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License: #PA059383

Stucco Remediation


Our aim is to fully remediate exteriors affected by water damage and replace them with proper and efficient siding systems. We have completed over xxx remediation projects in Delaware, Montgomery and Chester counties over the past xxyears.

Everything you want to know…..and don’t want to know about stucco

When a past client put his house up for sale in Chester County an inspection revealed moisture underneath his stucco, compromising its structural foundation. Fortunately, the damage was contained, and it only cost him $15,000. But his neighbors with “McMansion” style stucco houses were paying twice, three and even four times what he paid.
Stucco remediation is now a big business in not just Chester County, but in Delaware and Montgomery Counties as well, and some estimates indicate there are more than 50,000 homes in southeastern Pennsylvania that need it. Depending on the damage, the cost for repairs is anywhere from $25,000-$300,000 and up.
A proper remediation involves tearing off the stucco, replacing windows, replacing damaged sheathing and framing, applying a drainable house wrap, reinstalling new windows with proper flashing, applying extra layers of house wrap, applying rainscreen and applying new stucco.
Contractors who patch affected areas and do not replace windows will find it will quickly fail again.

Stucco, a mix of sand, lime and cement, is an excellent siding material and one of the oldest still being used today for its timeless look, its proven durability, and its energy efficiency.
Having just said all those good things about it, because we live with rain, snow, and humidity, stucco can cause serious and expensive mold and rot issues.

Although it is commonly seen, many homeowners don’t know much about it.
Stucco siding, the once crowning jewel of luxury homes, has recently become the villain in what is transpiring to be one of the gravest construction atrocities yet. Hundreds of southeast Pennsylvanian homes have been struck by stucco siding issues that were once thought to be merely cosmetic.

However, beneath the edifice of these grand households is an ugly truth: the water has been seeping in since the beginning, causing extensive wall rot. With the situation growing progressively worse as more issues with stucco siding in Pennsylvania are being uncovered, a serious question is raised

Why Stucco Failure?

Twenty years of faulty stucco wrap combined with improper installation.

If you live in a stucco home built in the last 20 years, you could be in for some costly repairs.

  1. It is possible that your home was built using a Tyvek Stucco Wrap, developed in 1998, layered behind your stucco exterior. And it was discovered that this Tyvek wrap was unable to provide a proper water barrier between stucco and your home. In 2012 it was required that an additional layer of Tyvek wrap was needed with the Tyvek stucco wrap for proper protection.

  2. In addition, because stucco demand was so high back then, many builders having difficulty keeping up, hired subcontractors without proper training to finish their stucco jobs. These inexperienced subcontractors may have applied half the correct thickness, which lead to other problems. For example, in many cases, windows and doors weren’t properly flashed, causing water to build-up behind the walls instead of properly draining out. This excess moisture is the ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can rot your house out from the inside walls.

  3. But is faulty craftsmanship the only place to lay the blame for this water-logged building epidemic? Professional builders and inspectors agree that, yes, the problems have been developing since the time of installation. In most cases, the layers of stucco were so thin that moisture seeped right in; and with buildings being constructed differently than they were in the past, less air circulation through the insulation caused that water to collect for longer periods of time.

  4. The correct way to install stucco involves several layers of materials, including asphalt paper, a single rain barrier with an air gap for circulation, a mesh layer, and then a few layers of stucco. Where roof edges meet, flashing needs to be installed to reduce the chance of seepage and direct water away from walls. Gutters, downspouts, and seals are also essential to constructing a water-tight building.

  5. However, in the event, the flashing is improperly placed, or if the contractor is rushing to complete the job and cuts corners, or if any of the insulation and stucco layers are overlooked, there is only a matter of time before water starts to leak in. Furthermore, stucco naturally absorbs water.

The Result:
In 2018 research revealed:

  1. More than 650 homeowners across 55 different PA zip codes had suffered through repairs from water damage that cost anywhere from $10,000 and up. Some extreme cases had even spent over $100,000 in repairs.

  2. The households affected in Pennsylvania are not isolated but became the epicenter of a nationwide surge of homes that were constructed hastily by inexperienced workers, low-cost materials, and lax project management by the contractors and code inspectors.

  3. Although the exterior of the building might be unblemished, thin coats of stucco and other causes have caused the interior of these homes to rot. Some have become so unstable the residents were forced to leave. As you can imagine, for those who purchased luxury homes, the results of this water damage and the cost of repairs has been devastating.

Inspecting Stucco

When you realize there’s mold behind your stucco, it’s probably too late. If you are selling your stucco-sided home, you will lose many potential buyers who are afraid of it, or don’t want to deal with the inspection of it and probable remediation to correct it.

We have seen houses that are only seven or eight years old and it cost $100,000 to rip the stucco off and put on new siding

If you are thinking of buying a stucco-sided home, insist on a stucco inspection immediately.
Some signs to look for include:

  1. Mildew
  2. Dark spots on the exterior that come back after cleaning
  3. Staining or blanched stucco below the corners of windows
  4. Damp walls or water stains
  5. Leaky or foggy windows
  6. Musty odor caused by the mold
  7. Exterior cracking and flaking
  8. Missing or chipped caulking
  9. Stucco tears and other discoloration around windows, doors, electrical boxes, pipes, meters, and spotlights
  10. The pervasive scent of wood rot
  11. Water leaking into the house, damaging the ceiling, walls, and flooring
  12. Dry rot around windows
  13. Mushroom growth


Over Time

 When you do begin to notice stucco tears on your home, you can be sure that some damage has occurred and it’s time to call a professional for a moisture inspection to learn the extent of the damage and repair it. The longer you wait, the more it will cost! Water that can’t escape from behind your siding will weaken your home’s wood framing, windows, and more if left unchecked.

Waiting even a year could exacerbate the problem and double, sometimes triple, the cost of repairs. Make sure your home has flashing, at least 3 layers of stucco with a 7/8” thickness, drainage paths, moisture barriers, and exterior sheathing.

The takeaway from this stucco siding issue is this: that construction should never be rushed, and only high-quality materials should be used in the fabrication of new, luxury homes. When contractors aren’t given the time and corners are cut, disasters are only waiting to happen.

Get Started Today

If you’re concerned about the state of your stucco, are in need of stucco repair services, or want stucco inspection of a potential new home, contact Leone Brother Contracting. Our team is experienced in tackling mold and water damage in stucco and returning it to looking like new.

The fee for a Comprehensive Stucco Evaluation will range from $200 to $1900, depending on the size and scope of the project. When a CSE is performed, we thoroughly analyze your home’s interior and exterior, examining the flashings around windows and doorways, identifying areas of high moisture, dark spots, as well as exterior grading and landscaping. Photos are taken during this process to help


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License: #PA059383
9 Woolman Dr, Newtown Square, PA 19073
Copyright 2020 Leone Brothers Contracting. All Rights Reserved. Designed and Developed by Waymaker Design
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