Local Real Estate Agents' Recommendations...
Stucco Inspections:

Stucco Testing Specialist
Stucco Testing Specialists
1150 First Avenue
Suite 525
King of Prussia, PA 19406
215-230-0228
StuccoTestingSpecialists.com

Lunny Building Diagnostics
Lunny Building Diagnostics
302 Jasper Ct.
Warrington, PA 18976
(267) 483-8737

Precision Contracting Services
Precision Contracting Services
31150 Boot Rd. Suite #10
Downingtown, PA 19335
610-225-0112
PrecisionExterior.com


     


Bucks County Stucco Inspections:

Everything that you need to know:

Bucks County Stucco

Stucco is an amazing decorative surface choice for the majority of homeowners.  Most stucco applications that are installed in the past few decades are poorly installed and poorly maintained.  The stucco that is not maintained properly can cause leaks, molds, and various other damages in the structure of the building.  Much of the damage remains undetected because all the issues are invisible and are inside the wall.  With the help of a professional stucco inspection, these issues can be easily avoided and detected easily.  If the surface is left unattended for too long, it could cause serious problems.

What Is Stucco?

Stucco is the common name for Portland Cement Plaster, which is applied to the indoor and outdoor surfaces of buildings. It is hard and durable.  It is also fungus resistant.  It is a really good low-cost home exterior material.  Stucco is made by mixing sand and water to form plaster.  Stucco is made on site and can be applied in various layers.  Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid.  It is known for its durability and attractiveness and gives an exterior finish.

What Is A Stucco Inspection?

Stucco inspection is a series of tests and analyses performed on your home’s interior and exterior surfaces to determine moisture levels.  These tests may include the use of moisture reading and special equipment for use on your home’s surface.  Proper installation is very important.  As part of your home inspection, some details like expansion joints, head lashings, joints, windows, and doors can be visually inspected.  However, the majority of the fine details, such as drainage planes, window and door flashings, and moisture barriers that are behind the stucco also need to be inspected.

Stucco is low cost, strong, and durable.  It can be used in a wide variety of climates.  It is versatile and can be applied to concrete too.  It is fire resistant and color can be added to it.  Thus, various pigments can be added to the stucco to have it match your overall look of the house.  Unfortunately, stucco is porous which allows water to seep through.  This causes the material to crumble and the moisture may cause damage to your home as well.  Proper cleaning of the stucco should be done where there is moisture in your home so that the stucco lasts longer.

Stucco can be applied in a textured style to achieve the appearance of other materials such as wood, brick, or stone.  There are different sizes and different angles.  The consistency of the mixture keeps on changing.  Various application techniques will change the texture of the stucco finish as well. 

Level 1 Stucco Inspection

The Level 1 stucco inspection is the initial inspection.  This is an observation only inspection that can sometimes include a high-quality thermal imaging camera.  This level of inspection helps identify problem areas where there is moisture accumulation.  This inspection will check to see if there are signs of the following problems:

  1. Surface mold
  2. Surface staining
  3. Physical damage
  4. Cracking
  5. Efflorescence on the surface
  6. Window/Door flashing
  7. Kick out flashing
  8. Proper control joints and expansion joints
  9. Integrated flashing
  10. Backer rod and sealant

When you hire a home inspector for a home you are either buying or selling, they will do this level of inspection on your stucco.  However, keep in mind, this is only a visual inspection. 

Level 2 Stucco Inspection

The second level of stucco inspection deals with the moisture and is sometimes called an invasive inspection.  This inspection requires the inspector to drill holes into the stucco.  Inspectors use a probe to collect the core samples of the holes in the stucco.  The readings in level 2 stucco inspection can determine if there is damage behind the stucco.  If the readings are high, there is more than likely damage to the home.  Level 2 inspections tend to be done after sunset  as the weather conditions are typically more favorable for obtaining data at this time.  This level of inspection will also only take place no sooner than 24 hours after a rainfall.  This way the stucco surface is dry enough to get better readings.  Infrared thermal imaging is used by inspectors so that they can see areas where there are temperature variations on the surface that are trapped behind the stucco.  Some inspectors do not do this either because they do not have the equipment or they just are not skilled enough.

Inspection Report

Once the information is compiled the final report is written.  The report includes the readings of visual inspection, infrared thermal imaging, and moisture meter readings.  The report takes several days to prepare depending on the number of defects that are discovered and potential moisture areas observed.  High resolution photographs and thermal images are included in the report so there is proof for everything that happened during the inspection process.

Stucco inspections should take place once a year to ensure your home is protected and secure.  If the inspection is done once a year you will have the appropriate amount of time to fix any problems before larger problems occur in your home.  It is important to hire the right professional for the job.  A standard home inspection will not provide the level of expert guidance a professional stucco inspector will.  The standard home inspection will also not give you the appropriate details of the condition of the stucco in your home.  Always hire a highly qualified and skilled stucco inspector that is licensed and insured.  Be sure to schedule your next stucco inspection with one of the local, trusted Bucks County stucco inspectors we have listed above.

 

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