In the latest edition of a series of free, downloadable e-books, an article from the pages of The Construction Specifier explains how to keep stuccocladding dry. To get your copy of Sealing the Building Envelope, in either pdf or digital edition, visit www.constructionspecifier.com/ebook/georgia-pacific-sealing-the-building-envelope-e-book.
In our work as forensic architects and engineers, we are regularly involved in litigation over stucco failures, including hotels and high-rise condo complexes. (For this article, ‘stucco’ refers to traditional portland cement plaster direct-applied to a masonry substrate, rather than using lath.)
When addressing moisture management it is important to recognize and accept one simple and indisputable reality: water gets into buildings. No matter how tightly a building is constructed or how well it is insulated, moisture will inevitably find a way into the building.
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.