1. 4)Keep a maintenance alley between the wall and shrubs planted near the house. Dense bushes growing up against a home, like in in the photo below, keep the wall surface wet longer and promotes mildew, which will deteriorate the paint finish.

  2. 5)Many people replace just the bottom one to two feet of their plywood siding  when it shows signs of rot and de-lamination at the base of the panel. This is fine as long as you install a “Z” flashing at the horizontal seam that is created in the wall. Otherwise, it becomes an opening for rain to get into and start a new wood-rot cycle. Just caulking is not sufficient. To read more about it, go to our blog post “What is Z flashing?”

  3. 6)Secondary areas where premature failure of plywood siding is also likely to occur are at corners and around window and door openings, usually caused by inadequate or deteriorated caulking letting rain water get behind the plywood. A professional painter knows that repainting a house means re-caulking too, but many homeowners skip that step. Be sure to caulk carefully when you repaint, check the caulk beads every few years to see how they are holding up, and touchup as necessary.

  4. 7)   So, how do you know when your stucco is at the end of its lifespan? “Look for areas of de-lamination, blistering, and also stain streaks down the surface—indicating a problem behind it,” according to Jeff. You have probably already seen a simulation of failing stucco at your favorite Italian restaurant as part of the decor: a ragged patch of missing wall surface with brick showing through and a few cracks around it. Call it Old World Charm when Chianti bottles are hanging in front of it, but on your own house that’s a problem. If you see defects developing in your wall surface, an experienced stucco contractor can evaluate them for you to determine whether repairs to the area or total replacement is necessary.

  To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post “How accurate are the average lifespan ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?”

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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