A.J.Wrobel Home Inspections

    Minnesota's Most Trusted 
    Home Inspection Company
Stucco moisture testing
(651) 276-2055
stucco eifs window kickout moisture problems solutions warranty realtor homeowner buyer seller      moisture warranty moisturefree eifs warranty

The first step is always Inspection. 

AJ Wrobel is certified to perform stucco moisture testing by MoistureFree Warranty Corporation, the nation's most trusted name in home moisture protection. Their popularity has grown nationwide as  Realtors and homeowners throughout the country have realized the benefits of using only a MoistureFree Warranty Certified Inspector

Over the past few years, stucco homes (hardcoat, synthetic, eifs, drainable etc.) have been highlighted and stigmatized as being "problem homes". In some cases the stucco is not an issue, but in many cases there are moisture related problems. The problems may have been caused by improper building techniques, inadequate window design or improper stucco installation. Therefore buyers, sellers, and homeowners wanting a piece of mind choose a Certified MoistureFree Warranty Inspection for their protection

Across the country there is an increase in moisture problems related to residential homes. MoistureFree Warranty's staff has over 30 years of experience in identifying & cost-effectively solving moisture problems in building structures.

These experts are available to help you understand how the warranty can meet your specific needs as well as guide you through the simple process should you choose to obtain a warranty with this inspection. The process consists of inspecting, repairing, and protecting your stucco home (using only a third-party, highly-trained moisture inspector and repair contractors). The value of this expertise to the homeowner or Realtor is priceless.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. We have heard there are some stucco problems but not much more. What exactly are the problems?

A. Common problems seen are associated with moisture either from the interior or exterior being trapped in the wall cavity creating mold and rotting the sheathing and framing members. Sometimes the mold is so extensive it creates indoor air quality problems with potential health problems. These problems are mostly on stucco houses built in the late 1980s and later.

Q. How widespread is the problem?

A. This is an industry-wide problem. It is not just in the Midwest or Minnesota.

Q. What are the signs to look for to determine if my home has a problem?

A. On the interior, if the bottoms of windows are discolored or the base trim is warped or carpet is wet, these are indications of a leak. If there is a moldy smell in the house, there may be leaks into the wall cavities that may not show other signs of leakage. On the exterior, if there are brown streaks below the corners of windows or where window units are joined, it is likely there is a leak at that location. Intersections of walls and roofs are also susceptible to leaks, which will be indicated by brown streaks.

Q. What causes the problems?

A. The Moisture Inspection will help identify if and where moisture is a concern.  Contractors and or Engineers will work with you to determine causation and corrective actions.  Noted issues include; window leaks as the cause of the majority of the damage but the causes may be many, including:

  • The paper around windows and other openings was installed incorrectly.
  • Head flashing was not used on windows (windows with flanges were thought to be self-flashed).
  • One layer of paper was used. Water may be leaking through the paper.
  • The windows themselves leak.
  • Kickout flashing was not installed at the wall/roof intersections where the roofline does not extend below the wall.
  • The deck ledger board was not flashed.
  • Moisture from rain during construction or wet building materials remain in the wall (construction moisture).
  • Interior moisture is permeating into the wall.
  • Lack of drying capacity. All walls will likely leak sometime during their life. In addition condensation and construction moisture will be in the walls. Stucco walls are very tight and cannot withstand much moisture without creating mold and rot.
  • Solar drive may be pushing moisture from a wet stucco wall into the wall cavity.
  • Type 15 felt may be acting as a vapor retarder trapping moisture in the wall.
  • Oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing has a low perm rating and it may be acting as a vapor retarder creating a double vapor retarder situation. In addition OSB absorbs and retains moisture making it vulnerable to mold and rot.
  • The staples that stick through the sheathing are collecting frost or condensation and dripping within the wall cavity.
  • The high number of staples used to fasten the lath creates many penetrations that could both leak and condense moisture.
  • The staples were driven into the lath with excessive force causing the lath to cut the paper creating a leak.
  • Wind driven water is getting on the wall through the soffit vents and running down the wall between the sheathing and the paper.
  • Weep screeds were not used at the bottom of the stucco. This may prevent trapped water from draining.
  • Stucco was installed below ground. This may prevent trapped water from draining or may wick water up to the framing. In addition, when stucco is applied below grade there is no clear definition of where grade should be and often the grade is placed against the wood framing causing a guaranteed rot situation.
  • Stucco is installed directly on the foundation without paper or a weep screed. This prevents trapped water from draining.
  • Landscape trees or bushes that contact the stucco create an area that introduces and holds moisture in the stucco. The moisture permeates into the wall.

Q. What should be done if there are signs of leaks on our house?

A. There are a number of steps that can be taken or places to call for help. Be sure to keep detailed, written records of your contacts with contractors, insurance companies, and inspectors.

  • Arrange for a moisture test.
  • If a moisture problem is found, contact your builder to make a claim for repairs. The contractor shall warranty the house for one year against defects and ten years against structural defects. Some builders may provide additional warranties.
  • Contact your builder's insurance company to make a claim.
  • The State Commerce Department, (651) 296-2488, may provide assistance with contractors or provide information on the availability of the state builder's recovery fund. They can also provide the builder's insurance and contact information.
  • The State of Minnesota Building Codes and Standards Division has been helpful to several homeowners with stucco problems. Contact (651) 296-4639.
  • Contact your insurance company to see if it covers moisture damage.

Q. Where can I go to get more information on this subject?

A. Contact the building inspection department in your city. 
     Contact licensed contractors who specialize in moisture intrusion correction.
Here is a local contractor:
          Sunset Construction Group  612-839-1184 http://www.sunsetcg.com/

                                                                                        Call us for more information!

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