Each week we’re bringing you an in-depth look at one of the standard conditions we encounter and document during inspections of buildings and civil structures.
Part 20: Stucco Conditions
Stucco is a cementitious coating applied to masonry, wood, or metal lath as a watertight exterior finish. Historically, stucco was sometimes colored and scored to imitate stone.
Stucco conditions include cracks; sound and failed coatings; ferrous embedments; failed sealant; prior patch, crack, and replacement repairs; various types of soiling; and areas of unsecured or hollow stucco.
Stucco is particularly susceptible to water damage; historically, stucco was often whitewashed or coated with other protective finishes to prevent water infiltration. Water damage from improper detailing, poor foundation drainage, or other sources can lead to rotten wood lath or corroded metal lath and fasteners, causing stucco to separate from the substrate. Cracking due to settlement is another common stucco condition.