Staining suggests that moisture is affecting your walls. For instance, discolored streaks might appear in places where water flows, such as the corners of windows. This situation could stem from incorrectly installed or missing flashing.
Beyond streaks, you might observe dark patches. Such discolorations often result from moisture trapped within the wall. Merely painting over them won’t address the underlying issue causing the staining.
Discolored sections on your stucco could appear damp. Shortly after a rainstorm, this might be unalarming. However, if the damp patches persist, it’s cause for concern. Investigating areas around cracks is advisable, as water might be entering the wall through these openings.
3. Growth of Moss
Moss growth doesn’t necessarily signal trapped water damaging your walls. Nevertheless, it does suggest inadequate water diversion from your walls. Improper water diversion can lead to gradual damage over time. Typically, moss thrives where water courses down walls and at the base of walls. Water running down your walls might be a consequence of faulty flashing or gutter systems. Similarly, moss growth at the base of your walls could signify insufficient clearance between the wall’s termination point and the ground.
The emergence of moss on your stucco, or any siding material, serves as a clear indicator that corrective measures are warranted.
4. Proliferation of Mold
Unlike moss, mold growth usually signifies that water is trapped within your walls. Mold thrives in dim, damp environments—conditions that characterize walls housing trapped moisture. If you observe black spots on your stucco, they might indicate mold presence. Visible mold on the exterior of your walls suggests even more within.
Mold poses dual concerns. Firstly, it poses health risks to your household. Mold within your walls can adversely affect occupants’ health. Secondly, it signals that wooden beams within your walls are likely decaying, jeopardizing structural stability.
5. Surface Crumbling
Surface crumbling on your stucco is generally evident and often an indication of underlying issues. Although surface damage doesn’t invariably result from water, it is indicative of an internal problem that requires resolution. As the surface crumbles, your walls become increasingly susceptible to damage. Each layer that falls off contributes to further damage, creating a cycle of deterioration. You may infer water damage as the root cause of surface crumbling if newly exposed layers feel moist or soft to the touch.
Another concern associated with surface crumbling is that it diminishes the layers guarding your home against water intrusion. Stucco is permeable, allowing water passage. However, excessive water infiltration hinders efficient expulsion from the walls.
6. Presence of Soft Spots
Soft spots on your stucco usually accompany other indications of water damage. If mold or moss is evident on your walls, soft spots are likely to follow. Staining is often correlated with soft spots. However, if cracks or other damage not directly attributed to water are present, exploring the area for soft spots is advisable Detection of soft spots in these instances could provide valuable clues.
7. Evident Surface Bubbling
Surface bubbling often aligns with soft spots and crumbling. Bubbling materializes when moisture infiltrates the layers of your stucco and subsequently heats up. Typically, bubbling emerges along the bottom of walls, where water tends to accumulate.
Addressing Water Damage in Your Stucco
If you detect any of these signs in your stucco, it’s essential to take immediate action to prevent further damage and address the issue. Ignoring water damage can lead to more extensive problems, higher repair costs, and potential health risks from mold growth.
Here’s what you can do:
- Consult Stucco Experts: Reach out to experts for a professional assessment of the water damage. Our team has the expertise to identify the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate solutions.
- Repairs and Restoration: Depending on the severity of the water damage, repairs may be necessary. Our experts can carefully remove and replace damaged stucco to restore your home’s integrity and aesthetics.
- Preventive Measures: To prevent future water damage, consider implementing preventive measures such as improving drainage systems, sealing cracks, and applying waterproof coatings.
- Regular Maintenance: Keep a watchful eye on your stucco and perform regular maintenance to detect and address any signs of water damage early.
- Professional Installation: If you’re planning to install new stucco, trust experienced professionals like CMB Newark Stucco & EIFS. Proper installation is a crucial step in preventing water intrusion from the start.
Your stucco siding is a valuable investment that enhances your home’s curb appeal and value. Detecting and addressing water damage early is vital to preserving its longevity and structural integrity. By recognizing the signs of water damage and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can ensure that your stucco remains a durable and beautiful exterior for years to come.