Don't get suckered into
synthetic stucco

Ask the pros- April, 2002
By Reggie Bullard

  Our home is being built as we speak.  The specs call for some stucco on the exterior.  There won't be a lot of stucco because we also have brick and siding.  I am a bit concerned because I am reading everywhere that synthetic stucco is horrible.  I live in Erie, PA, so we so have cold winters with plenty of snow.
  Our builder said eveyone around here uses synthetic stucco, and the problems with water damage behind the stucco were mainly in the south.
   I have a hard time with the "everyone does it" answer, because if it goes bad, it goes bad for everyone, and that is little comfort to me.
  I do not know what to do.  I do not know if there are
water-resistant membranes that should be in place.  The house has a wrap (like Tyvec), but is that enough to insulate the home from water behind the synthetic stucco?
    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  I am running out of time.

Don't put that stinking crap on your house or it will look like this underneath in six years:

There are still people that do stucco that is portland cement stucco with a portland cement finish like we do. It requires some effort to search these people out and sometimes you may have to wait. The path of least resistence for these builders is to put the fake crap on because it is easy to find
people to do the work, being a low skilled trade.

Pittsburg, PA has a reputation for still plastering and there are still good plasterers in that area, if that is near you.
Stucco is cement plaster.

Here is a great site maintained by a guy who has a rotting house, and still hasn't won in court against Dryvit corporation.

    Another sad fact that in the yellow pages or the bluebook under stucco contractors is that maybe one or two do stucco. The others don't
do stucco at all. Is that fraud? I think so.
    Or is that like Enron, lying to people to steal
their money is alright.

The EIFS manufacturers used to claim that the rot was a North Carolina problem,
where people first acknowledged their houses were rotten and fought in court.
If you step across the state line to Virginia, everything was OK.

Don't be a sucker. Insist on portland cement
stucco. It lasts for centuries.

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