mark620September 3, 2009

I have a home where a portion of a lower roof is against a stucco wall. I had the roof replaced 5 years ago and just in the past 6 months had two problems with a water leak. The water not only leaked into the room directly below the roof but also into the living room which is under a different roof but shares the same ajoining stucco wall.

The water also traveled all the way down the same wall and stained the basement ceiling.

My roofer inspected the roof and caulked along the stucco where the shingles meet the stucco as he thought the force of the driving rain may have some how gotten under the flashing.

My roofer suggested that I waterproof the stucco walls as a precaution because he felt water may be getting into the wall during a driving rain. Is this possible? I assummed that the stucco was designed to get wet during and would never have water penetrate it but I don't know much about how stucco is designed.

Thank you.

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It's the underlayments/flashings/drainage planes that keep your house dry with stucco. With a traditional three coat system with the scratch/brown coats being portland cement follwed by a color stucco coat, it allows moisture to penetrate, but is stopped by the underlayments/flashings that send that moisture down and out by way of a weep screed flashing. It's important that in your case with the roof to wall connect, to still have a way for that moisture to have an avenue escape. It sounds like a flashing failure. Caulking and "waterproofing" will only be temporary fixes. Your best bet is to have the roofing pulled back along the roofline to wall connect and repair the flashing. The best method is to install a weep screed flashing up off of the roof on the wall and install step flashing when re-shingling tucked in behind the weep screed. Unfortunatelt this means pulling the stucco coats up enough to flash out properly, then patching. The weep screed allows the miosture to run down and out to the roof, but is stopped from penetrating the roof by way of the step flashing/roofing.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 4:53PM
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That's correct, the roof is probably leaking because the flashing wasn't stepped properly or the stucco does not have a proper weather barrier under it. Adding caulk or a stucco seal coat is a poor repair because it is not only temporary and could result in a greater expense later.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 8:59PM
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