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whats wrong with US stucco and windows???

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whats wrong with US stucco and windows???

Old 02-12-2018, 12:33 PM
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Default whats wrong with US stucco and windows???

for the last 20 years, about every 3 or 4 years I either see or read about a 2 to 5 story building having "water intrusion" around the windows. they are stucco finished usually on the outside usually. people inside the building complain of water leaks, or sue. building 4 to 8 years old.

Less brick or siding exteriors seem to have this problem. the solution? tear off everything on the outside and do it over. From a combination of newspaper articles and stopping and asking people around the building , you hear "the flashing failed, or was installed wrong, or the windows "failed" -the do overs are real expensive and slow . 3 I have seen most recently are a big lap sided wood sided condo project 5 or 10 multi unit buildings, a 10 story new high rise,, and live and work project 2 story, live above the 40 shops, each unit exterior different, solution was tear it all off, replace windows and flashing and do over. all seemed to involve lawsuits against the builders.

I am not a builder but it seems to me the window wall connection would need extra attention. these building all had no overhang and stucco- are those drivers?

what did the Romans do??- bet some of their stuff was better than some of todays stuff.

Last edited by edwardh1; 02-12-2018 at 12:43 PM.
Old 02-12-2018, 12:45 PM
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Most of these situations are from a lack of maintenance. On commercial buildings the windows are primarily storefront. You flash the framing. Set the window frame stucco around it and your only barrier between the window and the wall is a caulk joint which tends to fail after 7 years. Masonry walls stick proud of the window by approx 4" so you have a drip edge to keep water from the joint. Stucco only protrudes 3/4" of an inch. Looks sleek and modern but without up keep its not the most practical solution
Old 02-12-2018, 01:03 PM
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Isn't the stucco a face over Styrofoam? Get a pin hole in the stucco and water starts getting in, saturating the foam from within. Sooner or later the hole expands and the condition gets worse, the wood frame starts to rot and then you have major issues to deal with.

We looked at a condo complex in Clearwater that was in the process of replacing all the stucco siding at a cost of 10K per resident! OUCH!!!
Old 02-12-2018, 01:11 PM
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You must first understand the difference in stucco and EIFS. Stucco doesn't fail as regularly as EIFS. EIFS is an acronym for exterior insulation and finish system made by several manufacturers. Dry-vit is one of them and someone from your company must be trained before they will warrant any of your work with their products. Most manufacturers of this stuff are this way. After a while the guys who have the training and understand the logic to the companies approach move on or get their assignments changed but the company is still a certified installer only the guys doing the installation know little if anything about the product they are working with. Then the failures start. Then the lawsuits and so on and so forth.....
Old 02-12-2018, 01:11 PM
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That is EIFS.that is a layer of foam with a 1/8 " layer of mud over the top. Conventional stucco is 3/4" thick 3 coats of mud embeeded in a metal reinforcing layer. Both have their goods and bass but both need to have maintenance done to keep them in good shape and honestly most companies don't do the maintenance
Old 02-12-2018, 02:06 PM
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Our old house had leaky window's on day 1 in upstairs rooms (wood frame). The downstairs windows in cement block never leaked. I used tubes and tubes and tubes of caulk until they finally stopped leaking but the damage to drywall was already done. I fought with builder to fix and they never did.

Other neighbors had the same problem and never addressed the water intrusion. It cost them big time when they tried to sell and the inspector said they had mold.
Old 02-12-2018, 05:04 PM
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I ripped off my 3" cracked, wire-laden, nightmarish stucco from 1927 and re-did the entire house in BASF Synergy. All new windows, everything was Tyveked and sealed, and my installer did an amazing job. Going into my 10th year, and so far the only thing I've needed is a little TSP/power wash on the windowsills to remove some early signs of moss. I opted for some larger, detailed windowsills to match the old-school feel of the house.

I'm in the Northeast, so it's somewhat unusual, but my little neighborhood was all original stucco houses from the 20's, and I wanted to keep the look when I did my remodel. I absolutely love it... it completely transformed my home. Couple of pics in my "Random Pics" album.
Old 02-12-2018, 06:21 PM
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We knowingly bought a house with some EFIS siding and water intrusion. We removed it all and replaced with cement siding. There is tons of info on the web about the history and the problems. The concept is not terrible, but problems with installation are the main issue. No matter how well the initial installation, eventually there will be a breach and some water will get in. The installation issue is not having a way for that water to get out. The water saturates any structural wood and rot is inevitable. EFIS is still popular with commercial construction, but coupled with metal framing and less of a concern. Buyer beware on a house with EFIS.
Old 02-12-2018, 06:22 PM
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Here in Duval county, code is changing to require plaster stop around all windows, leaving a gap for backer rod and caulk.
The thought being the window frame is going to move differently than the stucco wall.

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