The building boom of the early to mid-2000s brought several builders a lot of profit; however, it brought new homeowners a lot of headaches. Houses were built hastily and builders took shortcuts in order to save money. When things settled down and home building went back to a more reasonable pace, builders’ bad habits did not necessarily change. One of the most pervasive problems that homeowners have faced in recent years, or are now beginning to realize, is the insufficient application of stucco to their homes. Stucco issues become noticeable at different rates so while some homeowners have already dealt with the issue (or attempted to deal with the issue), others are now just beginning to see the effects of the stucco problem.
Due to the way that stucco is applied, improperly applied stucco will usually start showing itself around window frames of the second floor of two-story homes. Many single-story homes are provided some protection because in Florida, such homes are made of concrete block. Still, gables on one-story homes can certainly show evidence of defective stucco. Two-story homes, however, are where the vast majority of problems are seen in Florida. That is because two-story homes, especially in the mid to northern part of the state, are concrete block on the first floor, but wood-frame on the second floor. Wire lath is then applied to the wood frame and then stucco to the wire lath. Stucco begins to fail when water starts seeping into even the most minor of cracks. Over time, this water intrusion will cause the wire lath to rust. When that lath rusts, the stucco will begin to ripple and delaminate. Ultimately, the homeowner will be left with a very ugly problem. Not only will the house look bad, but water intrusion can and often does lead to all sorts of other ensuing issues including mold, termites, and even structural damage to the home.
This problem is very real and we encourage all homeowners to give their homes a closer look. There are strict time limitations that could prevent the homeowner from ever bringing a claim against the builder if the homeowner takes a “wait and see” approach. If you are seeing water lines or cracking around windows of your second floor, this could be the beginning of a major problem – a problem that may not fully expose itself until it is literally too late to do anything about it.
We understand that for many, there is a natural hesitancy to involve an attorney. However, this is one of those times where an attorney is an extremely important asset to have on your side. Stucco defect attorneys, especially those with experience in this area of law and those who know reputable engineers and contractors, are vital to making sure that homeowners get this issue handled properly. Please contact us at Burnett Wilson Reeder for a free consultation. In many circumstances, we will come out to your home, meet with you, and discuss all of the options with you. Of course, if you prefer to come to our offices in Tampa, we’d be happy to talk to you there as well. Keep in mind that in most circumstances, if you ultimately enter into an agreement with Burnett Wilson Reeder to represent you on a stucco claim, there will be no upfront costs or fees to you whatsoever and you will never have to pay us anything if there is no recovery.
Stay tuned to this page as we will continue to keep it updated with issues related to stucco defects and other consumer and homeowner issues.