One of the biggest benefits of stucco is that it can help make your home more energy efficient. However, if a stucco exterior is poorly installed or not maintained properly, several serious issues can arise. The most serious problem stems from water-related issues—specifically, excess moisture that becomes trapped in your home.
What is EIFS and Stucco:
EIFS stands for “Exterior Insulated Finishing System”. This is basically a foam insulation board mounted to the outside of the building, then covered with a mesh before having a thin layer of stucco applied over the top as the visible exterior finish. This type of system is common on commercial buildings, and typically has some amount of decorative detailing, arches, quoins and more. The finish coat comes in a myriad of colors and can even be painted to achieve any color combination desired.
Stucco on the other hand, is a cementitious product typically applied in 3 coats to the exterior of a building, usually around 7/8ths of an inch thick, without the foam board beneath. The Stucco is applied over a drainage layer and wire lath (wire lath holds the stucco on the building) and is the visible finish. Finishes are usually textured and can be painted any color just as the EIFS can.
Either system has its merits, but both are only good if the time and attention to detail is taken when installing the layers beneath to waterproof the building structure from the external elements.
Both EIFS and stucco finishes are naturally porous, therefore moisture will penetrate the external layers. An adequate drainage plain is necessary in addition to correct sealing and flashing of the building envelope.
BIRD HOLE REPAIRS
(Exterior Insulation and Finish System)
One of the most common issues with EIFS is bird nesting. If untreated, bird nesting can cause damage to your stucco house as it can create an environment for mold to grow where there is no waterproof system in place. Without maintenance wood framing, insulation, and sheet rock can be tarnished easily. Aside from the damage to your property, black mold can also cause illnesses.
Over time, rain erodes the thin coating of stucco that encapsulates the sand that creates the texture layer. When this happens, the texture can easily be removed if the wall is cleaned with a pressure washer, or with time as the rain continues to erode the surface of the stucco.
To prevent the loss of your texture, the stucco should be recoated or painted every 10-12 years.
Stucco will need some maintenance to keep it in good shape.
Stucco Repair of NJ is experienced and will follow these steps:
Inspect stucco finish.
Fill any holes or cracks quickly, so they don’t worsen. Use masonry-compatible caulking.
Although you may clean stucco homes with a garden hose, avoid pressure washing. The strong spray can damage the surface.
Repairs to thin brick veneer systems often consist of testing for loose brick units, removing and re-adhering brick units, and pointing the joints between brick units. The objectives of this paper are to review available construction systems using adhered thin brick veneer, codes and standards, discuss our experience in investigating failures of these systems, and present our recommendations for repairs and for new construction.
The delamination, or separation, of stucco layers occurs when any or all of the layers of stucco separate from one another or the wire mesh that the initial stucco coat is applied to.
Each stucco coat serves a different purpose and is prepared with differing ratios of ingredients.
The scratch coat: This first layer a rough coat to create a base application on the metal lathing, which is completely wrapped around the exterior of the home. The roughness acts as a great bonding layer.
The brown coat: This second layer is much smoother, and although still gritty, serves as perfect base coat for the finishing coat to adhere to.
The finish coat: This final coat is meant to create the “finished” or desired appearance for your stucco exterior. This later is the most aesthetically pleasing, but on its own, it will not last.
If the coats are prepared improperly, applied in poor weather conditions, or applied without adequate drying time in between, stucco delamination can occur.
EIFS / Stucco Impact Damage can be repaired using broad masking tape to tape off the impacted area, then remove the damaged EIFS exposing a uniform / regular are of the substrate which should be larger than the damaged area. Remove grind away the damaged EIFS and cut the edges off the finish coat to a clean non tapered area. Install new insulation board and apply mesh overlapping onto the existing base coat layer then finish off the stucco repair and inspect.
Water damage on your stucco has some key warning signs. Check your stucco for cracking, chipping, impact marks from weather damage (circular ones for hail damage) or even holes.
Another sign is staining or blistering on the top layer of your stucco wall. Staining can look like brown streaks under the corners of your windows or at the intersections of roofs and walls, whereas blistering stucco is noticeable when loose pieces of stucco crumble off, leaving your wall looking patched and cracked.
If you’re noticing water spots on your stucco long after the rain has stopped, this is also a good indication that your stucco is not draining properly. Keep an eye out for mold, or even a mildew smell to help warn you of a potential problem.
corrections of stucco inspections
If your inspector found elevated moisture levels and/or other deficiencies, we recommend remediation (removal of the stucco). Corrections can range from single elevation removal and repairs, to complete removal of the system and structural repair to the walls behind.
complete stucco/eifs system remediation
Remediation is the process of fixing the faults and deficiencies in the stucco or EIFS. Both stucco and EIFS can experience damage from wear and tear over its lifetime. Cracks will appear, staining can occur, or deterioration may begin.
It’s important for homeowners to keep an eye out for the warning signs of damage. At the first signs of damage to your exterior walls, you will want to call a professional stucco/EIFS remediation team immediately to assess the situation.
MSV (Manufactured stone veneer)
Manufactured stone has become the go-to material for any homeowner that wants to add a little extra pop to their home. It looks exactly like natural stone but it is lighter, easier to work with, way less expensive, and tends to last a long time without deteriorating.
Nothing lasts forever though. Even manufactured stone will pick up the occasional crack or chip through normal wear and tear. It can’t be avoided but it can be easily fixed, unlike a natural stone veneer.