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Another stucco question.


palmettoinspect
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I inspected a small stucco home today. Appears to be 2/3 coat hardcoat stucco system over wood. While in the attic I looked at the gable end and it appears the stucco is applied directly over felt on to the studs. I don’t inspect many stucco homes, this is the second in two years and really don’t know much about the installation process. My question is it typical to see stucco directly over studs or is this just done at the gable ends?

I plan on recommending an independent stucco inspection by a certified stucco inspector because of incorrect installations and confirmed leaks. I’m just curious if it’s typical to stucco directly over wall studs like this.

Thanks,

Kiel

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Interesting. Is that horizontal lath? What are the thin vertical things that almost look like rebar?

Out here most of the older stucco was placed over shiplap sheathing. However, down in Cali there was a technicque known as line-wire stucco in which they'd string wires across the studs to form a "backing" behind the felt before applying the stucco. The method in your picture looks quite a bit superior to the line-wire method.

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Cementitious stucco can be installed without sheathing by using taut wires strung over the felt. At least my book says so. I don't have the experience to tell you when this method was popular or if it still is.

Second photo: I don't see flashing on top, nor sealant on the side of the window trim. Looks like the same signature as a previous stucco job you posted a while back. Errant contractor on the loose!

Marc

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HAHA Marc seems so. No stucco is rare in Charleston except on very high end homes on Kiawah and Seabrook Islands etc. there are not very many quality installers around. We have one or two cookie cutter neighborhoods around here with Eifs stucco and pretty much everyone has been ripped off and replaced. Seriously in the 5 years I’ve inspected home in Charleston maybe 3-5 have been stucco.

As for the second photo yes I noted there is no flashing and sealant around the window and doors. Along with active and confirmed leaks I am going to recommend certified stucco inspectors evaluation.

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I doubt this home will close because of water damage under the home.

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Interesting. Is that horizontal lath? What are the thin vertical things that almost look like rebar?

Out here most of the older stucco was placed over shiplap sheathing. However, down in Cali there was a technicque known as line-wire stucco in which they'd string wires across the studs to form a "backing" behind the felt before applying the stucco. The method in your picture looks quite a bit superior to the line-wire method.

Yes I think it is. I really need to learn more about stucco. Any good literature you would recommend.

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The photos are of a product commonly referred to as "Stucco-Rite" or "K-Lath". It is very common to find 28" x 96" sheets of this product on gable ends. As long as the sheets were fastened properly, the cement plaster stucco will "key" into the wire.

Do you happen to know if it's intended to be used in lieu of sheathing over the entire structure or just at the gable-end triangle?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi,

It looks like paper-backed self-furring galvanized rib lath. It can be installed directly over studs as long as a WRB is used behind it and the studs aren't any more than 16-inches on-center. However, you can't expect it to perform properly if the WRB behind it is peeled back like that. I hope you aren't the one that did that. If so, you're liable to take the hit for the repairs; the WRB is the drainage plane - once that's torn the water is free to drain into the structure.

That sure looks like wood rot reizomorphs moving down the wall to the left of the torn WRB in the first photo and the rot shown in the third photo says very stick structure.

What is an "independent stucco inspection by a certified stucco inspector?" Who/what is a certified stucco inspector? Certified by whom? You said yourself that stucco isn't popular there; so any expert you find there might turn out to be as clueless as the guy that put that 3-coat on without proper terminations and flashings around those windows.

Go here: http://www.stuccoguru.com/index.cfm Click on "contractor" or "building official" and then click on "Resources" in the left-hand menu, drop a rheam of paper in the printer, kick back with some coffee and start printing.

Get out the 3-hole and a few loose-leaf binders, bind some of those up and then take 'em into the throne room for some in-depth study.

Who knows? You might become the area's only independent stucco expert.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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“It looks like paper-backed self-furring galvanized rib lath. It can be installed directly over studs as long as a WRB is used behind it and the studs aren't any more than 16-inches on-center. However, you can't expect it to perform properly if the WRB behind it is peeled back like that. I hope you aren't the one that did that. If so, you're liable to take the hit for the repairs; the WRB is the drainage plane - once that's torn the water is free to drain into the structure.â€

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Do you happen to know if it's intended to be used in lieu of sheathing over the entire structure or just at the gable-end triangle?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

I am used to seeing the newer homes wrapped with kraft paper and rolls of "stucco-mesh" and the triangular gable sections done with the sheets of "K-Lath". (paper-backed lath) However, here in SoCal, homes that were constructed in the seventies and eighties are known to have been wrapped entirely with 8' sheets of paper-backed lath. This was often a problem if the lather did not install the paper-backed lath carefully. Many a leak and "cold joint" are attributed to not tucking the paper in properly and making sure the mesh overlapped on top of each other. (paper to paper and lath to lath) It ain't rocket science, but you would be amazed at how much this got screwed up on buildings.

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  • 3 months later...

Cementitious stucco can be installed without sheathing by using taut wires strung over the felt. At least my book says so. I don't have the experience to tell you when this method was popular or if it still is.

Second photo: I don't see flashing on top, nor sealant on the side of the window trim. Looks like the same signature as a previous stucco job you posted a while back. Errant contractor on the loose!

Marc

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I have a 1927 stucco bungalow in LA that a plumber has opened up the wall to replace the 84 year old drain pipes. Since members of this thread are familiar with line wire stucco (which this has), the stucco extends below the sill plate below grade and there are no weep screeds of course. I have the K lath referred to here to patch it and my question is how far below the sill plate should the metal lath extend? Short of grading the soil away from the foundation, it looks like this is a common problem for this old construction. The 2 x 6 tar coated sill plate sites on about 6 " layers of brick on the perimeter and the rest is pier support foundation that I can see in the crawl space. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and resource direction.

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I have a 1927 stucco bungalow in LA that a plumber has opened up the wall to replace the 84 year old drain pipes. Since members of this thread are familiar with line wire stucco (which this has), the stucco extends below the sill plate below grade and there are no weep screeds of course. I have the K lath referred to here to patch it and my question is how far below the sill plate should the metal lath extend? Short of grading the soil away from the foundation, it looks like this is a common problem for this old construction. The 2 x 6 tar coated sill plate sites on about 6 " layers of brick on the perimeter and the rest is pier support foundation that I can see in the crawl space. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and resource direction.

I think you will find that information in ASTM C 1063 of which I do not have a copy. I generally look for the screed at 1 1/2 inches below the sill plate.

As for the lack of a screed on this 84 year old home, I wouldn't bother with mentioning it in the report unless there was evidence of moisture intrusion issues stemming from this missing screed.

Marc

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Originally posted by phmcminn

I have a 1927 stucco bungalow in LA that a plumber has opened up the wall to replace the 84 year old drain pipes. Since members of this thread are familiar with line wire stucco (which this has), the stucco extends below the sill plate below grade and there are no weep screeds of course. I have the K lath referred to here to patch it and my question is how far below the sill plate should the metal lath extend? Short of grading the soil away from the foundation, it looks like this is a common problem for this old construction. The 2 x 6 tar coated sill plate sites on about 6 " layers of brick on the perimeter and the rest is pier support foundation that I can see in the crawl space. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and resource direction.

ASTM C 1063 requires 2 inches below the sill plate.

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ASTM C1063 - 06

1" minimum.

7.11.5 Foundation Weep Screed—Foundation weep screed

shall be installed at the bottom of all steel or wood framed

exterior walls to receive lath and plaster. Place the bottom edge

of the foundation weep screed not less than 1 in. (25 mm)

below the joint formed by the foundation and framing. The

nose of the screed shall be placed not less than 4 in. (102 mm)

above raw earth or 2 in. (51 mm) above paved surfaces. The

weather resistive barrier and lath shall entirely cover the

vertical attachment flange and terminate at the top edge of the

nose or ground flange.

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Dale, is that a caulk seal at the slab join? No weep screed that I can see there.

The photos are of a product commonly referred to as "Stucco-Rite" or "K-Lath". It is very common to find 28" x 96" sheets of this product on gable ends. As long as the sheets were fastened properly, the cement plaster stucco will "key" into the wire.

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It's right there. (weep)

Remember when patching....."paper to paper and lath to lath".

The curse of paper-backed lath is/was leaking. This is why during the last building boom, most SoCal tract builders went back to the old 1 1/2-#17 stucco wire and furring nails. Too many cracks and too many leaks in the past.

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