Stucco Issues

Here’s an expensive stucco home I inspected 2 years ago. At that time, I noticed some staining on the stucco and recommended it be evaluated by a stucco specialist. This week, I was asked to revisit the home…the staining is worse. The homeowner, my client, said a stucco ‘specialist’ did revisit the home after I issued my report and he “patched” the stucco.

Notice the stains beneath the EIFS trimmed windows. Also, notice the heavy stains beneath the 2nd level tiled surface patio. Water was seeping out from beneath the flashing. You’ll see that in one of the photos.

Also, notice the wet areas beneath a gutter (we’ve had recent snow and rain here). There is kickout flashing above the gutter.

Also, the stucco on other large walls of the home has lots of long, narrow cracks in it that weren’t there 2 years ago.

There are not many stucco homes around here, but I don’t think they are supposed to stain like this. Your thoughts on these issues please.

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Hey Joe, Just a quick note, you said there is kickout flashing at the gutter but it sure doesn’t look like it. May be a good idea to recommend an EIFS/Stucco inspection (based on your pictures).

That will be one hell of a repair bill. I imaging that sutcco specialist better hope he has E&O insurance

I read original post too quick and missed that a specialist has already inspected it:shock:

Here’s another view of the gutter. You can see the kickout.

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So everyone is in agreement stucco should not stain like this? Would you recommend an infrared scan?

An EIFS expert will probably have one and also do some probe testing for interior moisture as well. It ain’t going to be pretty imho.

Absolutely, and I can do all of the walls, balcony, roof and IR.

Seriously, have them call me!

Or have a general contractor start tearing into the walls, balcony and roof systems to redo them correctly, from what I see in your photos.

Is anything visible to you that would indicate the installation is incorrect? Other than the staining?


It would be ludicrous for me to try and inspect/pinpoint/comment further just from photos.

The apparent moisture damage/infiltration, efflorescence, gutter, kickout and not visible cracking is all I need to know that a detailed exam with IR would be a good place to start to identify the details.

Efflorescence is generally the leeching of the base coat materials outward this tells me water is getting through, into or behind the system…not a good thing as structural damage is usually close behind.

Understand, that I’d be glad to assist but can’t do it from my office.

now that is thinking outside the box

now that os thinking outside the box

I never got your email, but this is not good. Do you know who the plaster contractor was?

Plant ivy.


Because of the liability associated with stucco, it is best for most inspectors to truly let those inspections go…or at least note that the exterior surface is beyond the scope of a general inspection. At minimum, individuals conducting stucco inspections should be either EDI, MWC, or AWCI Certified.

Any repairs should be done by a MWC certified stucco contractor… anyway, I know
of only two guys in the whole state who truly meet those qualifications…outside of that unless they have the right tools, then they are simply looking around…even using IR you are not doing justice without validating same.

Let me know if you want the names of the two guys I know… hopefully it wont get ugly.


PS. Did the specialist that was called in have any true credentials or was he simply a mason.

PSS. Not trying to take any work away from Barry, I see he is truly qualified, just thought you might want someone closer…nothing personal Barry.

From what I was able to determine from the client, the installer returned and “did some patching” after I wrote the report recommending a specialist.

That’s what I thought… he truly needs a certified expert that can come out and actually investigate as to weather it was installed properly in the first place…that require specialized equipment and training (which is why I typically will not mess with Stucco homes, too much liability for the amount you collect)…which means one should be charging more. You really need to convey to your former client the need to get it check out by someone who is certified…its a nice house, so the guy doesn’t have any excuses to not pay for a specialized inspection. Give him Barry’s number or if he wants someone local then let him know the type of credentials they should have.

Good luck on this one.



I talked to the client this a.m. He’s very pleased with me re-visiting the home and showing the photos to stucco specialists. I’ve recommended he call Barry Adair (who I mentioned is nationally recognized) and Paul King (Paul is local). Also recommended that he contact his home insurance company ASAP after the specialist inspection.

The builder is liable for 3 years in NC, so he’s on the hook for all this. Hopefully my client won’t hire Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe who might want to drag me into it!

Hopefully they understand what the problems really are and do not put it back together the same way again.

Actually it can be longer, in some cases as long as 10 years or more.

Law firms often look at cases from the standpoint of actually collecting any damages…which is why they probably wouldn’t mess with a small builder.

I am dealing with a case now which goes back more than years…large track builder failed to properly flash around a door…you can imagine what happened.

Hope your right about not dragging you into…I am sure it will come down to how your contract and report read. If nothing else I am sure it has made you think twice about doing homes with that much stucco.

Anyway, another reason to have E&O…


So, Jeffery, how did you answer this poll?