Asked on Apr 07, 2014

Newly bought home has stucco walls that is taken below grade.

by FT86TT
Hello All,
I just recently bought a house with the new addition being with stucco walls. I did attach some actual pictures. Could you please guide me in what to do to prevent water damage? Someone told me to just pour concrete and seal the bottom up, but then with research I saw that it creates new problems as when stucco absorbs water it needs to drain at the bottom.
  6 answers
  • Jan Remling Jan Remling on Apr 07, 2014
    I don't think a proper fix will come cheap. I would not waste time and money on temporary quick in a contractor and at least get a good idea of what you are dealing with and the cost. Do you have drain tile? Here is a page of sites for that which would help and you might be able to do that yourself.
  • The bottom photo is difficult to understand. But it appears that you have a one coat stucco system installed. This as with any stucco system is not supposed to be in ground contact. EIFS systems, those with foam are particularly worse off with that condition, but the one coat or traditional type of stucco which uses a wire mesh and cement coating will easily fail as well. The bigger issue you have is wicking of moisture and insect activity. The Termites and ants can easily enter into the wall cavity without you even knowing about it, until its to late. The fix on your home is not all that easy. I assume based upon the photo your on a slab foundation. Quite often these slabs are very close to the grade surface outside. When an installation company applies stucco or even EIFS they need to extend down about one or two inches just below the wood framing that is sitting onto the slab in order for it to look nice and to prevent driving rain from working up and under the bottom wood sill. With that said, if your slab is close to the soil surface, the only easy way to fix this is to lower the soil surrounding the home. This would include using a treated landscape timber that would be placed between the house and the soil preventing the soil from coming into direct contact with the wall. Then using a decorative rock slightly fill the space between the foundation and the wall, leaving a few inches of space from the top of the gravel and the bottom of the siding. You can get a qualified 3rd party inspector by doing a search for them on this web site. These folks are trained in evaluations for different types of stucco and can assist you in getting your issue resolved correctly.
  • Field Services, Inc. Field Services, Inc. on Apr 08, 2014
    Easiest & cheapest, re-grade around the house. If you have to install a drain system it doesn't look like the landscaping is that great so it won't be a big deal. Come away from the house 18" minimum at the lower elevation then keep it clean. Get at least 6" from the bottom of the stucco to top of new grade, but better off with 12". Make sure your subterranean termite treatment is up to date and keep a look out for termite tubes. Make sure your drainage system is adequate to handle storm water from the roof/gutter downspouts. Better off to pipe the downspouts away from the house.
  • Lyn D Lyn D on Apr 23, 2014
    I've learned over the years you must channel any water away from the house, I am sure there is a pretty solution for some sort of drain that will look amazing.
  • Tammy Tammy on Apr 24, 2014
    Why not try come eve's
  • Tammie ellerbee Tammie ellerbee on Feb 16, 2015
    Stucco touching the ground is supposed to be a termite problem waiting to happen! Did you get a home inspection?