The photos below reveal a variety of stucco issues that our clients frequently report. Damaged stucco is not just a cosmetic concern. It creates a point of entry for water to get into the building, potentially damaging the wood framing and other components of the home if the building paper beneath becomes compromised. The stucco is part of an intricate building envelope system with many waterproofing components that are often improperly installed. The photos below also show rusted and damaged “weep screed”: a strip of hole-punched sheet metal at the bottom of the stucco wall intended to provide an outlet for water that penetrates the stucco.
While stucco cracking, flaking and spalling can be caused by poor installation of the stucco itself (thin stucco, poor lath wire attachment, etc.), these types of observable damages are often the result of movement of the building itself. Movement can be associated with flexibility in the structure due to framing deficiencies (missing shear walls, improper nail spacing, missing or improperly installed anchor bolts and hold-downs, etc.) or excessive soil movement under the property.
Homeowners and community managers should not assume that stucco cracking is “normal” or just “typical settlement.” Stucco cracking can be an indication of more serious problems. Expanding stucco cracks should be closely monitored and homeowners and community managers should contact a qualified law firm for further assistance.
DISCLAIMER: The photos above are for illustration and reference purposes only. Your property may or may not have the issues represented above, and no legal representations, guarantees or warranties are made with respect to the ability to recover for the same or similar issues. The existence of a defect or construction problem, including those illustrated above, does not necessarily mean that there is a legal basis for recovery. There are several statutes of limitations, applicable laws, building codes and possible legal defenses which will impact a homeowner’s or homeowner associations’ ability to assert a claim and recover damages or other legal relief. Questions about the foregoing should be directed to one of our attorneys.