Moisture intrusion in Florida homes

(Ian Coates) #1

I am very unimpressed by the florida building industry and its apparent disregard to build watertight homes. I understand that in Florida homes are built to withstand the hurricane force winds, but the wall design of almost every home built in Florida relies on Paint only to keep the water out of the building. Take second storeys in homes which are timber built and are rendered stucco onto mesh. When the stucco cracks, (and it always does) it lets water in to the mesh which then rusts and blows off large amounts of stucco. Its so obvious that this is going to happen and yet the industry is continuing to build with systems that are known to be defective.

If only every consumer realised that their $450,000 home is only protected from the elements by a $4000 paint job that needs doing every 4 years at the most.

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(Michael J. Meeker, CMI) #2

Stucco is not waterproofing. Simple solution id just build of concrete or blocks. The sad part is that the builders blame the stucco guys who HAVE to build by the plans their idiotic architects create.

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(Ian Coates) #3

True. But even concrete block when not painted often enough is not water repellent enough in a bad storm. The block gets saturated and fills and then runs out into the home as the bottom of the house on the outside is painted enough to stop the water draining to the outside. When that happens the house gets the ground floor flooded and damage to the interior even though the house is not in a flood zone.

Companies will not address the issue unless they are forced to, and that is the really sad part. A building code that doesn’t protect the consumer and as long as the consumer is in the dark, there will be no change

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(Bradley K. Toye, CMI) #4

The FBC requires that homes are protected from water infiltration. It’s usually workmanship errors or subpar building materials that cause most of the problems. Stucco contractors are slowly learning their errors, and many builders are turning toward cement fiber siding instead of stucco. There are many yahoos down here that really don’t care much what happens after they leave the job site.

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(Preston L. Halstead, HI549) #5

Why would the stucco guys not follow proper stucco standards? Or is that a Florida thing? I was shocked to see how improper it was done when I first came here. It was a hard argument to have when every single house you could point to was also done incorrectly. They are starting to learn now. I would agree it is not waterproofing and that is why proper installation is required.

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(Michael J. Meeker, CMI) #6

Builders hire the cheapest people they can ever since the crash. Before the crash the stucco guys did what the builders told them to do. Most problems are caused by lack of supervision by both the Stucco guys and the builders. I still can walk just about any site and find issues :frowning:

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(Mike Pagozalski, CMI) #7

I would think you must make a fortune doing invasive stucco inspections

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(Michael J. Meeker, CMI) #8

I am thinking about starting remediation for stucco issues but am having a hard time figuring the best way to keep the exposed walls dry while waiting for insections and stuff.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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(Preston L. Halstead, HI549) #9

That is what I am saying. The stucco industry in Florida never learned how to properly install stucco.

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(Ian Coates) #10

Coming from the UK, we always had trouble with Stucco on very hot days there. Considering the hot days here are even hotter and more often, I don’t believe that stucco is the answer to keeping a house dry. Stucco in the UK is basically a decorative treatment on new homes and only used as waterproofing on homes built with solid walls ie brick and stone/no cavity. I believe the problem is within the design of the house. But that would make them more expensive…

The real problem is that houses are being built to only last a few years and no one knows but the contractors who are building them.

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(Michael J. Meeker, CMI) #11

I agree with you Ian. Poor design id the root of many problems.

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(Preston L. Halstead, HI549) #12

Although to some regard I agree with you, it still doesn’t change the fact that Florida has no idea how to install it. More recently you will see it done properly but hardly ever, if ever was it done right in the past. How many houses are seen with a weep screed, expansion joints, or casing beads? Then you add in improper thickness applied, mixed incorrectly, applied in the hot sun, and poorly maintained by the homeowner.

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(William C. Chandler, CGC, CIEC) #13

Stop complaining. If it wasn’t for bad construction practices, most of us would not be home inspectors. Every new home being built is a future revenue stream…if I had the time, I would drive by every new home being built, take about 6 pics and then send a Notice to Occupant every year showing them where the moisture probably is. “I noticed improper stucco installation during the construction of your home in 2019…for $495 I would be happy to check your walls for hidden moisture and mold” or, sell the leads to real estate agents who could send a Notice to Occupant every year stating, “I noted your home was built like crap and now that it is 4 years old, you should probably sell it before it rots…call me so we can get you out of this money pit before it’s too late”.

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