Archive for the ‘Stucco’ Category

The more I use my infrared camera, the more problems I find and the bigger the benefit for everyone concerned. I have discovered it is not a perfect tool, but it is a great aid in detecting some problems. I currently use it mainly for moisture intrusion problems. Typically any home I suspect has a water problem, I will take my camera out of the car and use it. Between my infrared camera, moisture meter, and experience of inspecting thousands of homes, I get a little more comfortable with it and so should the buyers.

The digital picture on the left (top) looks normal as you view underneath the window banks. The infrared picture on the right (bottom) shows dark stains inside the wall as a result of moisture getting into the wall cavity and rearranging the insulation. Since the insulation has been moved, it created a difference in temperature, which is what we actually see.

DC_0631 IR_0630


Some people don’t seem to understand the reasoning behind flashing. It’s a must to properly flash or you can / will end up with water inside the home. At a home inspection in Gulf Shores, Al I found a home made kick out flashing installed which is not keeping water out of the home.


Improper kick out flashing

Improper kick out flashing

This home is a victim of tradesman that either don’t know better or just don’t care

A home inspection today revealed bad news for the home. I’m sure most people are familiar with different types of stucco. For a short time in this area some builders used gypsum board (a form of sheetrock) as the exterior sheathing and installed a stucco finish coat over the outside. Typically this gypsum was used in combination with plywood or OSB board as the structural panels. As you can imagine, when it gets wet, problems arise quickly. This 8 year old property has no evidence of damage today, but I’m afraid it’s a matter of time.

The view of this panel is from the attic.

Remember to always get a home and stucco inspection. Beauty is sometimes more than skin deep!

Behind the Stucco

Some things don’t seem to change, that is the quality of some work I’ve been seeing. I am wondering if perhaps it has something to do with hurricane Ivan. It’s been over 3 years and some of those homes repaired are likely up for sale again. This is another picture of a poorly installed kick out flashing and a homemade extension.

Flashing extension


There have been some good posts about moisture and stucco. Spring time we always do more stucco inspections than the rest of the year. I’m not sure why, I guess it’s the beautiful Pensacola and Gulf Coast weather and people are getting outside. I would like to show you what I put in every report.

“The equipment used is to help locate potential problem areas. It should be understood that the test equipment is not an exact science but rather good tools used as indicators of potential problem areas. Because of hidden construction within the wall cavity, the meters sometimes get false readings. Some meters pick up on flashing, metals, wiring or unique wall finishes. Positive readings do not always mean there is a problem, nor do negative readings always mean there is no problem. We use the equipment only to obtain relative readings between suspected and non suspected problem areas. We then use the information to help determine potential problem areas which may warrant more investigation. ”

From left to right, the equipment picture shows a probe with a moisture meter attached which is used for EIFS invasive inspections. The green machine scans the exterior of EIFS for potential moisture and the Tramex on the right is used for interior moisture scanning.

It adds up to having the ability to understand building construction and that water runs downhill (not straight though) and some common sense.