Stucco does not need weep screed

Had a conversation with a guy today that had been in the stucco business for 30 years. Said weep screed is not needed and is a waste.

NO one around here does it and its still done improperly acording to astm standards.

ANy thought on weather it is needed or not?

Yes, on frame const it is absolutely needed. How else will the water that penetrates the stucco get out of the wall?

Stucco inspections in Port St. Lucie, FL are easy. The installations are all wrong!:twisted:

Esp. on the framed front porch upper walls attached to a CBS house.

My house is frame construstion built in 1959 has stucco exterior and NO weep screed. There are thousands and thousands of houses here in CA with no weep screed. Main purpose of weep screed is just that a screed to make sure the stucco is thick enough a secondary benefit is that it (screed) does allow water to escape

I know it was pretty common in SoCal for decades to apply without a weep screed. Past the framing and a foot or two down the CMU foundation walls right into the dirt. I have two homes built just like that. No moisture issues for either of these 1950’s built homes.

I’ve seen my fair share slab on grade, stick built homes that lack a weep screed and have their fair share of recurring moisture, cracking and other problems. Best case scenario on these houses was if the paper and lath terminated on the sole plate (forget going past) and then parged right down from there.

If the house is an older slab on grade, sometimes you can just walk in the garage and look at the first foot or so of paper above the plate… there’s not much resilience to the paper at all.


Roofing shingles are not necessary either. Grass & mud worked just fine for a thousand years :roll:

As with most building practices, the installation of hard-coat stucco systems has evolved and progressed. There’s a reason weep screed is used in modern HCSS’s.

This home was built in 91 and priced at almost 3 mil at one time.
Stucco touched the roof shingles at transition areas, the ground, the concrete drive,
and best of all the deck which lacekd any flashing.
Visble osb could be seen inbetween the stucco and deck. The deck band was actually bolted on before the stucco was applied. Stucco was also under the deck which ironically had rust stains runing out.

Most I said was typical with normal practices around here, but the deck was another story.
I still documented it all as a defect.

Since Stucco is a natural product and not a manufactured one…
it does not come with instructions.

Stucco installation over the years has been about style and technique…
sometimes it works…
sometimes it does not…

The most important part of the installation is all about the water resistive barrier system used on the wood framed wall. We can not see this during an inspection. Other installation shortcuts that we can see make us worry about the non-visible portion. Moisture is primarily extracted by evaporation out of the stucco or manufactured stone and not down through the weep screed so its presence is not a true indication of a good installation. The worst case is a poor water resistive barrier behind the stucco, on the north side of a building with some roof water, irrigation water or wind driven rain getting on it.

they need to install it under and around windows,doors,decks

if it is indeed the cure all problem fixer

once a painter caulks and paints the hair line crack it leaves it is as disfunctinal as no sill flashing that exits the water to the exterior of the cladding under windows,doors,and over and under all decks

and by all means roof wall intersections where the ROOFERS do not install KICKOUTS

as posted above it only gets outwhen it gets that far down

No screed here either;-)

“The IRC requires it” would be my reply to anyone who made that statement.

In South Florida the Architects decide how the Stucco is applied and I have NEVER seen a weep Screen in 30+ years of residential work. Not saying what is right or wrong just how they MAKE you do it in South Florida.

it is indeed what you can not see that will bite you

it is not like the codes officials have always done their jobs

and most of the builders just turn a blind eye as long as it helped their bottom line

I’ll agree with you on that one Carl. :slight_smile:

I have been doing inspections in Southern California for many years. Weep screeds appear to be very necessary. True, not every house without a weep screed will develop problems, but many do. I just inspected a 1951 built house in San Diego. There was a crawl space, which I once believed obviated the need for a weep screed. Not the case in this home. The dry wall around the house had moisture buckling. The garage, of course, was a concrete slab. It has no weep screeds and the damage was sufficient that the stucco around the perimeter will have to be replaced. I have also inspected many homes with weep screeds wherein the flashing was buried by soil or poured concrete. Many of these developed mold issues resulting from the capillarity of the stucco.

Southern California has a relatively dry climate. One would think that weep screeds would be even more important back east where humidity is higher.

Not much stucco around here but when I see it it is usually just plastered on to a brick wall or board as a sort of parge coat and no flashing or as you guys call it weeps.

1959 should be all that matters. Call it out and let someone else document that it could be an issue.

Seems like most of you all get the picture, but let’s be clear on this one. Weep screeds are necessary. Weep screeds are required by code. Weep screeds are needed to discharge trapped moisture in exterior plaster systems.

Just because buildings do not always rot in dry climates like California, does not mean it is proper or correct to omit weeps. In wet climates, like Florida, Coastal Texas, much of the Southern US, etc., failure to properly install weeps is one of the leading causes of building envelope failure and related lawsuits.

I agree with pcampbell. I have never ever seen stucco installed correctly the first time. I have required contractors to remove stucco and reinstall it properly though. They do NOT like that much at all.

Dan Krasno, P.E.
Licensed Engineer, Florida

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