7 Signs of a Stucco Leak You Can’t Ignore
If you have a stucco home, a stucco leak is your ARCH-NEMESIS! To avoid a costly stucco water intrusion disaster, you need to be on the lookout for the telltale warning signs of stucco problems. While it is a gorgeous and truly original home siding material, inferior stucco and improper installation can leave it susceptible to water intrusion. Knowing how to identify stucco problems is a crucial skill if you live in (or want to buy) a stucco home.
In fact, homeowners often want to know if it is a risk to buy a stucco house and some insurance companies won’t even insure a home with stucco — you need to know the ways to tell your stucco is bad. As always, the home improvement experts of Eby Exteriors keep you informed and maintain your-peace-of-mind — that’s why we put together our 7 warning signs of stucco leaks that you can find on your own.
If you do need help, contact us right away — we’re one of the few local teams to specialize in stucco leak repair.
The Signs of Stucco Water Intrusion
When you’re hunting for these warning signs, you’re looking for the obvious clues of water leaking through the stucco walls of your home. These are essentially the same methods our stucco repair team employs.
Dig in — here’s what you’re looking for:
- Cracks in Stucco — Look for either large and obvious cracks or small hairline ones. Stucco cracks don’t always mean damage, but it is a common sign of stucco moisture problems.
- Missing chips and chunks of stucco — Surface damage to your stucco siding is a sign of water damage underneath. If you find that your stucco tears or breaks off, it’s worth bringing out an expert to investigate further.
- Window caulk gapping or cracking — The windows and the caulking around them are common places of stucco water intrusion. You need to look to your windows for signs of damage. If you do see damage here, you may need to have your windows replaced as well.
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- Damp looking stucco — Wet stucco after the rain is actually normal. However, if the stucco is still wet a week after a rainstorm, that’s a sign of a stucco water intrusion. Also, pay close attention to spots on the wall that ALWAYS look damp or discolored and be on the lookout for dark streaks that never disappear.
- Cracks and bubbles along the bottom edge of the wall — Resulting from a poor drainage system, water leaking through stucco walls shows up along the bottom edge. If you see dense cracks or odd bubbles, you’re looking at the signs of stucco damage.
- Inside of drywall below the window feels soft — Now you’re going to take your stucco leak investigation inside. Physically feel your drywall. If it feels soft to the touch, that’s a sign that moisture is weakening your walls from the outside in!
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- Moisture on the basement walls — Since there are MANY reasons water can infiltrate your basement, this isn’t necessarily caused by leaking stucco, but it’s bad either way. We consider this more of a secondary sign to back up the other warnings.
The worst case scenario is when your stucco walls leak but don’t show any signs, because ALL of the moisture is being absorbed. Truly, the only way to ensure your stucco is safe is to schedule professional stucco leak detection from Eby Exteriors or a trusted third party.
Reasons for Stucco Problems
Stucco looks fantastic, and when done right, can perform fantastic, too. Moisture-based stucco problems are the main result of these issues:
- Poorly Made Stucco — Building materials are meant to repel moisture, but if it’s made poorly, stucco absorbs the water instead.
- Improperly Installed Stucco — A lot of exterior contractors love to say they do stucco but don’t really have the experience to do it right. An inexperienced contractor missing steps or cutting corners can lead to a huge problem for you.
- Insufficient Stucco Drainage — When properly installing stucco, a drainage system is added at the bottom of the walls. If this system is botched, the water will penetrate the walls rather than draining.
- Poor Sealing — Sealing stucco around windows and doors is an important step to keeping it strong. Neglecting this or using inferior sealant leads to moisture damage.
Danger of Ignoring Stucco Problems
Like we said, people always wonder if it is a risk to buy a stucco home. It isn’t necessarily a risk to go stucco, but it is a MASSIVE risk to ignore the warning signs of stucco problems.
This problem can’t go away on its own, and if it is left alone, it can destroy whole sections of your house.
Here are some of the risks of ignoring water leaking through stucco walls:
- Your whole house can rot from the outside inward. If that happens, you’ll need to completely rebuild your exterior. So if you think stucco leak repairs are expensive now, they’re nothing compared to rebuilding your entire house.
- You’ll likely have to deal with an out-of-control mold infestation. The inside of your dark and damp stucco walls will serve as a fertile breeding ground for nasty mold. Dealing with that level of mold remediation in addition to the stucco repair can cost five times more than the repair alone.
- If you leave the stucco leaks alone, you won’t be able to sell your house. Today’s savvy home-shoppers are all but guaranteed to demand professional stucco leak detection before they sign.
Stucco Leak Repair from Eby Exteriors
The first thing to do is to check your house for any of these 7 signs. If you notice something serious, bring us out for a look.
While these 7 tips are great, the best way to know if you have stucco problems is through professional stucco leak detection — provided by Eby Exteriors or an independent home inspector. During the investigation, the professional drills a hole in the wall to measure the actual moisture content.
We have years of experience accurately inspecting stucco homes for moisture infiltration — so you can trust us to handle your house. In addition, Eby Exteriors is a trusted stucco leak repair company. Not only can we diagnose whether there is water infiltration in your stucco, we can also repair it before the damage spreads.