Stucco in various geographical areas

My area has a lot of do-it-yourself builders. No one seems to understand the concept of weep holes in stucco or the need for drainage. What’s been happening a lot is contractors put stucco on houses and run it down onto the foundation with no way for the water to drain out. The lower part of the stucco then cracks and breaks off due to water getting in behind the stucco and freezing in fall and spring. What I want to know is, what are some of the methods contractors use in various areas to keep this from happening?

South Florida most builders go as low as they can go but we have very little freezing issues here.

Stucco needs to stop 6" before grade and have a Weep Screed installed around the entire building at the base of the wall.

Contractors go as low as possible here too, even below grade, but water tends to wick up into the stucco that way and get into the wall. The information you guys provided is very useful. It will help me defend my case because everyone around here thinks I’m crazy when I talk about how stucco is actually supposed to be applied even though the current methods aren’t working.

Here’s some thoughts (for traditional stucco):

  • There has to be a break where the wall meets the foundation
  • There should be no exposed substrate or sill plates at the bottom of the walls.
  • The traditional stucco should lap the top of the foundation by at least 1 inch.
  • At grade this helps prevent wicking and termite infestation; traditional stucco must be kept 4 inches above grade.
  • At higher locations on a home (such as above low roofs) this helps prevent water intrusion.