Robert Lamoureux | Repairing stucco damage from moisture

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question No. 1 

Hello Robert,  

I’ve written you before and have always been pleased with your honest answers and possible solutions. Here’s my latest one: I live in a custom-built home in what is called “Vista Point” above the Vista Valencia Golf Course. I love this house, but it comes with a lot of unique issues.  

This stucco problem is one of them. I’ve been living here approximately seven years, just so you have some idea that this obvious problem did not exist when I purchased the home in 2014.  

The north and east sides of the house are primarily wood siding. No wind, sun, etc., obvious damage there. The south- and west-facing sides of the house are primarily stucco with wood trimmed windows, etc. This is where water, sun and wind have played havoc.  

Stucco damage from moisture requires having a weep screen installed, according to contracting expert Robert Lamoureux. Courtesy photo

I’ve included photos to give you an idea of what the issue is. The first photo is a west-facing wall. There is a French drain beneath the rocks next to the house, which seems to do a very good job of absorbing water and moving it along. There doesn’t seem to be an abnormal amount of water falling during a rainstorm in the area, and what is there seems to move away quickly.  

A closeup look at the stucco damage from moisture on a reader’s home. Courtesy photo

The side yard slopes away from the house. An issue to me is that no part of the west- or south-facing exterior walls has a weep screed at ground level. I see that as a big problem, but obviously somebody didn’t when this house was built in 1981.  

The rock area goes around the entire west and south sides of the house with the drain, but some areas (not all areas)) are being impacted by too much moisture.  

I’d like to repair the stucco on both sides of the house before I invest in painting the exterior of the house. I’ve passed several termite inspections and there are no visible signs of dry rot.  

Do you have a suggestion for someone who would be willing to take on a stucco repair type project like this? Ninety-five percentNinety-five percent of the walls and stucco seem to be OK. The bottom 5% is where the problem is.  

The second photo is a detail of the exposed French drain and the wall problem above for reference.  

— Ron 

Answer No.  


Thank you for being a loyal reader. It appears that you are correct, there is no weep screed here. I strongly recommend that you do, in fact, have it installed at the base line of the stucco to allow the water/moisture to escape to the exterior.  

Pull the rock away from the bottom near the stucco also, as it only holds in moisture and never allows the stucco to breath and properly dry.  

It is going to cost a bit for the weep screed install, but over the years it will save on repairs.  

I’ve sent a recommendation separately. 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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