A stucco inspection or stucco test is a series of measurements that determine if water is leaking behind the stucco. This problem is very common, especially in stucco applications installed over the last 40 years. There is only one reliable process to make early identification if this problem exists.
This involves the invasive level 2 inspection also called stucco testing. A highly trained inspector will identify the locations which are most likely to have moisture intrusion. Then, they will drill very small holes through the stucco or EIFS large enough to insert an insulated moisture probe. This probe is connected to an electronic moisture meter. The moisture reading is recorded and the holes are sealed.
What counts as high moisture in a stucco inspection?
There are industry accepted norms with moisture on wood substrate. The actual moisture levels of the wood structure will vary with humidity levels.
- 14% and below is considered a normal moisture level.
- 15% to 18% is considered marginally elevated
- 19% and above is considered wet.
- The inspector will also measure substrate rigidity. If the substrate is soft (can be manually penetrated with force) or Non resistant (wood is already rotted through) then this will also be marked as a failure.
When these problems are identified, a proper remediation should be conducted. This will include repairing the damaged or wet sheathing and framing. In addition, the underlying moisture source should be corrected. In many cases this involves correcting the window integration to the water resistive barrier. Addition of sill pan flashing is the most common method of making this correction.
It’s important to note that these issues are the result of small amounts of moisture entering over long periods of time. In most of the inspections where there are failures found, the moisture has not yet reached the drywall. For this reason, there are no visible signs of this issue.
Sometimes customers mistakenly think that because there is no staining under windows that their stucco application is free of this issue. On the contrary, we have seen heavily stained stucco pass inspection, and perfectly clean stucco fail horribly. For an accurate stucco inspection or stucco test contact Stucco Safe Today!