Houston Stucco Defects Attorney
What is Stucco?
Stucco is a popular exterior material for residential construction in Texas. Typical stucco is a type of cement plaster made of a mixture of sand, Portland lime, water, and various other additives. It requires proper reinforcement with mesh lath that is screwed or nailed onto the home’s frame and becomes embedded into the base coat of the material. The framing of the house must be protected from water damage by covering it with a special primer or a moisture barrier wrap, usually made of plastic sheeting or paper that has been treated with asphalt. The barrier must protect the frame from rain water while allowing water vapor to escape freely. If a builder fails to install an effective moisture management system, cracks and leaks may occur and moisture maybe trapped inside, which encourages the growth of mold, rotting, and the degrading of the structure.
Proper Installation of a Functioning Moisture Management System
It is essential that a builder install the stucco employing an effective moisture management system. The best choice is generally to install stucco the over a drainage layer designed to allow water drain freely from the building. Other options include creating “weep holes” at each wall’s base to allow moisture to escape from inside the walls. Employing mold and moisture-resistant materials, such as pressure-treated wood, mold resistant drywall, with non-corroding stainless steel, aluminum, or ceramic tile at the base of the interior walls, and using a water repellent coating inside walls, can help prevent water damage. During the construction process, the builder should ensure that all slabs and masonry are completely dry when installing drywall and insulation.
Common Causes of Stucco Damage
These are a few of the many possible builder errors and omissions in applying stucco that often result in cracks, leaks, and water damage:
- Improperly joined banding detail
- Damaged or blocked moisture barrier
- Rotting of the wood substrate
- Failure to use expansion joints to prevent cracking
- Improperly installed doors and window
EIFS Stucco Systems with Leaking Issues
Exterior Insulated Finishing Systems (EIFS), or synthetic stucco, incorporate insulation with the exterior cladding, using various chemical polymers. EIFS systems often produce serious moisture problems and structural damage to a home, primarily because of improper installation techniques. Because they are almost airtight, these systems can only handle small quantities of water vapor. Any significant quantity of water that gets in back of the EIFS sheathing tends to remain there and become absorbed by the framing and substrate. Damage may occur within the walls without being immediately apparent to the eye.
A properly installed moisture barrier and drains in the foundation that allow moisture to escape efficiently can prevent moisture damage. When this type of system is used, the builder is responsible for appropriate protections to be put in place in order to protect the structure of the home and prevent the growth of unhealthful mold.
Getting the Help You Need When Your Home Investment is at Risk
Builders and developers are not often willing to admit that they have built a high value home in a negligent manner, so when you report the problem, you may find yourself facing a brick wall of denial of responsibility. If your builder will not repair and remediate the problem, your best bet is to hire an experienced construction defect attorney to represent your interests.
Your home is a major investment and may represent a significant portion of your net worth. Even more important is your health and well-being and that of your family, which can be threatened by exposure to mold caused by water penetrating the stucco and accumulating in your home. The stakes are high when you are the owner of a luxury home that is declining in value due to a construction defect damaging the structure, and even higher if you are experiencing physical symptoms from the unhealthful condition. You need a competent and experienced construction defect attorney to represent you in negotiations with the builder or developer—one who will be prepared to take your case to trial if necessary.
Call a Houston Stucco Defect Lawyer Today
With decades of experience and a track record of success in resolving issues caused by faulty home construction in the Houston area, the attorneys of The Freeman Law Firm are able to obtain compensation for damages and compel the party responsible for the defect in a large majority of the cases we handle. We are able to offer the resources and effectiveness of a large firm while providing the personalized, client-focused service that you can only get with a smaller firm.
We understand how painful and stressful it can be when you can’t enjoy the home you have worked so hard for. We will work tirelessly and aggressively to bring the situation under control, have the problem repaired and remediated, obtain compensation for your economic, health, and quality of life damages, and allow you to enjoy the life you have every right to expect when you purchase a new custom-built home. Call The Freeman Law Firm today for the legal advocacy that can make things right.