Question About Stucco touching ground

Hello. I have a question about Stucco as siding.

I live in Florida where there are no basements and I’ve noticed many home where the stucco is installed all the way from the roof to the ground level. I just finished the exterior course regarding stucco and it was very clear in regards to the stucco being 6"-8" above the grade to prevent moisture intrusion.

Sorry if this is a newbie question. I couldn’t find the answer in the course. Thanks in advance for any clarity in the matter.


Scroll down to grade termination.

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Thanks for the information. Much appreciated!

No if you’re putting hard coat stucco on concrete block. You can go below grade.
It would look like shit if you didn’t.

Thanks Roy. Ive been wondering the same thing, as I just moved to florida as well.
My own house has this situation, but at the roof they did use a weep screed and a one inch clearance.

Check out this article from 2010… we are seeing weep screed installed at stucco installed on block on some new builds now.
Excerpt from Dr. Joe article above…
It’s not like we don’t understand the physics of building on wet ground. You build on top of it and you prevent water from wicking into the building by capillarity. But in Florida we seem to go out of our way to do it wrong. We use capillary active materials like concrete and block and stucco and configure them in such a manner as to maximize damage ( Figure 1a ). We don’t wrap a sub-slab vapor barrier capillary break around the perimeter of the foundation and we extend a stucco cladding into the ground in order to suck every last available drop of water in the ground into the structure. But we’re not done yet, we line the interior with a reflective insulation foil-faced vapor barrier reinforced with mold food (a.k.a. “kraft paper”).3 There’s more. We rain on the sides of the structure ( Figure 1b ). We apply the stucco directly to concrete block and assume that the stucco (oh, I forgot, also the paint on the stucco) keeps the rain out. We call this “faith-based rain control.” The stucco leaks, the paint leaks, the block leaks, and the wall can’t dry to the interior because of the reflective insulation foil-faced vapor barrier.
Credit Building Science Corporation.

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In most cases, EIFS systems and traditional stucco is installed below grade for aesthetic purposes. Rather than have the EIFS or stucco start a few inches above the earth, as per many recommendations or requirements set forth by building codes, the coats or layers are applied to meet or exceed beneath the ground to create continuity. Of course, while this does look nice and smooth in the end, the issues that arise are far more costly and troubling. In the end, the appeal is not worth your time or money.

The only time stucco below grade would be allowed is if the soil is more like desert sand, where there is little moisture beneath the surface. That said, for many regions of North America, the soil is much more rich and loamy, meaning that additional drainage measures would be required to reinforce the wood or foam of the stucco system.

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This is from a local blueprint last year… block consturction.

This is what it looks like.

I have been struggling with always calling out the stucco below grade in Florida. Almost every home with stucco has it that way in my area, but even the inspector I used on my own home didn’t call it out.

You’re telling me what it looks like. That’s frame on stem wall maybe mono.
3 coat hard coat stucco can be below grade. I don’t care what y’all throw at me. Concrete on concrete always works well

This is a 12 year old house… built in 2007 with stucco blow grade and reverse grade and of coarse no gutters.

according to what I see on the window frames
And the inset of those. That’s a frame structure and that should have 6 to 8 in reveal

No, that’s block wall on slab… the blueprint above is from the house 3 doors down. We were inspecting one in between which had the weep installed on both sides but not the front or back.

No block on slab built in 2007.

Everyone drives 80 or 90 MPH on 75 too!

Then why are they using intrical flange windows. On the exterior on a concrete block wall?.
If you’re saying is blocked then I have to agree.
However, stucco on fresh block and I’m talkin hard stucco…
You can take it below grade.

Where is the window bucks.

How often do you see houses in Florida with a hard stucco that looks like the picture of the house you posted?

Which picture are referring to?