How to Deal with Water Damage to a Pennsylvania Stucco Home
When purchasing a new home, you put an immense amount of trust in your homebuilder and their reputation. As one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life, you expect that you’re buying a high-quality product that will last for years, without the need for repairs.
For many homeowners across southeastern Pennsylvania, however, that expectation is far from their reality.
What is happening?
The Philadelphia Inquirer has uncovered that over 650 homeowners in the region have found significant water damage in their homes – a result of negligent building practices – leading to thousands of dollars in repairs.
The water intrusion occurs primarily in houses made with thin coats of stucco and lacking basic waterproofing materials. The issue has been found in new homes as well as those that are 10-20 years old, however, in most cases, it’s been determined that moisture has been trickling into the homes since the day they were built.
The damage wasn’t immediately evident in 80-90% of cases; many homeowners didn’t realize they had a water intrusion issue until they went to sell their home and an inspection revealed the damage. This means that there are likely more homes with damage that has yet to be discovered.
To make matters worse, in some cases, the building companies knew about the potential for water damage but did nothing to notify the homeowners who may be affected. Unfortunately, many homeowners didn’t discover the problem in their home until it was too late to bring a claim under state law.
What action is being taken?
Many homeowners are seeing debt pile up, as they struggle to pay for the repairs to the damage as well as legal fees for their lawsuits against homebuilders.
Likewise, legal action is being taken at a higher level, with a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office in 2016 and an official investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, neither of which have resulted in changes to date.
In 2017, Representative Bernie O’Neill proposed two new House Bills: one that would extend the amount of time, by three years, that a Pennsylvania homeowner has to file a lawsuit and a second that would require builders to notify homeowners of construction defects as soon as they are aware of the problem. Currently, the bills are still awaiting action.
While these are all part of important steps forward, there has yet to be real change required by law to prevent this from continuing to happen.
Why You Should Remediate Stucco & Replace with Siding
If your home was built using stucco and you want to prevent future water damage, you can trust MHX Designs with a stucco remediation job. Unlike simply repairing the damaged areas, stucco remediation addresses the problem from the source. The problem with stucco repair (vs. complete remediation) is that fixing cracks and other maintenance can be never-ending cycles, while siding offers several lasting benefits.
Those Cracks Will Never Go Away
Homeowners often seek stucco remediation in Villanova, PA because they’ve noticed cracking or missing chunks on the exterior of their house. While it is possible to seal up those cracks, they’re likely to reappear. Stucco absorbs water and expands and contracts with the temperature. It’s simply a battle with Mother Nature you may never be able to win. Siding, on the other hand, maintains its sturdy shape all year long.
Siding is Much More Durable
Because stucco is constantly absorbing water, it’s more porous and therefore not as durable as other materials on the market. Alternatively, siding is extraordinarily durable with some varieties lasting well into their 50s. If you’re looking for a permanent exterior solution that will last you until you sell the house, your search ends with siding.
Siding is Customizable
Another one of the distinct advantages of replacing stucco with siding is the instant lift in customizability. With stucco, you’re pretty much stuck-o with its natural off-white color, although some is available in rosier or grayer hues. Siding gives you the advantage of not being fixed to one style or aesthetic; you are free to paint and repaint as your heart desires. It also means you won’t have to worry about replacing that stucco with something that doesn’t quite match. With siding, there are always options.
How can MHx Designs help?
We remediate stucco and replace it with high-quality siding that is resistant to water, fading, cracking, and peeling. Available in fiber cement or vinyl options, our siding is long-lasting and requires little to no upkeep, giving you peace of mind for years to come.
If you need help with stucco remediation for your home, contact our team of talented experts today. At MHx Designs, your home is in good hands!