By now, everyone should be aware of the moisture problems that exist in homes, and especially in stucco-clad homes. Our own testing shows that 90% of stucco homes built in the mid-80’s through the 90’s have major moisture problems causing structural damages that most people can’t even see. While construction practices and codes have improved over the last 15 years, the old adage “history repeats itself” comes to mind when reviewing what the new 2015 IRC Building Codes are requiring in new home construction in MN.
We recently completed a survey of 1,938 homes we had probetested and analyzed for moisture intrusion, the majority of which had been built after mid-1980. The results are alarming. 63 percent of the stucco homes, 52 percent of the wood homes and 47 percent of the brick homes had structural damage – rotted wood – at one or more locations across the home.
There has long been a dispute as to whether moisture testing the external walls of a structure should be performed from the interior or from the exterior. The nationally accepted practices favor exterior probe testing because water typically winds up on the exterior side of the wall cavity once it works its way into the system. However, there are many factors to consider when determining which testing approach to use on a given home.
Everyone involved in a real estate transaction wants the deal to go through – preferably with as few speed bumps as possible. There are many factors that affect the facilitation of a sale – financing, restricted inventory, contingencies on other sales and a plethora of other possible points of contention. All of these are in addition to the potential of getting stuck in a traffic jam if issues are discovered during the inspections phase.
What is the M-word? Most people reply, mold. Understandable considering mold is a common concern in the housing industry. Most folks don’t like to hear this, but the reality is that mold is everywhere, and unless you’re wearing a mask, you are breathing in mold as you read this article.