Bulging in stucco can look alarming, and it should be concerning. When stucco starts to swell and lift, serious problems such as water intrusion can be the reason or can occur if left unattended. Once water enters behind stucco on a wooden wall, further repairs might have to be made, like replacing rotting plywood and wood studs and interior drywall repairs. All these repairs can be expensive; therefore, it is always recommended to address stucco bulging as quickly as possible.
The Reason for Bulging Stucco
Bulging stucco can indicate water has accumulated behind, and there is now a water bubble on your exterior wall; on a wooden house, the wire lath underneath can also be the culprit. The proper screw or nail amount might not have been installed to attach the wire lath to the plywood properly. In a conventional cementitious stucco on top of a plywood sheathing system, there are multiple layers of material before the first layer of stucco is applied.
First, a house wrap is used as the first building paper on the plywood (brands like Tyvek), then a second building paper is installed, and finally, a wire lath is screwed and nailed on top of everything to create a surface suitable for stucco. The second building paper and the wire lath are usually purchased glued together. When bulging appears on the surface, it can be because this wire lath is not fastened or appropriately nailed. It creates a pocket behind the stucco, and over time, the exterior protrudes.
Choosing The Right Professional
Once you discover a bulge on your exterior wall, hire a professional to open the bubble, correctly determine the conditions underneath, and detect what failed in your stucco system. It is recommended that proper research is done on what type of repair needs a permit in your county. Hire a contractor with the appropriate insurance and licensing required to perform your repair. Look for a professional that is also licensed and experienced in framing and exterior sheathing just in case plywood and studs need to be replaced or braced. Most counties in Southwest Florida offer contractors a stucco and plastering license, but this license will not allow structural framing and sheathing work. Here at Georges Quality, we are fully licensed to take on all aspects of your repair, from permitting to painting. By hiring the right professional, your home’s stucco will be repaired and will continue to be durable for years to come.