Robert Lamoureux | Don’t get stucco with an unlicensed contractor

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux
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Question No. 1 


I live in a 17-unit condo complex that has a parking garage below. We had the entire decking system redone last summer and, after this last rain, five of the 17 units each suffered a significant amount of water intrusion. With the attached photo, are you able to give insight as to what happened here? The contractor is coming out soon, and I’d like your feedback before he arrives so I have an idea of what we are looking at as far as getting this resolved. 

— Peter B. 

Answer No. 1 


The photo isn’t very clear but it shows me enough to know what the issue is. The decking system was rolled up over the stucco instead of going underneath, and without being sure that there is a wall-to-deck flashing that allows the water to run down the stucco and be guided away from the wall. The decking system is literally encapsulating the water inside the wall, and it takes the path of least resistance, which is obviously inside the units. 

Your decking should always be done by a licensed contractor who knows waterproofing, according to Robert Lamoureux. Photo courtesy or Robert Lamoureux

This has clearly been done by a contractor that doesn’t understand waterproofing, and it must be rectified. 

Hopefully your association used a licensed and insured contractor, which will give you somewhere to turn if the contractor isn’t responsive. They should stand behind their work and redo it, but know that it will be a costly repair to do this correctly. 

The stucco needs to be broken out and this decking system redone properly, with the wall-to-deck flashing and weep screed. As in most cases, the proper fix is usually not the cheapest, but always worth paying for vs. cutting corners. 

Primarily for now, these affected units need to be properly remediated of wet materials and completely dried out immediately so there are no mold issues that arise. The interiors should not be repaired until the decking systems are repaired and water testing is completed to be sure that all leaks have been rectified. 

This is a biggie. I hope your association has used an insured contractor. 

Good luck. 

— Robert

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].

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