Stucco Below Grade in Florida

I’ve seen this everywhere around here (Jacksonville FL) including my own house. Knew it was only a matter of time until I had an inspection with it. That time is now. The stucco on the building runs right into the ground. People everywhere else are now saying " advise them to cut it up to 8" above grade". Yes, and do what with the 8" of exposed wall? You see, many, MANY homes and commercial properties are built with slabs AT grade, or 1" or 2" above, MAYBE. Then you see the stucco continue down past the sill plate over and onto the slab and end some inches down onto the slab. I cannot explain why so many structures have been built, and approved in this manner. Probably it owes to the incredible drainage here. Mostly homes here have no guttering at all. They don’t need them. After a hard tropical rain here, look out the window 30 seconds after the rain stops and the sandy soil has completely sucked up all the water. Now that’s all fine and dandy until you think about termites sneaking up between the stucco and the slab if there are any cracks or separations. So what do I tell the client. Especially since it is so common for this here and cutting up really is not an option? ](*,)

I tell the client to cut the stucco up as far as the foundation will allow. I also recommend that they have the house treated for termites as needed based on the ground life of the chemical used. This recommendation is for wood frame homes.

Is it wood framed or concrete block?

Concrete don’t matter.
They will just come up between the garage and interior wall instead. :stuck_out_tongue:

My question too. :-k

This one is a commercial building. It is mostly block, with some frame. Most of the time it is frame on houses around here. It is common enough that I need a pat report statement to make when I see this. I don’t think just saying to cut up will work because in too many intances, it just is not possible because the slab is maybe one or two inches above grade or at or even below grade (no kidding). Cutting up might make the whole situation worse and regrading would be difficult due to the flatness of the area. I’m beginning to think I’ll just have to explain the situation without a recommendation, but of course that seems like a cop out. I’d like to do better for my clients than that. But what? How about explaing that carefull attention to termite control and bonding be religiously attended to? Any comments? Thanks.

Stucco below grade voids most termite bonds. So I wouldn’t recommend that as a solution. If you can’t cut then treatment is the only option.

Very common in Bay county Florida. I do recommend the client to consult with the WDO/Termite company. As long they are ok with it they will insure the house. The norm is to have the stucco cut or the perimeter of the house treated.