Examining your home’s exterior

Exterior stucco is an increasingly popular choice for homeowners in the Toronto area. And for good reason. With exterior stucco’s wide range of unique designs and textures, its durability, and its weather-resisting attributes, it brings beauty and character to homes in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto, and Etobicoke that lasts for decades. Like any large home renovation project, applying exterior stucco to your home takes forethought, planning, and an expert stucco contractor. Before embarking on this time-consuming and costly project, any stucco contractor worth their salt will begin by undertaking a thorough examination of your home’s exterior. Every house is constructed differently and has hidden quirks and peculiarities that will affect how the stucco should be applied. These are a few of the things stucco contractors will look at before they begin work on your home.

What Features will a Stucco Contractor Examine Before Starting Work on Your Home?

1. Wall Material
The stucco installation process greatly depends on the type of walls it will be applied to. While wooden walls require the installation of roofing felt along with fiberglass mesh netting, cinderblock, concrete, or brick walls need to be painted with a binding compound first in order for the stucco to stick.

2. Cleanliness
Before applying stucco to already existing concrete, brick, or other types of siding, the surface must be completely clean and free of all dust, debris, or dirt that naturally builds up over time.

3. Cracks and Breaks
Damage to the existing structure of your home needs to be fixed before stucco can be installed. Stucco contractors look for cracks or breaks in your home’s exterior that could allow water to seep in and compromise its structural integrity. Even hairline cracks or fissures could permit water to leak between the internal walls and the exterior stucco, causing mould and mildew to grow between the layers, which could potentially cause extensive damage to your home.

4. Doors, Windows, and Roofs
The majority of water damage to stucco is the result of leakage and moisture issues with windows, doors, and roofs and is not due to the quality of the exterior stucco itself. Roofs with wide overhangs better protect homes from moisture damage, while the roof rakes that intersect walls need kick-out flashing that will protect the wall from any water that drips from the roof. Windows and doors need pan flashing at sills and Z-flashing with end dams at heads. Stucco contractors will integrate these window and door flashings with a water-resistant barrier to prevent moisture from building up between the stucco and your home’s core structure.

5. Current Hardware
Your home’s current siding needs to be removed prior to installation. The stucco contractor will inspect and replace studs, headers, framing members, and soffits as needed along with old or damaged sheathing and insulation.

6.Potential for Property Damage
Stucco contractors aim to eliminate the possibility of damaging either your interior or your exterior during the stucco application process. They will examine your landscaping and interior openings such as windows to plan how best to protect them during the project, which could take a month or two depending on your property’s size.

Any underlying issues at your home cannot just be covered up with stucco; they will undoubtedly rear their ugly heads at the worst of times, damaging both your new exterior stucco and your home’s core structure. A thorough home inspection before the stucco is applied will help to prevent unexpected issues from arising during the project and save you and your stucco contractor valuable time, money, and energy along the way.