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Stucco and moisture issues

We have a stucco exterior on our house, which is 9 years old. We had a moisture inspection performed and some moisture was found under a few windows; the inspector did not probe anywhere other than under the windows. We have no internal signs of problems.

Based upon what the inspector could see from the uncovered backs of the windows in our attic, he believes that all of our windows were installed incorrectly. He did not inspect soffits, etc., to determine if there were any other possibly points of entry for water.

We have been meeting with contractors and the general consensus seems to be that simply fixing the "bad" windows by pulling them out isn't likely to staunch the moisture because we aren't certain the windows are the only sources of entry for moisture. Moreover, ripping out a window and reinstalling it, even with proper flashing, pans, etc., is creating a patch, which conceivably could create a new point of entry for water. In a nutshell, we've been told the only real long-term option is to tear off all of our siding and have it redone, to the tune of nearly $100,000.

I know that bad building practices re: stucco and/or windows are a nationwide issue and the common advice is to rip everything off and start over. My question is whether this really is the only option. Would caulking along the roof line and all windows make a difference? Is replacing the windows on an individual basis truly not effective? Any thoughts/suggestions for other avenues of possible remediation?

Re: Stucco and moisture issues

It looks like you are seeking advice from the wrong contractors.

Why don't you try this: get a sack of THOROSEAL, a cement base sealant. When you mix it with water, you can apply it directly on the stucco with a paint brush to create a very good seal. This product works for me.

Where to find it: check masonry sources of their website.

Re: Stucco and moisture issues

I think the post is in refference to Synthetic Stucco,Bag goods will not help.
Your window problem is most likely only one of your problems need to look at the over all flashing like kick out flashing at roof lines.
Also did the inspector check the termination at grage.Most insurence companys require the stucco to terminate 6 / 8 inches above grade.
If it is only 9 years old you may have a recourse to go back to the contarctor or installer.
If the stucco system is a drainage type the window rework may be possible. repairs should include proper framed opening back wrapping, Head Flashing and sill flashing along with the proper caulking joint.
Make sure ALL other flashings are inspected and correctly installed.
Than reskim the existing finish with a premixed base coat or a freestyle material that retexture with finish.
If you know the manufacture of the Synthetic Stucco System contact them for recommended repair method and flashing details.
If not contact The Exterior Insulation Manufactures Assoc. (EIMA)
They will have an approved repair proceedure.

Re: Stucco and moisture issues

If you have synthetic stucco walls, then there is a chance that the stucco is making a better vapor barrier that the one on your inside surface of those exterior walls. As a result, moisture is getting into the wall and cant get out. Better sealing around the windows is not going to help.

There was an episode of that other home show (Home Time) where they went back to an earlier project house to add a deck. The house had that synthetic stucco. They punched a hole through the stucco to attach the deck to and water poured out like the dam broke. Dean Johnson looked at the camera and said, well we will have to look into that. He never did explain, but in the next episode, the house was clad in vinyl siding.

The solution may be in finding a way to add ventilation to the exterior surface of the wall.

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