When installed properly well maintained stucco is durable, cost effective and offers a desirable look. When used over a wood framed structure, stucco must be “water managed”.
There are three basic components to a properly water managed stucco system. A weep screed, moisture barrier and window flashing.
The weep screed is a metal channel that is installed at the base of a wood framed structure. It is located just below the bottom of the stucco wall and laps slightly down over the foundation. This channel has holes in it to allow water to escape the stucco system. When water enters the stucco, it will shed vertically down the moisture barrier and exit through the holes in the weep screed. Without these two components, water that gets behind the stucco can become trapped and cause damage to the structure. Look at the base of your stuccoed wall to see if you have a 1 3/8” off-set. If so, chances are you have a weep screed and moisture barrier. However, many older homes were not required to have a weep screed or moisture barrier. This can be cause for concern because water is able to come in contact with the wood framing. Over time this can cause damage.
The third important component of a properly water-managed system is window flashing. Without this flashing, water is able to get between the stucco and the wood framing. This can be a slow intrusion of water which may take years to become evident and destructive.
With an inspection by Sanders Plastering Systems or any “qualified” contractor, it can be determined if the stucco on your structure is functioning properly. There is usually evidence that indicates improperly installed stucco. To protect your investment, I recommend an inspection of your stucco. I have over 35 years experience in the plastering industry and have been a plastering contractor in Yavapai County since 1993.