Stucco wall crack water leak testing
Not all stucco cracks leak water. Despite what many people think about stucco walls, stucco walls are not water-resistant. As a matter of fact water actually absorbs into the stucco. In most cases, the problem with water leaking through stucco is that the building envelope has been breached. Stucco wall crack water leak testing is the most effective way to resolve stucco water intrusion issues.
In our experience water enters a building through many areas. Such as rusted or deteriorated nails, tears in the building paper, or from the weep screed. But not always.
In the case of this house, we were called to source water intrusion within a closet. During the course of the home inspection, the inspector located mold within an extra closet. After, a mold specialist was hired to inspect the closet. The mold inspector did confirm the presence of mold throughout the closet. What the inspector did not confirm, however, what the origin of the water intrusion.
We were hired to source or otherwise determine where water was entering into the closet. Of course, once we arrived we noticed significant cracking in the stucco on the exterior side of the house. We further noticed cracks as well as the deck.
Furthermore, we also observed a separation of the stairwell directly above the closet. Not only do we have to water test the stucco itself for leaking. We also have to test the stucco cracks for water intrusion. In light of this, the only way to rule out water leaking through the stucco as apposed to water leaking through the stucco crack was to perform A / B testing.
Our steps in testing Stucco walls for water leaks
Although the water intrusion through the stucco wall appears to be obvious to many. Still we have to go through the steps necessary to isolate the primary cause of the water intrusion.
In general, in order to determine the source of water intrusion, we must first remove the wall covering materials. In this case, we had to remove the interior drywall from the closet in order to determine the location of the water intrusion.
On the other hand, however, our client did not want us to remove the exterior finishes to perform our stucco leak and deck tests. It’s worth noting for us as water intrusion specialists, we always suggest removal of all finishes prior to any testing.
Nevertheless, we performed our stucco wall leak testing regardless of exterior finishes.
As is the case with most water intrusion testing, we test from the lowest point possible first working our way to the top in 15-minute increments. With A / B testing, however, we perform all of our tests twice. Our wall testing is in accordance with the ASTM E2128.
First of all, the first test was performed with the stucco wall crack isolated.
After which, once testing has been performed from the bottom to the top once again, we start over. In like manner, we performed the same tests now with the crack exposed.
Cracks in Stucco wall leaked water
Although water intrusion was not detected from the stucco wall test (A), the water did, however, enter into the closet from the weatherstripping. As a result, this caused us to isolate the door itself from the testing.
During the course of the B stucco wall water leak test, water was immediately detected from within the crack almost immediately. Regardless, we still performed our testing from the bottom to the top. In other words, we wanted to confirm that the crack was the cause of the leaking. As opposed to just one small area.
Deck leak test for water intrusion
In conclusion, after the stucco wall water leak test was performed, it was determined that the entire crack leaked water from the ground to the top. All in all the test was a success however we still had to test the deck. Generally speaking, even though we discovered water leaking through the stucco wall crack we still, however, complete all of our necessary testings to rule out multiple leak locations.
In order to effectively test the deck, we had to isolate the deck. Isolating the deck requires the use of barriers. Obviously, we did not want to flood the entire deck. This test might affect other areas of the building not within our scope.
Once the deck was isolated we’re able to perform our water intrusion test. As can be seen from our images water leaked into the closet almost immediately and was very significant. As a matter of fact, the water was so bad we stopped our test prematurely.
In summary, with all of the water intrusion testing we performed on this day, we were satisfied that the locations which created the mold within the closet have been identified.