by Hank Miller
on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 at 4:24pm.
The problems with stucco homes couldn't be better demonstrated than with this real world listing. This is "hardcoat" stucco; not EFIS (synthetic) which has the universal bad rap. As with any siding, but especially stucco; moisture, mold and termites are just waiting for a chance; and that is evidenced here. Many agents have no idea about the potential disaster behind those walls, every stucco home should have a dedicated stucco inspection
It starts where is almost always does - control of surface water. Water MUST be moved out and away from every home, having a downspout empty onto a slab under the deck that sags toward the stucco home...not good. Being in a bowl and the low point of the lot or community, not good. Water always wins and water is exceptionally damaging.
That stucco patch should be obvious as should much of the staining and mildew around the house. None of this was disclosed, the seller's "had no knowledge of issues" and that's entirely plausible. This is why an experienced agent and inspector are key; they know what to look for. Seller's disclosures? In GA, buyers should put little if any faith in seller's disclosures; they are not what most think.
If not for an inspector with a moisture meter and the smarts to look for issues, this would have been left alone. This has been festering for years.
Here's a closer look. Consider that this is the part of the wall that has been opened up, what does the rest of the basement look like?
The moisture wicks right up the studs, significantly damaging areas a good 8 feet up. I would expect that given the amount of rot and moisture here, the sill plate on the first floor is likely impacted as well. Again, this is just the area that has been opened.
Stucco of any type should always be looked at with a jaundice eye; most homes will have issues and the owners might not be aware. Note as well that many companies prohibit their transferees from purchasing homes with any type of stucco in any areas - including trim and design accents. That reduction of potential buyers must be considered because every buyer will be selling at some point. We know about stucco; what to look for and how marketability and value can be impacted. There's not much we haven't seen over 30 years of sales and appraisals - and damage like this is far more common that most believe. We keep our buyers informed and out of trouble.
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