Early Signs of Water Damage

Early Signs of Water Damage – How to identify problems with stucco before it becomes a big and more costly issue older stucco home or commercial building

Early Signs of Water Damage – How to identify problems with your stucco before it becomes a bigger and more costly issue.
If you own an older stucco home or commercial building that is painted or have block planters coated with stucco then you probably have seen bubbling, blistering or peeling stucco. These tell tale signs are red flags for immediate repair. Knowing the early signs of water damage and having these problem areas properly repaired can save you thousands of dollars.

Staining – Most water damage to stucco is first observed as staining. Since stucco turns darker when wet staining can remain after stucco dries. Staining can be seen as either white hazy streaks or as dark blotches in the color. Staining is your first indication of water problems and if not addressed can result in efflorescence and blistering.

Efflorescence – Efflorescence typicaly occurs immediately after staining. Efflorescence is a white crystalline, powdery or often fluffy/fuzzy deposit on the surface of stucco and plaster. It’s caused by water seeping through the stucco wall. The water dissolves salt as it moves through the wall and then evaporates leaving the expanding salts on the surface. Efflorescence is often the root cause of blistering.

Blistering – When a wall is subjected to large amounts of water over long periods of time, efflorescence can result. Efflorescence will lead to blistering due to salts expanding or being trapped behind the surface. This is especially the case when stucco is painted. In extreme cases there will be areas where the finish coat or sometimes even the base coat will blister and delaminate from the wall.

Mold – Mold can result from stucco remaining damp and out of sunlight for long periods of time. Mold can be observed as a green film or a black stain on the surface of stucco and plaster. Although surface mold can usually be treated and removed rather easily it is better to address the cause of mold by protecting stucco from moisture.

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