You Should Never Apply Stucco to Flat and Horizontal Surfaces!

It’s important to know the stucco and EIFS no-no s

Kick Out Flashing

Kick-out flashing is applied before the Stucco to deflect moisture away from your home. Diagram taken from Hardiplank Installation Instructions

There’s a lot that can go wrong when installing Stucco and EIFS cladding systems. With over 30 years of Stucco, EIFS and stone inspections throughout Colorado we’ve seen just about every faulty installation you can think of. The most common problem is improper flashing and moisture barriers, but another common problem we often come across is stucco applied to flat or horizontal surfaces.

Stucco should NEVER be applied to flat or horizontal surfaces

It’s amazing how many stucco and EIFS mistakes we come across in our industry, and we’re amazed at how many stucco installers still try to apply stucco to flat surfaces, despite the fact that everyone in our industry should know that this is wrong.

The reason moisture barriers, flashing and drainage is so important when it comes to stucco installations is that stucco is not waterproof! In fact, they are porous systems that will allow for moisture to seep into the stucco. This should not be a problem in itself, because proper precautions should have been taken before the stucco is applied to deflect all moisture that travels within the stucco cladding. Allowing moisture – or vapor – to travel within the stucco is part of the design and allows the system to breathe.

All stucco surfaces must be sloped to protect from moisture damage

Exterior insulation finishing system

The Stucco applied to the balconies of this commercial building should be properly sloped so water doesn’t accumulate and cause damage.

When you apply stucco on flat or horizontal surfaces, eventually the stucco or EIFS will start to break down with changing seasons and temperatures, and before you know it more and more water will start to accumulate. If the water is not deflected, the water will eventually damage the wood, leading to mold and rot and dangerous toxins.

If you have flat surfaces that you want to apply your stucco to, we suggest you slope the area at least 22 degrees and look into metal cap flashing or other waterproofing methods to apply to the surface underneath the stucco application. The sloping will help drain moisture and prevent it from entering your wall cavity.

Stucco inspection experts in Colorado, including mountain communities

If there is a problem with your stucco and EIFS building cladding systems we will find it and come up with the best solutions to fix the problem, including stucco and EIFS applied to flat and horizontal surfaces. Our unflinching dedication to quality has made us leaders in our specialized stucco field for over 30 years. We work alongside civil and structural engineers and use top-of-the-line technology to detect any moisture problems lurking behind the stucco system.

For complete exterior inspections for moisture issues, stucco, EIFS and stone throughout the state of Colorado, including Mountain communities, call (303) 875-5843 or write to schedule an inspection.