Stucco and Plaster FAQ
At James R. Slim Plastering, here are common questions we get about stucco and plaster from South Jersey area customers, including homeowners, realtors, and prospective buyers.
"I have stucco. Should I be worried?"
"I'm getting ready to list a house with a stucco front. How do I know if it is ok?"
There is no sure way to answer that, and no guarantee. The only way to get an idea of the condition is to have an invasive stucco inspection done by a reputable inspection company.
"I have a stucco home and am getting ready to sell it. What should I do?"
It depends. What are your goals? Do you want to boost curb appeal? Are you willing to invest in a stucco inspection and possible cost of repairs before listing? Discuss the options, timeline, and cost with your realtor. You may also want to start talking to inspectors and contractors.
"We're looking to buy this house we love, but it has stucco, and the internet has scared us half to death! What would it cost to fix?"
(We took some liberties with this one, but you get the point.) It depends. If you have concerns, get a stucco inspection.
"My realtor gave me your information. What do you charge for a stucco inspection?"
Nothing, because we don't do them. We are contractors, not inspectors. Be wary of contractors who also do inspections, anyone offering free stucco inspections, or inspectors who conveniently provide an estimate with the inspection report. We believe this is a conflict of interest.
"The stucco inspection revealed some problems. Can you provide an estimate and, if we use you, have the work done before settlement? We settle in 4 days."
We would be happy to provide an estimate, but if the repairs include removal and replacement of any area, it will not be finished within 4 days. Stucco is a multi-step, three-coat process. After the second coat, there is a curing period of approximately 10 days.
"I thought I had stucco, but the inspection report talks about EIFS. Which one do I have?"
Traditional hardcoat stucco and EIFS are two different systems. EIFS is a term that is sometimes incorrectly used to describe the trim details made out of foam, such as window bands, quoins, etc. If the cladding includes wire lath and cement coats, it's traditional hardcoat stucco.
"What is a weep screed?"
A weep screed is a component integrated with the building paper at the base of a wood-framed wall (at or near the foundation line, where a wall meets a roofline, etc.).
Our favorite and the most flattering question we're occasionally asked is, "Since you did the stucco originally, I shouldn't have any problems, right?" Regrettably, the answer is still, "It depends". Stucco problems are usually the result of improper flashing details, incorrectly installed windows, and poor maintenance, issues over which the stucco contractor rarely has control.