Stucco problems can come in many forms, from unsightly cracks and bulges, to internal water damage to hardwood floors and moldy and decaying floor joists.  But not all stucco problems necessarily mean costly repairs. Some stucco issues can be minor and require minimal stucco repairs.  The question is… How do you know the difference?

We at Yost Stucco, have broken down the different types of failures you can have with a problematic stucco application.  This guide makes it easier to understand what level of stucco problem you are dealing with, and roughly what type/extent of repairs you can anticipate.  This is obviously not a comprehensive reference guide to address all issues, but hopefully it provides you with a rough starting point to address your stucco concerns.

Before we start talking about the 3 stages of stucco failure,  let’s just clarify one very important point. Stucco is porous.  This means that it will absorb moisture, what then happens with that moisture, depends entirely on the quality and correct installation of the complete stucco system.

Stage 1  Stucco Problem  –  Aesthetic Cracking and Delamination

These stucco problems are in themselves, not too serious.  If the Stucco Facade was installed correctly, with the correct drainage plain, expansion joints and weep screeds etc… Then any moisture penetrating through these stucco cracks and delaminations, will be purged from the stucco system before it can get trapped against wooden building materials and start to cause deterioration.  These minor stucco problems can be addressed from the exterior with relatively low costs.

Stage 2 Stucco Problem  –  Stucco Moisture Intrusion

Stage 2 stucco problems consist of damage to the structure of the building itself.  This is caused by moisture being absorbed into the stucco finish (or through the stage 1 conditions that we already discussed), and due to a lack of drainage and airflow (which would allow the moisture to escape and dry out), it gets trapped, before slowly and consistently making its way into the wooden structure of the building.  Wooden studs and support beams become wet and moldy, before deteriorating to the point of eventual structural failure.

These problems require stucco remediation to be carried out, which involves removal of the stucco,  repair of the sheathing and framing and then re installation of a new stucco system or even a conversion to an alternative siding product.  As you can imagine, Stage 2 stucco repairs can be costly, running into the six figures in some cases.

Stage 3 Stucco Problem  –  Interior Moisture Intrusion

When hidden moisture intrusion goes unnoticed for long enough, it can work it’s way into the interior of your home. This is a very serious Stage 3 Stucco Failure.  This means moisture has already made it’s way through the sheathing, framing, insulation and rim joists.  Once on the interior, it can lead to extremely intensive and expensive repairs. Requiring flooring (hardwood/carpet/tile) to be removed before replacement of the sub floor materials can be carried out.   Replacement of structural framing members is not unusual, as are window and door replacements. There is no surprise here that repair costs can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in some situations.  I only hope that the Mona Lisa isn’t hanging on the inside of that wall.  

Don’t wait until stage 3, call and have a comprehensive stucco inspection carried out and catch things early.  In many cases, a few thousand dollars spent on preventative maintenance now, could prevent hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.

Stucco Remediation Specialists and Repair Experts

If you have questions or concerns with the stucco outside your home, call us today. Our certified and qualified inspectors will examine the exterior of your home and provide you with available options and resolutions. Call us at (484) 589-1274 or email us at We look forward to servicing you!

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