HCS penatration sealing

Hello fellows, I am presently taking the advanced stucco course and was hoping to get clarification with proper sealing of a HCS. My question is sealing around windows, doors, on a older home (70’s), with a three coat HCS 3/8 to 1/2 inch. The stucco finish coat has be brought to the edge of window and door framing, from soffit to foundation parging with no visible evidence of casing or weeps. Interior moisture readings indicated a couple of areas with higher levels but not to the destructive levels. There are many homes in my area completed in this manner…how would you write this exterior finish up in the report?
I’m thinking the approach would probably involve grandfathering clauses and not done to todays standards? Call out the areas of higher moisture levels?
Looking forward to your responses, thanks guys!
Jim Mac

No such thing, actually.

ASTM standards for exterior plaster (stucco) have been around a long time. These include the proper use of screeds, weeps, control joints, flashings, etc.

Stucco installation is rarely done correctly, and improper workmanship combined with missing stucco accessories almost always results in defects, often times serious ones that are concealed from view.

1 Like

Thanks Dominic, good to know.

Grandfathering only applies to code compliance enforcement. That’s not what you’re there for. There is no context for the term grandfathering in a home inspection.

Document whats deficient based on current practices (we now know more about what old practices are problem prone). If what you are reporting was common practice at the time, you can mention it, but the fact that they have lots of company doesn’t reduce the likelihood that they will experience problems.

1 Like

Thanks Chuck, the term grandfathering caused a bit of a stir, guess you should group it with using the term code.

“Grandfathered” has no legal meaning, BUT in the real world, the term is used all the time. So, we need to understand that there is an inappropriate use of the term.
I’ll state the obvious, and say that building standards (code) change. For instance, prior to 1997, EIFS typically, did not have a WRB. This bad practice is the source of the horrendous problems with those EIFS installations in the eastern US and Vancouver, etc. Post 1996, municipalities started adopting MD-EIFS and moisture drainage systems for all stucco as the standard. So, although a pre-1997 installation (depending on when the municipality adopted the newer standards) would not be approved or permitted today, there is no requirement to make it compliant with today’s standards (it is grandfathered). But you would still report defects and damage.
Hopefully it is obvious, work that was never code compliant or done badly, regardless of how old; is not “grandfathered.” If it was wrong then, it continues to be wrong.
But the term is only for conversation with clients who will frequently use it. Don’t use it in a report.
Regarding your particular description, it is common for installers to butt stucco up against window and door frames, because it is prettier than a ½” caulking bead. Around here all our AHJs allow this kind of thing, so I have a boiler plate comment that even if permitted, the stucco system was not installed to “best practices,” and then describe any specific defects. You should report the elevated moisture levels that you found, accurately describe that while they do not appear to be high enough to promote wood rot or damage, and you recommend sealing or caulking the stucco transitions to the window, door, etc frames.

1 Like

Thank you Lon, your explanation was awesome, exactly what I was looking for and I will follow your excellent advice!