The term “stucco defect” is really a misnomer. Occasionally, there can be a defect in the actual mixture of the stucco, but more often than not, the defects are with the installation of the stucco system. The stucco system is comprised of the house wrap, paper, lath, stucco and all of the stucco accessories when over a wood frame. When any of the aspects of the stucco system is installed incorrectly, the results can be disastrous.
The Florida Building Code has some provisions that directly relate to surface coverings, but by and large, the Florida Building Code relies on ASTM – an international standards organization – for the standards in applying stucco.
These ASTM standards can be very particular. There are requirements for the thickness of stucco, types of accessories to be used in between wood and masonry levels, the installation and spacing of control joints and the installation of stucco around windows to name just a few.
These defects ultimately lead to water getting behind the stucco and being trapped beneath the stucco exterior. When water gets trapped, it begins to rust the lath which then breaks loose from the stucco that it was supposed to be embedded in. The cracks then expand and the hairline crack eventually becomes large enough so that the home has unsightly lines all over it, the stucco falls off or the home begins to look like a 3rd-grade paper-mâché project.
Of course, once water gets in, bad things can happen quickly. The wood beneath the stucco can start to rot, causing mold and insect infestation. Water can start coming inside the home making the walls wet, the carpets wet and creating unsanitary conditions inside.
The lawyers at Burnett Law, P.A., are very familiar with these conditions and have the experience to help you through any type of stucco defect.
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