Hardcoat Stucco Moisture Intrusion Evaluation

In Moisture Intrusion by Morgan McClure

Technical Aspects of hardcoat Stucco

Testing and evaluation of a Hardcoat Stucco structure is conducted in a manner quite different from that of Synthetic Stucco cladded structure. The process of drilling numerous test holes is not done, nor is it recommended. The process used for evaluation is based upon experience and an understanding of moisture sources and its related effects and where and how those effects can be exposed. The evaluations are always visual in nature and may include some controlled penetration testing as well. The visual evaluation includes, but is not limited to such items as floor band connections at exterior decks, sub-flooring under potential areas of moisture intrusion, wood work, such as windows and doors, sealant and protective flashing details. The penetration tests, if used, are performed using electronic testing equipment designed to test through the stucco material and into the substrate or frame structure. The purpose of the penetration tests are to determine such issues as condition of supporting structural material as well as the moisture infiltration conditions at the exterior walls and floor assemblies. What do moisture readings mean?

19% or less: Normal level

20% and above: A moisture reading in excess of 20% indicates nothing more than water has entered into the interior of the wall and in itself is not the sole factor in assessing damage. The reason for this is when moisture first enters into a wall, it always enters at 100% and the actual percent of moisture detected (whether it is 20% or 99%) is only relevant to factors such as the time moisture first entered into the wall, the quantity of moisture that entered, existing weather conditions at the time of the test, as well as the type of substrate material being tested. Understanding this, the percent of detected moisture is not a consideration in determining repair protocol, rather the repair protocol should be determined by the source of infiltration and related damage, if any.