Many homes and businesses in the American Southwest, including Texas, are built with a mixture of lime, water, and various building additives called stucco. In fact, a 2016 study found that between 50 percent and 60 percent of homes in this region of the U.S. are built with stucco. It’s a popular building material for dry climates due to its fire-resistance, energy efficiency, and insulation properties.
But for stucco to be utilized safely and properly, it must be installed correctly. Unlike wood, brick, and concrete, utilizing stucco in construction requires special considerations to make it structurally sound and free from major defects. When builders fail to follow best practices and guidelines when using stucco in new construction, serious problems can occur—but they may not be apparent for months or even years after those projects are complete.
What Are the Major Issues Associated with Stucco Defects?
Stucco is widely used in the Southwest and other dry climates and not as much in other parts of the country for a specific reason—it doesn’t hold up well in humid conditions. Unsurprisingly, water and moisture accumulation are major drawbacks of stucco construction, and they can lead to serious problems, including:
- High levels of humidity inside homes
- Insect infestations
- Mold, mildew, and fungi growth inside walls and on window frames
- Cracking drywall
- Cracking, peeling, and bubbling paint
- Rotting wood
- Poor and even dangerous structural integrity
The accumulation of water and moisture is almost unavoidable in homes and other construction. However, stucco is different than wood and brick due to its propensity to retain water.
How Do Negligent Builders Contribute to Stucco-Related Problems?
When working on stucco homes and businesses, the biggest priority for construction crews and contractors is to protect them from water damage and water retention. To accomplish that, they must cover building frames in special primers or moisture barrier wraps. Those barriers must be effective at protecting frames from rain water while also allowing water vapor to evaporate and escape from walls and other interior structural elements.
Unfortunately, builders don’t always take this problem into account. When a proper moisture management system isn’t installed, water can accumulate, leading to cracks and leaks. Over time, those cracks and leaks encourage the accumulation of even more moisture, leading to serious mold growth, rotting wood, and even structural failures.
What Are the Solutions for Stucco Defects?
Because traditional stucco has many drawbacks when it comes to water exposure and retention, builders are supposed to employ a variety of solutions to prevent those drawbacks from affecting homes and other buildings. Those solutions include:
- Installing stucco over drainage layers to allow water to drain freely from buildings
- Creating drainage holes at the base of each wall to provide an evaporation route for moisture
- Using mold and moisture-resistant materials at the bases of interior walls
- Using water-repellent coatings inside walls to prevent or reduce water damage
- Ensuring all slabs and masonry are completely dry when installing drywall and insulation
Unfortunately, those additional steps involve extra time—and that often means less money for builders. When builders are more concerned with their profits than the satisfaction and even safety of their customers, they tend to cut corners.
How We Catch Negligent Stucco Builders
At the Law Office of Joel A. Levine, we know how important your investment is. You shouldn’t have to deal with issues like mold, insect infestations, and even structural damage due to a careless builder or contractor. Not only are those issues annoying and expensive, but they can risk your family’s safety and reduce your home’s value.
Our Austin construction defects lawyers can determine if your home or building is affected by stucco defects by looking for the following signs:
- Improperly joined banding
- Damaged or blocked moisture barriers
- Failure to prevent cracking by not using expansion joints
- Installing doors and windows improperly
Put simply, we know what to look for if your home is having issues that are commonly associated with defective stucco installation and building procedures.
Call Us Today to Get the Compensation You Deserve
Builders and contractors are quick to pass the blame or shrug it off altogether, even when they’re presented with evidence of their negligence and oversights. It can be difficult to get a response from them, let alone any promises of compensation after your stucco home or building begins showing signs of damage due to poor planning and implementation.
You don’t have to take silence or even “no” for an answer. With our law firm on your side, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your claim will be taken seriously. We’re available to chat with you about your stucco defects 24 hours per day, seven days per week. In addition, we don’t charge anything unless we get money for you.