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Bryan & Bryan Inspections is a respected independent third party stucco and EIFS (exterior insulated finishing systems) inspection company located in the Houston area. Our regular service area includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, and Montgomery Counties. Call (866) 484-8318 to request a quote today.
WHAT IS STUCCO?
The term “stucco” is used to describe a type of exterior plaster applied as a two- or three-part coating directly onto masonry or on to metal lath over wood, gypsum, or other substrate. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. Stucco is valued as a siding material for its attractiveness and durability. However, particularly in climates with high precipitation, it is far from maintenance free.
OUR PROVEN STUCCO TESTING PROCESS
Bryan & Bryan Inspections takes a two-step approach to testing for moisture intrusion issues with stucco. Our stucco inspections consist of a visual inspection and an invasive moisture testing inspection that, whenever possible, are completed within one onsite visit. Our inspectors then compile their findings in a report meant for a stucco contractor to review and discuss with you to determine your options for repair. We are not stucco contractors and we do not work with stucco contractors. This is for your protection! A contractor alone should not be determining whether or not you have an issue.
We begin with a visual inspection which is a preliminary evaluation of the interior and exterior of the homes’ stucco walls. At this time we are looking for visual cues about how the system is performing and how it was installed. We’ll walk the property and take note of visual evidence of cracking, staining, and key installation details, and also look for the absence or inclusion of certain elements – head flashing above windows and kickout flashing at roof-wall intersections, end dam flashings, etc. At this time the client is encouraged to discuss areas of concern, areas where moisture intrusion has already occurred (e.g. water staining around interior windows or doors, exterior cracking, staining), or where there has already been remediation work, caulking, etc. as the result of moisture intrusion issues or general maintenance.
Because it’s impossible to see through walls to obtain facts about how the home is performing, it is necessary to move beyond the visual inspection to an invasive inspection. The invasive inspection is moisture probe testing. This requires us to drill two small holes, about one inch apart and roughly the diameter of a pencil. Through these holes we insert a moisture meter to test the moisture content of the substrate (the material on which the stucco lath is mounted, usually OSB or plywood) and test the hardness of the substrate. Soft, missing, and/or moist substrate is a serious concern. We’re most concerned with testing portions of the home that are above the foundation and/or on a wooden substrate. We typically need to test and map out the most exposed areas on each wall section, such as the lower penetrations/first floor windows, as well as the roof-wall intersections, and any other areas of the construction that are vulnerable based on how the home was originally designed and built.
All the moisture readings taken are recorded on full elevation photos of the home in the location that they were taken from, providing a “map” of the moisture found in the home at the time of the inspection. We will then help you understand the relationship between all of the readings. Other useful information is also gathered, such as whether the substrate is soft, if any decay is present, or if the area tested dry and firm. All the holes are then filled with a sealant intended for use with stucco.
All the information gathered during your stucco inspection is compiled into a custom report available by 9am the following day. The report includes elevation photos with moisture readings, detailed photos with specific deficiencies, a summary checklist, condition assessments, and recommendations for next steps.
Our goal is to educate each client through the inspection process which is why we encourage clients to be present so that we can personally answer any questions and address any concerns that they may have. Do not hesitate to contact us if you should have any pre or post inspection questions.
TRUSTED STUCCO EXPERTS
When your stucco needs inspected, be sure to work with the professionals at Bryan & Bryan Inspections. We proudly provide superior stucco inspections and honest expert advice from the best in the industry. To get started, call us at (866) 484-8318, or request a quote. On top of our stucco services, we offer home inspection, mold inspections, termite inspections, and commercial property inspection services. For our residential inspection clients, be sure to check out our affordable package options. We proudly serve Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Pearland, Friendswood, The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, Dallas, Fort Worth, and beyond.