Stucco has been widely used in the construction of homes and other buildings for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Indeed, some people speculate that the Egyptian pyramids were once covered in stucco. Stucco is a cementitious product made by combining water, lime, sand and Portland cement. Stucco has incredible benefits. It is weather-resistant, fire retardant and esthetically beautiful.
When misused, though, stucco can have significant drawbacks. Because stucco is cementitious, it is prone to small cracking. Even small cracks can allow water to intrude behind the stucco envelope. The stucco system, which consists of house wrap, paper, metal and stucco accessories including weep screeds and control joints, is meant to wick the water away from behind the stucco when the water intrudes.
When this water is not allowed to evaporate, it builds up and begins to rust the lath causing even more significant cracking. Sometimes, the paper and lath are misapplied, resulting in thin spots in the stucco exterior. This will lead to relatively large cracking, which will allow such a significant amount of water behind the stucco exterior that even correctly applied accessories will not be able to wick away.
So, when we talk about stucco in the context of homes, we are interested in the stucco system, not the stucco itself. If the layers are not constructed properly, the system will fail. Stucco systems are like cake recipes. If there is too much flour, the cake will be inedible even if all of the other ingredients are correct. Similarly, if some of the accessories are put on incorrectly, the whole system will fail even if everything else is constructed correctly.
If you believe that your stucco system is failing, please contact Burnett Law, P.A., for a free consultation.
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