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Stucco Remediation In PA

The Dangers Of Stucco Exteriors


Pennsylvania has been called “the epicenter of an industrywide epidemic” referring to issues homeowners in PA have been experiencing with their homes with stucco exteriors since the early 2000s. More on the extensive study later proving more than 600 Pennsylvania homeowners, specifically in southeastern PA, have had to spend thousands upon tens of thousands of dollars on stucco repair and stucco remediation since the year 2000. But the point is that stucco in PA as an exterior home cladding is not a good option and more often than not it requires full remediation and replacement.


Stucco remediation is completely replacing the stucco exterior of your home and repairing all of the underlying damage in the process. Stucco exteriors in PA classically do not perform well for two main reasons: either they were installed incorrectly which leads to poor performance or they succumb to the Pennsylvania climate that is cold, rainy, and snowy in the fall and winter months.


Stucco remediation and stucco repair are not the same things. Choosing stucco remediation over repair is a big decision but an increasingly more common one in Pennsylvania. The reason for this is that repairing exterior stucco damage does not often last and ends up being a waste of time, money, and resources. You may be able to stave off stucco remediation for several years by repairing a problem area but in the long run, stucco repairs do not hold up. You will eventually have to address the bigger issue if you own a Pennsylvania home. We recommend biting the bullet and choosing stucco remediation over stucco repair.


Not only is stucco repair worth it in PA, but in many cases (more than 80% of cases according to one article by the Philadelphia Inquirer) it is paramount to the safety of the residents and the future integrity of the home. Stucco repair by itself is not usually enough though. Often full stucco remediation is needed to properly address the underlying home damage that poor stucco installation has caused. What homeowners often find after choosing stucco repair is that after several years their problems return and cost them more money.


Stucco repair will probably be much more affordable than full stucco remediation. A contractor performing stucco repair on your home will most likely charge the same rates as stucco remediation ($40 to $80 per hour). The difference is that your stucco repair job is probably just one or two spots as opposed to the entire home, windows, and doors. A more simple stucco spot repair could take a single contractor a day or two. Because of fewer hours required to complete a repair over a full remediation stucco repair typically costs a lot less.


You can expect to pay somewhere between $8 and $50 per square foot of area for stucco remediation. Another way to calculate it would be to expect contractors to charge somewhere between $40 and $80 per hour for stucco remediation services plus the charge for new materials. It is not cheap but protecting the exterior of your home is how you prevent more serious damage to occur to the rest of your home.


The most common and widespread cause of stucco failure in PA is improper installation. The early 2000s saw a drastic rise in the popularity of stucco exteriors on Pennsylvania homes. Up-to-date styles and trends are the primary drivers of the popularity of stucco exteriors. That resulted in hundreds of PA homes getting built with stucco as their primary exterior coating.

What later came to light is that many of the contractors were not adhering to proper stucco installation practices. This resulted in faster installation times but ultimately to the failure of up to 80% of the stucco exteriors installed. Some were so bad that before homeowners even moved into their homes there were signs of water and mold damage due to improper stucco installations.

Stucco exteriors crack and split when installed without special expansion joints, that’s a very common problem with PA stucco installations. Another common problem discovered with a lot of the early 2000s stucco homes was that the full installation process was not adhered to. Corners were being cut and that led to the premature failure of the home exteriors.


In the very beginning stages of stucco failure, you cannot tell that your stucco is failing. It takes time for the telltale signs of water damage to begin to show. Stucco can be vulnerable due to improper installation or incorrect drainage areas behind the exterior or due to southeastern Pennsylvania’s damp, wet, and snowy weather conditions. There are important signs of stucco failure that you can watch for or visually inspect yourself on your home.


Signs of exterior stucco failure are pretty easy to spot once they begin to occur. If you see cracks (small or large) beginning to appear in different places on your home, that’s a sure sign of stucco issues. If your stucco begins to flake or chip off in areas then you know that area is compromised and moisture is getting into your wall cavity and maybe deeper. If you see wet spots on your stucco that are not drying properly that’s also a good indication of stucco failure.

As soon as you see signs of exterior stucco failure on your home you need to act. You can attempt location-specific stucco repair if you wish but that has proven to be a very successful strategy. Rather, you should immediately contact a local professional contractor like Smucker’s Exteriors which specializes in stucco services such as full stucco remediation. The longer you wait, the worse your problems will become.


Interior signs of stucco failure are even more serious than exterior signs. Once you begin to see these interior signs of stucco failure you are in for a big repair or remediation project. The classic signs of interior stucco failure are water damage to drywall, soaked and moldy insulation, and rotting wall studs or ceiling and floor joists. What these failure signs indicate is that moisture has not only damaged the exterior of your home but it has now made its way through your walls and into your house. By this time you will most likely need extensive stucco remediation to ensure that your home’s structural integrity is safe to live in.


There are a number of areas in your home that are more vulnerable to stucco failure than others. If your siding is exposed on one side to the wind and rain without any protection from trees or another structure then that side of your home will be more susceptible to stucco failure.

Your windows are probably the most common and most vulnerable place where your home can experience stucco failure. The reason for this can be poor or incorrect window installation, faulty flashing, and sealing around your windows, or even incorrect stucco installation around your windows.

The exterior doors of your home are the other likely place that your home may experience stucco failure. This could be the door leading into your garage from the side of your house, your front entryway door, or the doors leading to your patio.


In 2018 The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article detailing the issues homeowners in southeastern PA were facing due to the rushed construction crisis of the early 2000s. An in-depth study and investigation revealed that homes in more than 55 zip codes were affected by similar issues. Some were able to file claims and some were not. 20 years of time negated a number of the warranties with some builders offering to repair homes that are 12 years old or younger. The investigation also discovered that more than 25 builders had been indicated in lawsuits regarding wet and damaged homes.

The Inquirer named Pennsylvania the “Epicenter” of stucco failure in the country. It is not a small problem, it is more like a crisis sweeping southeastern Pennsylvania. Families are losing their children’s college funds, their nest eggs, or their investment money. The negligence, lack of education, and cheaper construction materials have literally been ruining PA homeowners’ lives for the past 15 or so years.

Smucker’s Exteriors along with many other companies have been offering full stucco remediation services to these affected homeowners in areas like Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Glenn Mills, West Chester, Longwood PA, and surrounding areas. Homes in Chester County seem to be some of the hardest hit by the issues and we’ve done lots of work in that area of the state.


Smucker’s Exteriors is an experienced and professional stucco repair contractor serving Chester County, Berks County, Lancaster County PA, and the surrounding areas. We specialize in full stucco remediation for PA homes. If you are in need of the best PA stucco repair contractor just contact Smucker’s Exteriors today for a free estimate on your stucco remediation job!


If your home is damaged because of previous shoddy stucco installation, there are countless benefits that full stucco remediation can offer to your home. The foremost benefit is of course remediating the damage caused by the faulty stucco. After that process, the siding of your home will be durable and provide long-lasting protection against harsh weather conditions. Your home will be able to fend off moist and cold temperatures unlike with stucco. Another benefit is the added strength to the structural integrity of your home. With this, you can prevent further water and moisture damage and extend the lifespan of your home.

Other benefits include giving your home a fresh clean look, which can help increase your property’s value, and reduced heating and cooling costs. After a full stucco remediation project, your house will be able to insulate better which will help with temperature regulation in your home.

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