What is the long term price you ask? Follow along as we explain what happens over the long term if stucco deficiencies are not repaired correctly.
Here’s the picture of stucco construction again for reference. Imagine you have a crack in your stucco higher up the wall. Water will penetrate this crack, run down the inside of your elastomeric coating and finds a location where the coating has lost its bond with the stucco. When this happens a bubble in the coating will appear. To fix this you must drain the water, cut away the elastomeric coating and reapply it, then paint to match. But did you find and repair the location of the where the water was getting behind the stucco? Then this problem will continue to occur.
Another issue is the constant expanding and contracting of the concrete material on the side. The accepted depth of the scratch coat and brown coat is 3/8″. The finish coat is 1/8″. As a result, the concrete coatings will expand and contract at different rates creating cracks at different locations along the wall. Ultimately, this will allow salt infused water to reach the lath which is where the fun begins.
When water comes in contact with the lath, the metal screen beneath the concrete coatings will begin to rust and deteriorate. When this begins to happen, the concrete coatings begin “popping”, losing their adhesion to the building. You will begin to see buckling areas with the only thing keeping the siding on the building is the coating.
But we’re not done. This water that has permeated and reached the lath will sometimes have nowhere to go. As a result, the tar paper will disintegrate and the OSB underneath will begin to expand and rot as well as the stud walls. OSB used 30 years ago was not as waterproof or reliable as the engineered wood products used today.
The point to be made here is unless your oceanfront condominium has been properly maintaining the stucco exteriors and been sealing and recoating your buildings on a routine basis, you could be experiencing one or more of these problems. This is a serious problem that will probably require extensive capital investment. But once these repairs are performed and the building envelope is up to today’s standards, proper maintenance should keep your buildings in good condition.