You have questions – we have answers!

Why hire us?

We are an inspection company that specializes in Stucco, Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS), and Adhered Manufactured Stone Veneer. We have extensive experience, training, and education that allows us to perform the best possible evaluation of your home. We perform hundreds of stucco inspections every year and know exactly what to look for. Specializing in these systems allows us to provide accurate assessments and recommendations to correct any issue. We are not a one-stop shop home inspection company that performs stucco inspections as an ancillary or add-on service. This is something very important to consider when hiring the right stucco inspection specialists for your home. We also believe in providing an educational experience for our clients. This allows our clients to make educated decisions when having repairs performed and understand how to maintain their home. We are proud to be Google’s most reviewed stucco inspection company in Houston!

What is the difference between a stucco inspection and a home inspection?

A home inspection is often called a “general inspection” and cannot be used as a substitute for a stucco inspection. It is defined as a limited survey and basic performance evaluation. Additionally, it should NEVER be used as a determinant when deciding whether to get a stucco inspection. Moisture damage in stucco walls is often considered “concealed damage” and cannot typically be identified during a home inspection. Skipping the stucco inspection based on the findings of a home inspection can be a very costly mistake. A stucco inspection performed by a stucco specialist is a comprehensive evaluation of the stucco, specifically focused on moisture intrusion points. A home inspection will include a basic evaluation of the stucco, but the home inspector will likely not be spending hours identifying all potential areas for moisture intrusion. In addition, a stucco inspection includes invasive testing of the substrate to identify hidden leaks, wood rot, and structural damage.

What is a stucco inspection?

A stucco inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of the condition of the stucco, waterproofing, flashings, and the many other details that complete the stucco system. Additionally, moisture testing is performed to identify if leaks are present and if any moisture damage or wood rot has occurred within the wall.

Is a stucco inspection necessary?

In my opinion, yes. Stucco applied over wood-frame homes can have concealed damage. We live in a wet climate and experience intense hurricane wind-driven rains. We often find important waterproofing details improperly installed or missing that can allow leaks to occur. The only way to get a complete and accurate assessment of your stucco home is to have a stucco inspection performed. Moisture damage and stucco repair can be very expensive, and we want to make sure your home is safe and leak-free. If you are buying a stucco home, it is necessary that you have a stucco inspection performed to protect yourself from unforeseen repair expenses.

My home inspector said I don’t need a stucco inspection. Should I still get one?

Unfortunately, there are still a few home inspectors that are not aware of why stucco inspections are so important. Many base their opinion on what the stucco looks like at the surface. What it looks like on the outside has very little to do with what could be going on underneath. We have followed many home inspections that claimed the stucco was in great shape, but the home told a different story once we inspected it. If you are still unsure, give us a call and we can help you make an educated decision.

What are you looking for when performing invasive testing?

While we are performing a moisture inspection, the main thing we are looking for is damaged or rotted sheathing and framing that exists directly behind the stucco. Leaks in the early stages may be identified in our report as elevated moisture with firm substrate. However, if we encounter soft or missing substrate, this is an indication that leaks have gone undetected for some time and may have caused serious moisture damage behind the stucco. These areas will need to be removed and repaired by a qualified stucco contractor.

How much does a stucco inspection cost?

Stucco inspections start around $500 and go up with size and overall design.

There are quite a few factors that we consider when providing you with an inspection quote. The size of the home is the main factor. In addition, the number of stories, balconies, roof terraces, number of sides with stucco, all play a factor in the overall price. When scheduling, we will look up your home on the internet to gather information and observe pictures to determine the inspection fee accurately and fairly. Our pricing is very competitive, especially when considering the additional services that we offer on every inspection. Whoever you hire, make sure they are a stucco specialist that is qualified to inspect your home.

Is a stucco inspection worth it?

Absolutely! If you are buying a stucco home, it is imperative that you have the stucco inspected to protect yourself from expensive repair bills. Moisture damage is often concealed and needs to be identified in the earliest possible stages. While not every home needs repair, it is crucial to determine what maintenance is needed to prevent leaks from occurring.

How big are the probe holes?

We use a 3/16th inch drill bit to accommodate our two-prong moisture meter. That’s roughly the size of a chopstick. These holes are properly sealed immediately after the test is performed. In most cases, we can get a close color match with a colored, paintable sealant. If we can’t get a close color match, we will use a clear, paintable sealant. Most locations we test are generally unnoticeable to anyone not knowing exactly where to look. Our stucco inspectors carry sealants in over 20 shades of neutral colors to get the closest match possible. We take a lot of pride in our ability to hide where the holes have been made and have never received a complaint.

I know what is wrong with my house, but my contractor is insisting on hiring you first. Why?

Oftentimes, homeowners will want something like crack repair or sealant touch up. While it’s good that you’ve noticed some issues and are being proactive, your contractor may see something bigger going on but does not want to speculate. Our inspection report will detail everything you need, what you should monitor, and determine if any wood rot or structural damage exists behind the stucco. In addition, your contractor may want an inspection performed so that they can provide you with a warranty following their repairs. Please be careful when dealing with contractors stating they want to tear stucco off without an inspection. This can be a costly mistake!

Do the holes damage the stucco?

Drilling a hole could be considered “damaging.” However, we do properly seal the holes immediately after a test is performed. It is likely that your home already has many holes and penetrations through the stucco. Hose bibs, electrical panels, light fixtures, pool controls, gutter downspouts, phone/cable attachments, and many other items are likely to have been cut or drilled through your stucco and are not adequately sealed. We have performed many inspections on homes that were inspected 10+ years ago, with no evidence of any damage or leaks caused by the holes.

Do you need to come inside?

Yes. We perform infrared thermal imaging and non-invasive moisture scanning on your interior walls. In addition, we may need to access windows, doors, and balconies over 2 stories in height. It is not required for you to be present, as long as access is provided. Some people do opt-out of the interior portion of the inspection if they cannot provide access to the interior. We are also TREC Licensed and have access to Supra eKey Boxes commonly provided by real estate agents.

How often should I get a stucco inspection?

The answer may be a little subjective and dependent upon what we found during the initial inspection. Ideally, we would want the inspection performed annually. Annual inspections can also be a visual-only inspection. At minimum, we would want a stucco inspection performed every two to three years and before any warranties expire. Sealants break down, cracks occur, and if unnoticed, can potentially lead to leaks and damage. If you have repairs done, it is crucial that you get a stucco inspection prior to your warranty expiring. If your contractor offers extended warranties, they may require a stucco inspection prior to the current warranty expiring.

How do I keep track of maintenance?

We offer a free digital download of our Stucco Maintenance Guide with every inspection. This guide can help you create a schedule to keep up with your maintenance. Some contractors even offer maintenance plans to help you take care of your home. Failed maintenance is one of the most common causes of moisture intrusion.

Does a new construction home need a stucco inspection?

Absolutely! If everyone had a stucco specialist evaluate their home when it was built, Houston would have much less stucco issues. Whether you’re buying a tract home or a custom home, it is imperative that a 3rd party stucco inspection is performed by a stucco specialist. We will look at every inch of the stucco and make sure deficiencies are properly identified to help prevent water damage from destroying your home. The majority of issues that we find started from the time the house was built!

Can an infrared camera be used to identify stucco leaks?

In most cases, no. An infrared camera shows us temperature differences. When used on the interior, temperature differences can indicate the presence of moisture. These areas are further tested with a non-invasive moisture meter. Due to environmental changes throughout the day, an infrared camera cannot be used on the exterior to identify stucco leaks. We will not use an infrared camera on the exterior. We perform infrared thermal imaging on the interior side of the exterior stucco walls. The camera only helps us identify leaks when leaks have traveled laterally and are actively wetting the interior wall surface, such as the drywall. Most stucco related leaks will remain between the stucco, sheathing and framing members. We use infrared cameras simply as another tool in our toolbox to help identify potential leaks.

Do you perform stucco repair?

We do NOT perform any repairs. We believe that an inspection should be done by a third-party with no vested interest in finding or encouraging unnecessary repairs. If your contractor recommended us, I assure you that we will not get any form of compensation from them. A quality contractor will always want a thorough inspection performed. This protects you and is a sign that they want to do right for their clients. It also takes the guesswork out of what does and does not need to be repaired on your home. Having accurate locations of needed repairs can save you thousands and prevent unnecessary removal of stucco.

Do I need an invasive inspection? Can I just get a visual inspection?

We can absolutely do a visual inspection with no invasive moisture testing. This is the route we generally take for new construction homes. This is not recommended for existing homes and can leave a lot in question. We will be able to identify various needed repairs or maintenance, deficiencies, installation errors, and obvious signs of moisture intrusion. However, we will not be able to identify concealed leaks, potential wood rot and damage, nor the extent of it. Many homes may look great with no signs of leaks but tell a completely different story when we do invasive testing. Ultimately, a reputable stucco repair contractor will likely request that an invasive inspection is performed before they provide a quote or begin repairs. We know that some homeowners will refuse an invasive inspection, as this does happen a few times each year. If you choose to still buy the home, we highly suggest having us perform a non-invasive inspection.


Can you inspect after recent rainfall?

Yes. As long as it is not actively raining and the surface is dry. We are testing what is behind the stucco, which should always be dry. If someone tells you otherwise, please let me know!


Can I schedule the stucco inspection at the same time as the home inspection?

Yes. This is not an issue, and we should not get in each other’s way. We always enjoy meeting home inspectors! We do not advise waiting for the home inspection to be completed before scheduling your stucco inspection. Waiting too long may lead to performing the stucco inspection outside of the option period or attempting to convince the seller to extend the option period.


Should I be present at the inspection?

This is entirely up to you, but you will most likely be bored. Unlike most home inspections, there will not be much to show you until the end of the inspection. We do encourage coming towards the end so we can show you everything we found and educate you about your home. Just let us know how much time you need to be notified in advance of our expected completion time.


Can the sellers be present during the inspection?

We certainly would never tell a homeowner that they need to leave their home. We do want to advise listing agents to explain the process to their clients and make sure they’re aware of what we will be doing. We understand many homeowners may want to be home or work from home. In our experience, sellers can become very anxious and apprehensive during the inspection while listening to the drill going for a couple hours. They sometimes seem to believe we’re putting hundreds of holes in their house, which is not the case. We are not continuously drilling for hours. It takes time to make observations, determine test locations, move ladders, seal holes, input information, take photos, etc., between each location we are testing. If the sellers being present is a concern of yours, I would suggest speaking with your agent.


What if the sellers will not authorize the stucco inspection?

This is a red flag, and we advise you to proceed with caution. One could assume that the seller knows about issues and is not disclosing them, or the seller does not understand our process and believes we will destroy their home with holes. We provide the listing agent with before and after photos of our test process to share with their clients. We always advise any concerned seller to call us so we can explain our process. We perform hundreds of inspections each year and have never had any complaints about the test holes following an inspection.


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