For most of us, our home is the largest financial investment. We want our homes to look good and have great curb appeal. But have you ever thought of what is under your cladding (meaning stucco, siding, or other finishes on the exterior wall)? Well, its your building envelope. You building envelope is what keeps you safe and dry. It sheds or repels water from entering your home. Was it done correctly, were the windows you just replaced tied back into the envelope? It is extremely important to have your envelope sealed and working properly. Building codes are a minimum requirement. This is not a high standard in our opinion; The word minimum does not give us a very reassuring feeling. When you have two layers of black paper or house wrap on a home with close to 80,00 punctures in the envelope from staples, hammer tackers, and small tares that are missed. When we have window openings, doorways light fixtures and more also causing brakes in the envelope. How were the windows sealed? were they a flanged window or an insert window? are all water diversion systems around eavestroughs, and window flashings done correctly? There are to many questions and failures to leave this all to chance and that is if it is proper installed with out cutting corners. With the most common walls for failures being north and west walls extra options should be considered.
Hydrostatic pressure is when water migrates behind the stucco wall and can not escape or evaporate properly. (Often caused by heavy and driving rains, synthetic stucco coatings, thick paints consisting of elastomeric or sealing stucco.) This water can build up and migrate into staple holes, rips, or improper envelope techniques. There is a remedy for this, improved envelope installation including a drainage mat. This allows a better seal on the envelope and a water drainage plain allowing water to be channeled out. Some of the signs of this in synthetic or acrylic stucco are, efflorescence and eventually blistering. These areas will usually are found around cracks in synthetic stucco. If you have a water leak on your home, you need someone who really knows what they are doing. These are all big questions when dealing with a water leak that most people never think of or have not been educated on. We are always willing to do free visual assessments and look over the scope or details of your project no matter who is doing the work to help you with your home.
Here are a few things that can help with water problems:
• Deterring water is the most-effective water thing that can be done off the outside face of the wall. This will be diverter flashings, proper window flashings, proper size eavestroughing, and downspout flow along with other methods.
• Drainage would be next on the list because it redirects any water that enters the cladding. (stucco, siding, vinyl or other wall coverings over your envelope) It is important to ensure drained water is directed away from the building.
• Wall systems including stucco should allow for drying but should not be relied on to the same extent as deflection and drainage. Breathable stucco is excellent for this aspect of drainage.
If you are experiencing water leaks on your stucco home please feel free to contact us for advice and a free quote. We have engineers we can refer for structural and envelope information. Dynamic Stucco Repair has experience in these areas where other shy away we excel and thrive. We can custom design an envelope for you home. We can handle the entire scope of the project from sheathing damage, reframing, removal and reinstallation of windows effected by the damage, to the finish including stucco.