Stucco grew in popularity all across America in the 1960s. This unique, attractive material provides plenty of protection for your home, and has a unique, Southwestern flair that’s still popular today.
Unfortunately, due to the non-porous, water-repelling nature of stucco, water tends to collect behind it. In minor cases, this can cause stucco to fail and fall off, and in more significant cases, it can cause mold, mildew, or even structural issues.
This is why regular inspection and stucco repairs are so important. How can you tell if you need professional stucco repair? Here are a few of the top signs!
1. Check Around Your Windows For Brown Streaks Or Discoloration
If flashing and window molding are not properly installed before stucco is applied to your home, water may be able to enter in this area, and it will start to collect behind the stucco, causing mold and mildew to form.
Visually, this usually takes the form of brown streaks that appear around your windows. Leaks around your doors and windows also indicate that there may be a leak affecting your stucco wall.
2. Use Your Nose To Detect Mold And Mildew
If you detect the smell of mold or mildew (think old gym socks) in your home, particularly near a particular wall or corner of your home, there may be mold or mildew affecting the wall. You may need to hire a specialist to remove this mold and mildew, and to redo the affected wall with a fresh coat of stucco.
3. Identify Patches Of Cracked, Peeling, Or Bubbling Stucco
If your stucco is cracked, peeling, or bubbling, this can indicate water damage, or simple wear-and-tear to your stucco. In most cases, small patches that are cracked or peeling can simply be stripped away and replaced with a fresh batch of stucco, which will last for years to come.
However, if your stucco was installed improperly, the cost of repairs may be much higher. Because stucco is quite thick and dense, it can settle over the years, if it’s not properly bonded and adhered to the underlying wood lath or other underlying material. The original installer likely did not allow the stucco to adhere and cure properly to the lath.
This typically causes “spiderweb” cracks – thin, large networks of cracks which are usually only visible from a short distance. In most cases, a full re-application of stucco will be required to fix this issue.
4. Check To See If Your Stucco Is Chipped Or Fading
While stucco can last for up to 50 years with proper installation and care, it’s still susceptible to weather damage and damage from the elements, as well as wildlife and UV damage. It’s not uncommon for stucco to fade over time, particularly on a side of the home that is exposed to the harsh, direct rays of the sun.
Fading is usually treated by simply covering up the stucco with a new clear coat, or repainting it. A UV-resistant paint is recommended, to ensure that the color remains bright and does not fade due to UV exposure.
Minor chips can also be caused by normal wear & tear, as well as wildlife, hail and ice storms, and other such natural causes. Minor chips can be repaired with the application of a small amount of stucco, which covers up any flaws and restores the original appearance of the stucco siding.
Turn To A Professional For Stucco Repair
It’s fairly easy to recognize stucco issues on your own, but stucco repair is typically not an easy DIY fix.
To fix stucco on your own, must be familiar with the use of cement and its application directly to walls, and be able to recognize the difference between minor cases of stucco damage that can simply be covered up – and stucco damage that may require an entirely new stucco application.
For that reason, we recommend that you turn to a professional stucco inspector, to get a comprehensive wall evaluation, and learn about the next steps you’ll need to take in order to restore your walls – and your home. Get started today!
Featured Image Source: Flickr