Florida is known for its sunshine, beaches, and stucco homes. Homes with beautiful stucco exteriors are found in almost every HOA. Unfortunately and unbeknownst to most homeowners, many stucco homes are heavily damaged because the stucco was installed poorly. More and more homeowners in HOA's are now discovering that their stucco homes have significant damage caused by improper stucco installation. Several national and regional builders in Florida have recently been held responsible for millions of dollars of damages from improper stucco installation.
Just recently, a community in Jacksonville received a jury verdict for almost $10 million dollars against the national home builder who built their homes with stucco exteriors. These homeowners were fortunate the builder was found responsible and had insurance, otherwise, the owners would have been stuck paying for the repairs themselves.
In other related news, a well-known Florida builder recently entered into a "Consent Judgement" with the Florida Attorney General's office relating to its improper installation of stucco on homes the builder built in Florida.
We are receiving wide-spread property damage complaints from stucco improperly installed on condominiums, townhomes, and single-family homes.
Last week, I visited a beautiful community association to investigate complaints about cracking and streaking of the exterior stucco. The community was freshly painted and looked absolutely beautiful. However, when we looked more closely, it was clear that the stucco had failed and, just behind the stucco exterior, the building was inundated with mold and wood rot. The beautiful building appearance from the outside was incredibly deceiving as to what was really happening behind the stucco. Without seeking legal help, this community and their owners would have incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars as a direct result of the improper stucco application.
The upshot is that stucco homes may look great from the outside, but a simple investigation of your home, townhome or condo, by a qualified consultant can reveal whether extremely expensive damages lurk behind the stucco.
Sample Cut-Out Needed to Inspect
Homeowners with exterior stucco walls should not sit and wait. There are statutes of limitations and ultimate repose. You must seek help no later than 10 years from completion of construction to have the installers repair the damage or pay for the repairs.
These are hard deadlines for homeowners to bring claims against parties responsible for the defective stucco. In light of your investment in your home (and the cost to peel back stucco and repair underlying damage), it makes sense to contact a qualified consultant for a simple inspection of your exterior stucco siding.