Main Line Homes Blog


Water penetration of Stucco issues raising their head

We had a wonderful webinar presentation this week through our local Realtor Association, Suburban West Realtors Association on Stucco issues, water penetration behind stucco and stone veneers. I wrote about this on Trulia yesterday. It was an excellent presentation by Bill Dare of Spotlight Homes Inspections and gave lots of good knowledge. I had not heard of there being that many issues, although I do know more buyers have been asking for stucco inspections. Bill mentioned that 80-90% og the homes he inspects fail. We are talking about regular three coat stucco here, not EIFS systems.

Well sometimes as co-chair of the Grievance committee I handle calls from the public when the association staff member is out of town. Today I got a call about this exact issue and was very pleased I had sat in on the webinar, and was able to refer the member of the public to Bill Dare to answer her questions more fully.

This seems to be an issue with homes bulit during the last 10-12 years when builders began using OSB panels and different cladding systems, so called "self-flashing" windows and doors have created problems allowing water to penetrate behind the stucco causing mold and rot to the OSB panels which are highly absorbent. As many homes in our area have been built with stone veneers and stucco this looks like it will be a growing issue.

Home sellers will most likely be advised by their listing agents to conduct these stucco inspections and to include the results in their seller disclosure requirements, whether buyer agents will then advise potential purchasers to also conduct another stucco inspection we will have to wait and see. These stucco inspections are not cheap $600-800 for a 2500-3000 square foot home and are invasive. Will sellers really want buyers inspectors drilling holes in their homes in several places with the chance that the caulk they use to plug does not match and the buyer then pulls out.

If the buyer pulls out, can the seller who under PA agreement of sale can have any inspection reports, pass the buyers report on to future purchasers? Will repairs be covered by home insurance? Will builders be required to cover the cost of remediation and repairs required? At the moment there are lots of unanswered questions over time we will discover the answers and how big a problem this really is. But it is something that is going to come to the surface for many buyers and sellers at the same time that the housing market is relatively fragile.

Bill has a great page on his website you can read here about stucco inspections.

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Comment balloon 4 commentsNick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543 • March 24 2011 02:27PM


Hello Nick and Trudy.

Great post regarding EIFS.

I have not ONCE seen this siding installed properly on any of the homes I have inspected over the years. The stuff is bad news. Keep up the good work.-Ray

Posted by Ray Wilson, NYS Licensed Home and Building Inspector (Meticulous Home Inspection Corporation) over 7 years ago

Ray, this is actually regular stucco, not even dryvit and EIFS, so this is a bigger problem.

Posted by Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) over 7 years ago

Another elephant in the room is "if the buyer pulls out because of a failed report , where does that leave the seller and LISTING agent who NOW have Knowledge ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 7 years ago

Well, of course they disclose on an updated sellers disclosure! As Jeff Goldsmith has been saying from PAR if you know of anything as an agent you have a duty to disclose if it is a material defect. This is a growing issue though in our area.

Posted by Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) over 7 years ago

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