A Shocking Surprise! Stucco- Related.
A warning from your neighbourhood Condo Inspector.
If you are considering buying into a Strata development – Condos or Townhomes built with a stucco exterior, it is critical you understand the potential for hidden damage and costly repairs.
What horrors are hiding in the crooks and crannies of the home you’re looking to buy?
Here is an epic “fail” you won’t soon forget…
In the past year, we inspected a property with a stucco finish as the buyer looked on anxiously. It didn’t take our team long to find a number of significant cracks in the stucco exterior. We immediately expressed our concerns to the home seller and insisted upon a more in-depth investigation of the structure behind the stucco.
As we pulled back a cut section of the stucco, our client gasped in horror at what was revealed underneath (or wasn’t). Due to years of water- leakage, the wood framing had turned into a soft and dusty nightmare. The wood framing had almost completely disintegrated, leaving the stucco exterior acting as ‘structure’. Not only would this wood rot have placed the home at serious risk of structural collapse but mold issues could have harmed the health of family living inside the home.
The first thing anyone should understand about stucco is that it’s a great material to use in hot dry climates, such as Southern California. However, stucco homes located in this wet and soaked, humid lower mainland will always tend to crack – due to stressing. The worst offenders are stucco homes constructed in the mid 80s to the late 90s, as these have were built with synthetic stucco which cannot dry out and tends to retain water which has seeped inside and consequently has the most serious wood-rot issues. Also, it was in this period of time that builders were not installing rain screens with drainage paths in behind to allow water to exit the structure, because it was not required (some detached houses)
Once water has begun to seep behind a stucco finish, it can devastate a home’s entire structure and put your family and financial future at risk.
*** Please note that this particular structure had been “inspected” previous to our arrival and had been given the “green light” to be bought. Our client was certainly grateful that they had come to a detail-oriented company like ours – one which checks as carefully outside, as with the inside and who understands the building envelope issues ! ***
Contact Us Today! We Find What The Others Can Miss…
Duxbury and Associates –Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd -Your friendly and Only Strata Inspection firm ( Burnaby, Coquitlam, New West , Port Moody and POCO)