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Why do I have Water Damage, Isn’t Stucco Waterproof?
One of the misconceptions in the Sacramento area is that water damage cannot occur if you have a stucco home. This is not true, water damage can occur through the stucco exterior walls. In Sacramento, the weather tends to be dry during the summer months, with raining periods during the winter. We do not experience the extreme cold weather, or the long dry hot desert-like conditions.
So why doesn’t stucco prevent water damage inside the walls of your Sacramento home?
Let’s look at how the walls are constructed.
First the walls are constructed as any wall with the additional of plywood, tar paper, and usually a wired mesh that the stucco will grab on to stay on the walls. Special waterproof paper will surround the windows and doors and all flashing install at this point before the beginning of the stucco application. Everything to this point is to keep the water outside the building.
Next, the stucco is applied to the walls. It is a mixture of sand, cement, and water generally. It is applied to the walls wet in three separate coats on walls; the final coat will have a textured finish that many will recognize. Once the stucco has fully cured, paint is plied to the surfaces of the home.
It is at this point, if the construction has been done correctly, the building is water resistant. Let’s look at each layer of the construction again. A couple of layers of good quality paint can prevent water from getting to the stucco. It sheds it away and down to the ground. Over time, the paint may peel, crack of somehow allow water to get past the surface and into the stucco.
Stucco itself is not water-proof!
Once the water has gotten past the paint and into the stucco, it is important that the materials that were installed before the stucco are in good shape. The moisture that is traveling within the stucco is shielded by the water barrier materials; tar paper, flashing, etc. So as long as the barrier is good no water damage can occur.
These are just a few examples of how the condition of the stucco wall in Sacramento can change over time.
In Sacramento we like to watch television so we mount a satellite dish on the wall, this creates a penetration through the barrier. The weather here can cause expansion and contraction of wood and metal, so we may begin to get cracks around doors and windows. Water may now be able to sneak past the water barrier. So what can I do to prevent water damage to my stucco home?
The best way to keep the water out of your home is a regular maintenance program. You want to keep that water out. Check to see if the building is still functioning as it should.
Check the paint for chipping, cracks, peeling, fainting. Is it time to paint the house again, it doesn’t last forever!
Are there cracks in the stucco? A hairline crack can allow water straight to the water barrier behind the stucco. Fill the cracks properly as described in the instructions.
Check around the exterior of doors and windows for cracking and wood separation. Wood trim will not stick to the stucco forever, you may need to caulk it.
Check for signs of leaking inside, especially around penetration in the stucco: doors, windows, plumbing, electrical. Are there signs of staining or discoloration? If so, find out why.
Sacramento has many beautiful homes with stucco exteriors. In order to prevent water damage to the homes, homeowners must check their buildings for areas of possible moisture intrusion, and correct the problem. Stucco itself is not waterproof, but with the proper maintenance, your Sacramento home can be free of water damage.
If you are in the Sacramento area and would like to talk to a General Contractor who specializes in Water Damage Repairs, feel free to give us a call.
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Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.