Dry out the house before stucco ?

hello reggie!

I am based in northern california and have been reading your websites and all of the great info.

I am wondering - we have replaced / changed size / added some windows in our house as well as did a very small addition of a mudroom - so there are repairs around windows and 3 new small walls that need stucco. it has been pouring rain here and very cold (for northern ca standards, haha - 50s by day, low 40s at night) for the past 2 weeks - my question is - should I let the house dry out before repairing the stucco? should we wait until summer when it is hot and the wood is surely dry? the window openings have been well covered but the mudroom addition framing got really wet. I’m so afraid of mold!.

Hi Michelle
This is something I have give a lot of thought to in the past. I'll tell you what I think.
You are always better off to proceed with the stucco wet or not. The weather is only going to get colder, and water doesn't evaporate unless the temperature is at the dew point. Most rot in framing occurs in the winter. Bear in mind, even of it doesn't rain, you have condensation on cold humid days.
However, I don't work on my own house but someone elses'.
For you peace of mind, and for quality, you may consider using construction heaters to dry out the framing and sheathing, if this is practical. We use the kerosene blower type heaters. You never want to burn diesel fuel in these because you'll never get rid of the smell. You can also use the propane type heater, provided they have an electic blower. The propane types without the blowers are pretty useless because they don't circulate the air.
You could scaffold and tent the out side of the mudroom, and heat it up for a couple days before putting on the tarpaper and lath. Here we use tar paper. In California, you use grade D building paper.
You may even try heating the mudroom from the inside. If it is super hot inside, at least you can keep the outside above the dew point for a couple of days. I'll bet your stucco contractor has heaters you can probably use. Maybe the drywaller has heaters, if you have a drywaller.
We are using heaters outside on the scaffold to set up my brown coat. We probably will start putting up plastic tents this week because the temperature is going down in the twenty's. We are in the second week of December, so I'll need to be building tents soon.
I have been in Southern California for extended periods of time, but I only have been as far north as Hearst Castle. I went as a tourist, not to work.
Thanks so much for visiting my site and the great question. I am just about ready to publish but the workload we have now has taken all my time.