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Old 06-19-2012, 03:03 PM
 
173 posts, read 508,712 times
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We will be scheduling a home inspection soon. It is an old house with a stucco exterior, it looks like there is a horizontal crack on one wall. We are not experts, but from reading about stucco (synthetic or not), it seems that once there is a gap/crack, water can cause lots of damage.

Are we going to scare the seller away if we request to hire a separate stucco inspector? How do we even go about finding one?

Please share your stucco stories with me! Any comments will be appreciated.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
1,855 posts, read 5,670,655 times
Reputation: 3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by paperpile View Post
We will be scheduling a home inspection soon. It is an old house with a stucco exterior, it looks like there is a horizontal crack on one wall. We are not experts, but from reading about stucco (synthetic or not), it seems that once there is a gap/crack, water can cause lots of damage.

Are we going to scare the seller away if we request to hire a separate stucco inspector? How do we even go about finding one?

Please share your stucco stories with me! Any comments will be appreciated.
I would not worry about scaring the seller away. This is a large purchase and you need to know the whole condition of the home.

No matter who you hire make sure that they do have training and experience with stucco or EIFS, whichever you might have. You can start finding an Inspector with the training and potentially experience at The Exterior Design Institute Exterior Design Institute - The absolute best in EIFS Inspector training.. This is a large organization that certifies stucco/EIFS Inspectors.

If you have no luck there then you can call a local specialist who installas and see if they offer inspections as well.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:45 PM
 
2,740 posts, read 6,980,251 times
Reputation: 2665
Quote:
Originally Posted by escanlan View Post
I would not worry about scaring the seller away. This is a large purchase and you need to know the whole condition of the home.

No matter who you hire make sure that they do have training and experience with stucco or EIFS, whichever you might have. You can start finding an Inspector with the training and potentially experience at The Exterior Design Institute Exterior Design Institute - The absolute best in EIFS Inspector training.. This is a large organization that certifies stucco/EIFS Inspectors.

If you have no luck there then you can call a local specialist who installas and see if they offer inspections as well.

Good Luck!
I agree.
Find a local architect who is familiar with stucco and EIFS and have them take a look at the house. Real stucco and EIFS are completely different systems and perform differently.

I wouldn't worry about what the sellers think either.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:30 PM
 
173 posts, read 508,712 times
Reputation: 97
Thanks, you both offered real good advice!
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:21 PM
 
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A good inspector will usually have some neat high-tech tools to check the moisture content and temperature of the walls. These fancy tools are expensive- be sure to ask in advance about how they are going to inspect it. The old days of just looking at the surface are long gone.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:06 AM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
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Couple of points REALLY need to be understood:

#1 There is a WORLD of difference between REAL stucco on OLD houses (like prior to about 1976 or so when synthetic exterior surface treatments that mimic the look of stucco) and newer house that may have an inferior product. Real stucco is EASY to tell from the the not so good synthetic stuff as real stucco is ROCK HARD like mortar or cement because that is mostly what it is. Just like you don't have to worry a concrete pool losing all its water if there is only a surface crack in its "plaster" coating so too cosmetic cracking of stucco is no cause for concern if the underlying structure is still water tight. Most better home inspectors will have some tools to help understand how sound ANY exterior is. Using moisture meters, infrared cameras and non-invasive acoustic tools can pretty conclusively show where water has penetrated.

#2 No matter if the house has real stucco OR the synthetic exterior insulated finish system type stuff there should be a HUGE reluctance to hire a specialized inspector UNLESS there is evidence of failure. In contrast to the non-destructive testing that can be done a specialized inspector often will literally disassemble parts of several exterior walls to verify that proper techniques were followed in building up the stucco or the EIFS. This is costly and if not down property can be the source of new problems. Often the end result of such a detailed inspection is a COMPLETE reconstruction of the ENTIRE exterior of the home including windows and doors. For obvious reasons this tends to be CRAZY expensive and generally can only be paid for by suing the firm(s) responsible for the inferior product / technique.

#3 There are literally stucco home from 2000 years of more in good water condition in the ancient Mediterranean. Is is great building product IF it is applied properly and damage / wear that develops over time is properly addressed in a timely manner. Most repairs are inexpensive and not time consuming. Occasionally a severe problem will need to be corrected but the costs are more like a new roof than rebuilding your whole house It is not uncommon for concentrators of appropriate skill to be able to honestly assess a simple crack from the comfort of their pick-up truck and tell you what kind of problem you have BUT unscrupulous contractors will want to know if you intend to submit an insurance claim or similar way to turn a small cheap job into an unjustifiably large / expensive job. It is VITAL to only get the advice of trusted professionals that have a stellar reputation for honestly and quality.

#4 I assume you are a BUYER and I further HOPE that your represented by a buyer's agent with experience in helping people like you evaluate the total home condition / price before proceeding to make an offer. Once you make an offer, set with the help of your agent, it is wise to listen to their recommendations for skilled inspectors. Ideally your buyers agent can recommend SEVERAL qualified inspectors and you can choose from them based on a visit to their website / reviewing a detailed list of their qualifications / services. After the inspection report is review a good buyer's agent should also have the resources to recommend "next steps" be that additional contractors that may be qualified to suggest prices and/or repairs as well as a strategy that get you and the seller the most fair price...

#5 When buying an "old house" it should be part of your assumption that even if things were maintained METICULOUSLY there have be changes in both the codes that govern building methods and the materials available to builders. If you investigate these changes you should be able to do a better job maintaining your new old house than the previous owners and appropriately budget for that...
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Texas
29 posts, read 65,484 times
Reputation: 27
escanlan gave some spot on advice!

contrary to reality tv shows no property inspection or stucco inspection will dismantle or be invasive or destructive in any way without the owner's permission

never seen this happen and have literally been involved with thousands of residential, commercial, EIFS and stucco inspections

as far as scaring the seller
why would this be your concern?
will they be paying your mortgage and any ongoing repairs?

every property has a story to tell
a quality inspection and report of the structure, components and all associated systems should reveal any shortcomings before you make a final decision

good house hunting
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