Even within buildings experiencing recurring moisture-related issues, visible surfaces of interior finishes do not always provide an accurate indication of the underlying conditions within the exterior wall assembly.
Many building components (including the structure itself) are required to accommodate in-service dimensional changes associated with thermal and moisture variations, as well as reversible and irreversible movements created by other types of structural and environmental loadings.
There are two maxims about stucco application over wood-framed structures: first, it will crack, and second, owners will not do much about it. Water intrusion through stucco claddings is so common in Florida, re-skinning buildings here after five or 15 years is commonplace.
Continuous insulation (ci) has been a component of exterior wall assemblies for more than 40 years in North America and even longer in Europe. It has always been the smart way to design wall assemblies from the standpoint of energy conservation and water management.