Stucco exteriors in PA seem to be a very common occurrence. At one time it was very “fashionable” for your home to sport a full or partial stucco exterior. Unfortunately, what many PA homeowners are learning is that stucco is not a good exterior material choice for their homes if it has not been installed correctly!
Smucker’s Exteriors specializes in roofing and siding services and stucco remediation is not excluded from our area of expertise. We’ve been serving Chester County, Lancaster County, and the surrounding areas with over 20 years of construction experience. It was our pleasure to take care of Ken’s home and transform the appearance of his home by getting rid of his troublesome stucco exterior and installing reliable new fiber cement siding.
WHY TRANSITION FROM STUCCO TO NEW SIDING?
The problem with stucco exteriors on Pennsylvania homes is that stucco is not suited to adequately withstand the weather changes we experience throughout the four seasons in PA unless it has been installed with a weep screen behind it that allows for moisture evaporation. Stucco performs really well in dry climates like Arizona and New Mexico and anywhere else in the country where it is primarily hot and dry most of the year. But in PA, where we experience wet, snowy, and damp seasons stucco just doesn’t cut it when it comes to protecting your home from water damage. Often, it’s not the stucco itself that’s the problem, it’s the installation method. In hot climates, it’s no problem to just “slap” stucco right onto a home and not think twice but in PA and other states where the climate can be much more damp, humid, wet, and snowy at different times of the year, the stucco installation method has to be different and better in order for it to do its job and protect the home.
Basically, PA is too wet, snowy, and damp for the stucco to handle on its own. Moisture and excess water find their way behind the stucco on your home and stay there. This leads to water infiltration and damage as well as mold growth over time. And once the outer walls of your home are damaged that moisture and water can find their way deeper into your home. The pictures below give an idea of what could be happening to your home right now if you have damaged or broken sections on the exterior of your home! If the stucco originally was installed properly with a weep screen behind it (just like you install for stone veneer projects) then the water or moisture would be able to dry out because there would be some airflow. Without an air pocket behind stucco on your home, you’re going to have big problems over time.
SWITCHING KEN FROM STUCCO TO FIBER CEMENT SIDING IN KENNETT SQUARE
After Ken contacted us for his free home estimate we put together a comprehensive plan to help Ken transition his home from stucco to fiber cement siding. We used a multi-step plan to systematically remove the problem exterior stucco, repair all the underlying home damage we uncovered, install a protective layer of HydroGap Housewrap to stave off future damage, and installed brand new siding from James Hardie.
REMOVING KEN’S DEFECTIVE STUCCO
The first step in the process was to remove the existing stucco covering Ken’s home. This is a relatively straightforward step in the process. We simply removed all of the stucco and disposed of it in a neat and orderly manner. Smucker’s treats every construction project with the same care and attention to detail we would take with our own homes. As we removed the stucco we were careful to clean up each day so that Ken never felt like he was living in a cluttered construction zone.
REPAIRING THE REVEALED WATER DAMAGE
Once all the stucco had been removed from Ken’s home we evaluated the underlying damage. Any areas that were intact and strong we allowed to remain. Anything we found that was beginning to show signs of damage and rot was removed and replaced. This is a thorough step in the process for us, we made sure that before we installed anything new on Ken’s home we had correctly repaired any damage. This is like starting over with a new home for Ken and ensures that he will enjoy many more years in his home.
INSTALLING THE HOUSEWRAP
Protective house wrap from HydroGap is a favorite installation product at Smucker’s Exteriors. We don’t always install HydroGap but it is one of our favorite products to recommend to homeowners. This house wrap layer goes over all the repair work we did for Ken and then his new siding will be installed over this. HydroGap has all these little beads all over it, these beads channel any moisture that finds its way behind your siding safely away from your house.
GOODBYE STUCCO, HELLO NEW SIDING
The last step in the process before doing a final job site cleanup was obviously installing Ken’s brand new siding. Switching from stucco to fiber cement siding was a multi-step process but absolutely worth it in the end. Not only is the home exterior transformation really impressive, but Ken’s home will be better prepared to deal with the four seasons in Pennsylvania. This will extend the years of life for his home and stave off future issues.