Stucco Remediation – How to Spot Moisture Issues on Your Stucco Exterior

While it’s normal for stucco to hold a little moisture, if you see moisture stains or cracks on your home’s exterior, this is likely a sign that remediation is needed.

Remediation includes a thorough inspection of your stucco wall system by a skilled contractor to look for underlying issues that need to be addressed. This process usually includes using a moisture meter and addressing holes or other damage in the wall system. Contact Stucco Remediation now!

Stucco is one of the most popular exterior finishes for homes, especially in drier climates. It’s durable and adaptable, with an elegant aesthetic. But it’s not without its vulnerabilities, including the ability to harbor moisture that can lead to costly problems. In addition to unsightly stains and discoloration, moisture damage can result in wood rot that compromises the integrity of your home’s structure. It’s important to be aware of the red flags that indicate moisture issues with your stucco and take timely action to prevent future damage.

Staining is the most obvious sign of a moisture problem. White hazy streaks or dark blotches on your paint color are caused by the buildup of salt and minerals from a continuous supply of water seeping through the stucco walls and evaporating. The resulting residue forms on the surface of your stucco and can be difficult for paint professionals to remove. Eventually, it will cause your paint to peel and flake, and the staining will become even more visible.

Moisture problems with your stucco can be caused by several factors, including improper installation techniques, lack of curing time, and poor sealing around windows and doors. Stucco remediation includes inspection costs and moisture meter readings to determine the extent of the issue. It may also include the cost of materials and labor to repair and repaint your stucco.

It’s also worth noting that the longer you ignore signs of moisture damage, the more costly it will be to correct the problem. You could also lose market value on your home or be fined by your homeowner’s association if you don’t address the issue immediately. Choosing the right contractor for your stucco remediation project can ensure that you get the best results and avoid unnecessary costs in the future. Be sure to ask potential contractors for testimonials, look at their portfolio, and pay attention to how they interact with customers. A trustworthy contractor will not pressure you into hiring them with shady sales tactics and should be transparent about their rates and services. They will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate before starting work on your home.


When a stucco surface begins to crack, homeowners are understandably concerned that this may indicate a serious structural problem. While some cracks do indicate structural issues, most can be fixed by simply repairing the damage and taking steps to prevent future problems.

Stucco cracks are a normal part of the aging process for this beautiful building material. However, if left unchecked, these cracks can worsen over time and lead to water infiltration that causes further damage. The key is to recognize and diagnose the cause of the crack so that a repair can be made and moisture intrusion prevented.

One of the first things to evaluate is the crack’s width. Hairline cracks are narrow and typically less than 1/8 inch wide. While these can still allow moisture and insects to penetrate the wall, they are not considered a major concern. Wider cracks are generally caused by movement in the foundation or structure of the building and can be more serious.

The pattern of the crack can also be important in determining its severity. Diagonal or stair-step cracks are typically indicative of structural movement, while vertical cracks are often related to expansion or settling.

A simple way to repair these smaller cracks is to clean them, apply a high-quality stucco patching compound and then smooth it out with a trowel. This should be done annually as a part of routine maintenance, and will help ensure that the crack does not grow larger or cause further damage to the stucco.

If you notice a crack that is wider than 1/8 of an inch, or any type of stair-step or diagonal pattern in the cracks, then it’s important to call for a professional inspection. This will include removing a small section of the stucco so that the underlying sheathing, framing and insulation can be inspected for damage.

If the sheathing, framing or insulation are found to be damaged, remediation will be required. This will involve stripping the stucco down to its base layer, and then rebuilding it with new materials. This can be a lengthy process, but will result in a stucco system that is guaranteed to not crack or damage again for the life of the home or business.

Water Damage

Stucco is a building material that’s been around for thousands of years. It’s a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and water that builders use to add beauty and durability to the exteriors of homes and commercial structures. It’s especially popular in drier climates where the sun is harsher, and it’s often used as a protective covering for concrete or brick buildings.

The most common problem with stucco is moisture intrusion, which can cause serious structural damage to your home if left unchecked. One sign of this is the development of unsightly, hazy white or dark stains on your stucco walls, particularly in the areas around windows. These stains are the result of trapped moisture that can cause mold and rotting, which can compromise your home’s structure.

Leaving these issues unchecked will only lead to more problems down the line, and the sooner you get them fixed, the better. Stucco remediation involves a thorough inspection of your exterior stucco walls to determine if there are any underlying problems that need to be addressed. This process includes a test for moisture, as well as a visual inspection of the areas where moisture problems are most commonly found.

If a professional finds that you have significant moisture intrusion, the first step of the remediation process will include stripping away all of the exterior stucco layers to reveal any internal sources of damage. These will be repaired before the builders reapply the layers of stucco. This is done to ensure that your stucco will be protected from moisture in the future and that there are no other hidden problems.

Remediation is generally much more expensive than simple repair work, so it’s understandable that homeowners may hesitate to invest in this service unless absolutely necessary. However, using simple repairs to postpone the need for remediation will only increase the long-term cost of your home’s stucco and structural integrity.

Choosing between repair and remediation can be confusing, but it’s important to remember that repair is typically surface-level work, while remediation is more extensive and deals with the root cause of the problem. So if you’re not sure which option is right for you, talk to your local stucco experts.


When stains and discoloration appear on your stucco walls, it’s important to address the problem promptly. These stains may indicate serious problems such as cracking, mold and water damage that could threaten the structural integrity of your home’s exterior. Stucco is a very porous material, and it’s susceptible to moisture intrusion. In many cases, a repair will not be sufficient to solve the problem and may actually worsen the condition.

Depending on the nature of the stain, your contractor will recommend an appropriate cleaning solution. For example, if you have grease stains or rust marks, you can scrub them using a brush and a cleaning solution such as soap and water or oxygen bleach (never use chlorine-based cleaners as this could damage the stucco). Then, thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water. If the stains are particularly stubborn, your contractor might advise you to use a wire brush and an application of diluted bleach with warm water.

However, it is also important to consider the underlying causes of these stains. Stucco remediation should focus on fixing the problems that are causing moisture intrusion. Stucco repairs that don’t address this underlying issue are like putting tape over a hole in a pipe—they may provide a temporary fix, but they won’t stop the problem from recurring.

As a result, moisture will remain trapped behind the sheathing and framing, creating the ideal conditions for mold growth. This can be incredibly destructive and potentially harmful to your health. Mold can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues in some people, so it’s important to deal with the problem immediately.

The best way to avoid mold is to keep your exterior walls free of organic debris such as dirt, mud and stray plant matter that can easily feed mold. You should also have your gutters cleaned regularly to prevent water from pooling along the walls or running down them, which can also contribute to a moisture problem.

Although mold is a serious problem, it is possible to prevent with proper maintenance and regular inspections. If you are concerned about the quality of your stucco, contact us for a free estimate. We’ll be happy to help you decide on a course of action that will protect your home for years to come.