The construction of stucco exterior homes in Utah has faced various challenges over the years, resulting in some notable failures. For experienced working professionals in the construction, real estate, and home inspection industries, understanding these failures is crucial for ensuring the longevity and safety of stucco homes. Here's a detailed look at some of the worst construction failures that have compromised Utah's stucco homes:

1. Improper Stucco Application: One of the foremost construction failures observed in Utah is the incorrect application of stucco. Skilled application is critical to prevent cracking and delamination, but when inexperienced laborers fail to apply the stucco correctly, it can lead to significant structural issues.

2. Insufficient Curing Time: Stucco needs adequate time to cure to gain its intended durability. In several instances, subsequent construction stages were rushed, not allowing the stucco to cure properly, compromising the structural integrity of the walls.

3. Lack of Moisture Barriers: Another failure in Utah's stucco homes has been the omission of proper moisture barriers. In the absence of these barriers, water infiltration has caused damage such as mold and wood rot within the wall systems.

4. Inadequate Seam and Joint Treatment: The seams and joints of stucco walls require careful sealing to prevent water intrusion. Some Utah homes have seen severe damage due to poor treatment of these crucial areas, resulting in costly repairs.

5. Neglecting Expansion Joints: Stucco expansion joints are essential to accommodate the natural expansion and contraction of the material. Failure to include these joints has led to unsightly and damaging cracks in numerous homes.

6. Incorrect Stucco Thickness: The thickness of the stucco is essential to its performance. Both excessively thin and too thick applications have been observed, leading to chipping, cracking, and other forms of deterioration.

7. Substandard Flashing Installation: Flashing is crucial for directing water away from vulnerable areas of a home. In numerous Utah homes, improper flashing installation has led to water damage and stucco failure.

8. Overlooking Proper Drainage: Inadequate drainage systems can spell disaster for stucco homes. Without proper drainage, water can collect and seep into walls, causing extensive damage over time.

9. Compromised Structural Framing: Some stucco homes in Utah have suffered because of compromised structural framing, which affects the stucco's adherence and can lead to significant structural concerns.

10. Negligent Maintenance: Like all exterior home finishes, stucco requires regular maintenance. Homeowners who have neglected this upkeep have faced the deterioration of their stucco homes at an accelerated rate.

For professionals involved in stucco home construction and maintenance, awareness and proactive measures can prevent these failures from occurring, ensuring the longevity and quality of Utah's stucco exterior homes.

In the heart of winter, Utah's landscape transforms into a picturesque scene right out of a holiday card. But beneath the calm, frosty exterior, the season's icy grip poses a tangible threat to the durability of stucco exteriors on homes throughout the state. The distinct properties of stucco, while ideal for handling the arid climate of Utah, encounter unique challenges when the temperatures plummet.

How the Freeze-Thaw Cycle Affects Stucco

One of the prime factors that compromises stucco during cold periods is the freeze-thaw cycle. This cycle begins when water permeates the porous surface of the stucco and then expands upon freezing, causing microfractures to form within the material. Repeated freezing and thawing can exacerbate these cracks, eventually leading to significant structural damage if left unaddressed.

Preventive Measures and Timely Maintenance Tips

To shield stucco from the harsh winter elements, homeowners are advised to engage in preventive measures. Proper maintenance includes sealing any visible cracks with a high-quality sealant to prevent water ingress. Keeping gutters and drainage systems clean and functional ensures that excess water is directed away from the stucco walls, reducing the risk of water seeping in and freezing.

Regular inspections, especially after a snowfall or freeze event, can be pivotal in identifying potential issues early on. If smaller patches of damage are spotted, quick repairs may forestall more extensive deterioration. Furthermore, homeowners may consider consulting with professionals who can assess the stucco and apply advanced protective coatings that repel water and enhance the barriers against the cycle of freezing and thawing.

Ultimately, the longevity of stucco siding in Utah's winter hinges on vigilance and proactivity. By understanding the vulnerabilities of stucco to winter's whims and employing strategic measures, homeowners can maintain the aesthetic charm and structural integrity of their stucco homes even as the temperatures plunge.

When water damage strikes your home's stucco, it can turn from a tidy, protective shell to a drab, crumbly mess. However, with precise attention and care, you can revitalize your home's façade from weather-worn to wonderful. Here’s how you can transform your water-damaged stucco through effective repair and maintenance.

Firstly, assessing the extent of water damage is crucial. Look for telltale signs like discoloration, soft spots, and cracks. Tap the surface; hollow sounds may indicate deeper damage. Once you understand the damage, begin the removal process. Carefully chisel away all compromised stucco, taking care not to damage the underlying wire mesh and structural walls.

Have a Professional Apply Your New Stucco

As you prepare to apply new stucco, consider its visual impact. Stucco offers a unique aesthetic—your repair should blend seamlessly with your existing finish. Choose a stucco mix that matches your home’s current texture and style. Color matching and texturing are perhaps the most artistic parts of stucco repair. Use samples to test your color mix against the existing stucco in different lights throughout the day. For texturing, mimic the original technique used—whether it's a float finish, a dash finish, or another style. It is best to use a local professional contractor to make sure your stucco turns out right.

Stucco Durability and Lifespan

Selecting materials for stucco repair should be done with care. Professionals will use high-quality sealants and waterproof coatings designed for stucco. These products should provide flexibility to accommodate structural shifts and temperature changes while ensuring a tight seal against moisture.

After repairing, it's essential to maintain the stucco's appearance. Regularly inspect for signs of water intrusion and seal any cracks promptly. Cleaning and applying water-repellent sealants can protect the stucco and prevent future damage. With expert installation and repair, your stucco around windows and doors will be effectively waterproofed, upholding the beauty and resilience of your home against moisture-related challenges.

By following these steps, your home’s stucco will not only be restored but will also maintain its charm and durability for years to come. Give us a call at RAM Builders Stucco & Exteriors, we will ensure that your exterior stucco construction repairs are done correctly.

Stucco’s versatility and aesthetic appeal have made it a popular choice for centuries, adorning everything from ancient temples to modern homes. It’s one of the most popular materials requested in this region, and at Ram Builders Stucco & Exteriors we have your back. Over time stucco, like any other material, succumbs to wear and tear. The importance of timely stucco repair cannot be overstated—it safeguards not only the integrity of the structure but also the safety and well-being of those residing within.

One of the biggest dangers of neglecting stucco repair lies in the threat it poses to the structural stability of a building. Stucco, often used as an exterior finish, acts as a protective skin, shielding the underlying structure from the elements. When cracks and damages mar its surface, water infiltration becomes a perilous consequence. Water, seemingly innocuous, is a relentless foe. It seeps into crevices, infiltrating the very foundation of a building. Over time, this moisture weakens the structure, eroding its strength like a persistent tide wearing down cliffs of stone.

What if You Don’t Repair Stucco?

The consequences of this erosion can be catastrophic. A weakened structure is more susceptible to collapses, endangering lives and causing irreparable damage. The tragedy is not limited to the physical realm alone. The emotional and financial toll of such an event can be devastating, leaving families displaced and communities shattered.

Beyond the immediate threat to the structure, the aesthetic value of a building cannot be disregarded. Our homes are not just shelters; they are reflections of our identity, our taste, and our pride. Cracked and deteriorating stucco mars the visual appeal, diminishing the grandeur of even the most exquisite architectural designs. Timely stucco repair rejuvenates the facade, breathing life back into the building and preserving its visual allure.

The Cost of Waiting

Additionally, the financial implications of stucco neglect are considerable. What starts as a minor crack, if left unattended, can escalate into a major repair project, demanding substantial financial resources. The longer the repair is postponed, the more extensive and costly it becomes. Procrastination in stucco repair is akin to playing a perilous game with one’s finances, inviting a financial storm that could have been averted with timely intervention.

Beyond the specter of danger and financial strain, stucco repair offers a plethora of benefits. One of the primary advantages lies in the insulation properties of stucco. Properly maintained stucco acts as an excellent insulator, regulating indoor temperatures and reducing energy consumption. This not only translates into lower utility bills but also contributes to environmental conservation by decreasing the demand for energy resources.

Extending Your Investment

Furthermore, stucco repair enhances the longevity of a building. Just as a stitch in time saves nine, a repair in time can add years, if not decades, to the life of a structure. Regular maintenance, including prompt stucco repair, is akin to providing a building with the elixir of longevity, ensuring it stands tall against the test of time.

Keeping on top of stucco repair and maintenance is critical. It’s a process that weaves together the elements of safety, aesthetics, and financial prudence. Neglecting this essential aspect is akin to inviting disaster into our homes. Don’t wait for the cracks to deepen and the damages to escalate. Instead, be proactive in your approach, tending to the needs of your buildings with care and dedication. In these conscientious efforts, we not only preserve the physical structure but also nurture the sense of security and pride that our homes bestow upon us. To schedule your consultation for stucco repair today, get in touch with Ram Builders Stucco & Exteriors.

Stucco is a gorgeous option for any home’s exterior. It’s durable and attractive, making it a wise choice throughout Utah. Even with stucco’s amazing quality, it is still susceptible to the forces of nature. Utah’s winter has been intense to say the least, especially if you live in the northern area of the state. The Great Salt Lake and all our other bodies of water will be grateful for the heavy snowpack come summertime, but our homes may not love it so much. Many homes across the Wasatch Front are likely to experience some sort of water damage from the melting snow, but we’re here to help.

Signs of Water Damage

Stucco resists moisture, but there is certainly a tipping point. If you notice bumps on the surface, those are early signs of water damage. If you don’t treat these areas quickly, your stucco can delaminate, which causes pieces to fall off. Once these pieces fall off, it exposes areas underneath the stucco, allowing more water to get in and more damage to occur. Sometimes this damage can lead to dry rot, which is usually an extensive and costly repair. If you notice bumps on your stucco, don’t attempt to simply patch it up unless you know for certain it will treat the whole problem. Rather, contact our professionals for an assessment and a moisture test. A professional knows what to look for to ensure you’re getting to the root of the problem. Often, the moisture is coming in from somewhere completely different than where the issue is visible, and in order to repair it correctly, the work needs to take place at the source. A proper assessment ensures the damage is treated at the root cause, so the same problem doesn’t occur over and over again.

Water Damage Solutions

In addition to fixing the cosmetic damage, a proper remedy may include the application of a drainage plane material to prevent more water from entering, the application of a vapor barrier to prevent vapor migration, improving sealant or implementing additional sealant, patching the areas where stucco has fallen off or is loose and cracking, and/or modifying weep screeds to ensure water is draining properly. Depending on the severity of the issue, one or all solutions could be required. Because of possible hidden issues, an expert is best for these repairs.

Costs of Water Damage

Repair costs will depend heavily on the extent of water damage and what materials will be needed. The good news is that often these repairs can be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. If you have a flood insurance policy, you’re likely doubly covered. If you notice any damage on your stucco, even if it’s slight, don’t delay. Get us out to your property for an assessment and tackle the issue before it becomes a major ordeal. Sometimes stucco can be damaged so badly, the only solution is replacement. We can help determine the best approach for your situation. Keep a lookout on your property while all this snow is melting and reach out to us with any concerns—even those beyond stucco.

Building your dream home or remodeling should be a positive experience. The contractor you choose will be one of the most important decisions you make on this journey. Your contractor should be excited to assist you in making your dream a reality. When you’re assessing contracting companies, here are some red flags to look out for:

  1. Contract issues – A good contractor will have you sign a contract that is clear and fair. This protects them, which shows they care about their employees, but it also protects you, which shows they care about your relationship. The contract shouldn’t be confusing or rushed, and if you have questions, they should answer them honestly.
  2. A very low estimate – Some contactors give estimates that sound too good to be true just to get work. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go with a lower bid, it just means to ask about the quality of their products and workmanship, to read their credentials and references, and to make sure they know your expectations.
  3. They ask you to handle the permits – Getting the permits for your project is their responsibility. They should get all the permitting handled before they start the project.
  4. No proof of insurance – A good contractor should be insured to protect their employees and their clients. If they can’t prove they have insurance or they expect you to be liable in any accidents, this is not good practice.
  5. Cutting corners – Make sure your contactor doesn’t take shortcuts or buy inferior materials. Ensure they follow codes and the guidelines necessary for your project. We know no one likes to be stuck in construction mode for too long, but a rushed job is much worse.
  6. Their homes haven’t lasted – If you’ve seen their work and it hasn’t held up, chances are they aren’t providing quality work with quality products.
  7. Poor communication – Your contractor should be reasonably available to you and your calls. If you’re brushed aside or feeling like a constant bother to your contractor, they’re not treating your job as a priority. Be sure they’re communication is honest, clear, and open.
  8. Large upfront payments – Most contractors require an upfront payment, but if it’s more than about 20% of the job, that’s a bad sign. Also, if they only deal in cash, that may be a red flag.
  9. Their job site is not maintained – If they’re working in a mess and it’s looking hazardous, that’s a sign of sloppiness, but more seriously it means they may not be following OSHA guidelines for safe practices.
  10. Poor reviews and complaints – Check online reviews and make sure the good reviews far outweigh the bad. If they don’t have any reviews to show, ask them. If they won’t provide any, be wary. You can also check the BBB to see if there are unresolved complaints against the contractor.

At RAM Builders Stucco and Exteriors, we take pride in our ethical practices and always strive to achieve exactly what our clients have envisioned. For quality work, reach out to us today.

With home prices high and a hot seller’s market, it may be tempting to put your house on the market right now. We want to present you with a few reasons to stay put rather than sell. There are many things to consider before moving, so if you’re on the fence right now, read this before making any decisions.

Customize Your Current Home

Unless you’re planning on a custom build, buying another home will probably not come with everything on your checklist. Choosing to remodel or upgrade your current home can tick off your entire checklist and get all your needs into a new design. Many people choose to move simply because they don’t love the curb appeal of their home. It’s important that you love the exterior of your home, and even if you feel limited with your current structure, an expert exterior company can show you options you probably never thought were possible.

Stay in the Neighborhood You Love

Many of us get attached to our neighborhood and location. If this is you and you want a more functional home but love where you are, consider a remodel. You don’t have to leave your community or force your kids to say goodbye to their friends if you redo the parts of your home that are crucial to your happiness. If you’re in an older home and want it to look more modern, there are many upgrades you can do that are cost-effective and will increase your home’s value.

Add Value to Your Home

Most remodels and upgrades will add value to your home. This is only true if they’re high-quality and professional jobs. You’ve likely paid down your home over the years already and updating your home in smart ways will build equity and increase the overall value of the home. With such a large investment as a home, you want to make sure you’re remodeling projects are done with care and precision to maximize your ROI. Exterior remodels need extra care because if something is done improperly, leaking can occur and cause damage to the inside of the home as well.

You Don’t Have to Move All Your Stuff

For many of us, moving isn’t the most enjoyable process. Plus, moving expenses can get high quickly, from minor necessary improvements in your current home to make it appealing to buyers to hiring a moving company to help you out. Rather, put these costs that you can’t recoup back into the asset that is your home. Avoid the hassle of moving by improving the home you currently have.

Sentimental Reasons

Your memories are what makes a house a home. You’ve probably had some good and bad times in your home, and it may be hard to leave that all behind. If you feel an attachment to your home and are struggling with the thought of saying goodbye to those memories, consider options for remodeling and upgrades. We can get tied emotionally to a home, and it often feels good to put money into making it nicer for us and future generations.

Stucco is a popular choice for exteriors in Utah. If you’re building a home and are narrowing down the many exterior options or looking to renovate your current stucco, you may be struggling to pick a style for your stucco’s finish. Here’s a quick low down of the different finish options to help you make your decision:

Dash Finish: This finish is also called Roughcast. It’s one of the most popular options throughout Utah, and a great choice for any style of home. It looks a little like textured, small gravel and you can choose from light to dense in terms of coarseness depending on your preferences.

Skip-trowel Finish: This finish is also called Spanish Lace. It’s another popular finish found throughout Utah and looks lovely with the two-coat process with a forgiving texture. It hides imperfections well and ranges from fine to coarse in pattern.

Santa Barbara Finish: This is a smooth-style finish that is a little difficult to apply but looks amazing. It’s highly customizable and is easy to clean. Adding color to this style can be done directly to the wall and gives it a mottled look. Maintenance is a bit higher with this stucco finish, but the beautiful finished look may be worth it.

Cat Face Finish: This finish is also called Montalvo or California. You will recognize this finish by its overall smoothness with patches of rough areas that can range from small to large. The method is done with two layers—the first layer is a rough coat and the second is the smooth coat that is applied in a way that allows the rough undercoat to randomly show through.

English Finish: This is one of oldest stucco techniques and it’s easy to pick out. The look is a heavily brushed finish and shows like large paint strokes. This style looks great on older, historic homes and is a very durable, classic option.

Sand Finish: This finish is also called Float. It is slightly similar to dash finishes but it’s more delicate, creating a finer textured look. You’ve likely seen this finish on businesses because they repair well and hide imperfections, but they’re also great on homes with large areas of stucco sections.

Worm Finish: Worms may not sound appealing, so let’s call this groove or swirl finishing. These indentations create a unique look on your home and pairs well with siding. It’s not the most popular choice, but that doesn’t mean it looks bad—stand out from the crowd with this option. It’s done by hand and is time consuming, but with a professional service like RAM Builders and Stucco, you can be sure the job is done right.

Smooth Finish: This creamy and beautiful finish style is the most complex of these options. You’ll want an expert to complete this task. Color choices are endless and look beautiful on the smooth surface. It’s a high-end look that will turn heads. However, it is difficult to patch when cracks occur, so you’ll want to be prepared for maintenance needs for this one.

For any stucco task, our experts can help. Reach out to us for a free estimate.

Trends may come and go, but you can still be “trendy” while also staying timeless and classic. This year, a lot of the great trends we’re seeing around the country are just that—timeless. Some trends are better left undone, and the “go big or go home” mentality is not always the best when it comes to such an expensive and large item as a home. You can still pack a beautiful and current punch with an exterior remodel while also feeling secure that you won’t want to redo everything in just a few years.

Let’s talk colors. The color of your home is a huge deal, whether it’s brick, stucco, siding, or a combination of materials. White has been huge for a while; you’ve seen it everywhere – maybe you even live in it! White is going stay, but this year it’s going a bit softer. Think warmer whites and light creams (not beige or tan though) this year instead of the stark whitest of whites. The contrast with a dark or even black is also looking like it’ll stay. It’s a classic look that is pretty on basically every style from farmhouse to contemporary and French country to colonial designs. If you love the contrast but are worried to get in too deep, go for a color blocking method, which allows you to experiment with your contrasting desires without going too much. Other color options that will likely remain popular include neutrals that are soft and blend into nature, such as subtle greens and blues. If you’re in an older home, simply painting the brick, siding, or stucco will completely transform your home. Bring your ideas to us—we have lots of experience and can provide great advice.

How about textures? Adding some texture to your exterior is a great way to bring a classy and expensive look to your home. Wood trims, stone sections, or brick accents are great options. This year we’re seeing a love for copper which is beautiful on the eyes but not so much on the pocketbook. There are many options even if you’re on a tight budget. Faux accents are readily available and when applied correctly, they can look just a gorgeous as the real thing. If you want to mix textures, this is a great year to do it. You’ll want a builder you can bounce ideas off of to make sure you don’t get too much going and to help you find materials that go well together. Adding cosmetic textures is a relatively inexpensive way to update your home.

The modern minimalist. Minimalist design has been a popular interior design trend for a while. We’re seeing a desire for a similar look on homes’ exteriors. We know this design can get very bold very quick, but don’t be afraid to add in elements somewhere on your home’s exterior. Think monochrome lighting, more windows, simple and clear geometric lines, and simple yet elegant features.

Redesigning or remodeling the exterior of your home is a big project that can change the whole look of your home. Our professionals can deliver whatever new look you want for 2022.

Stucco is a common exterior finishing in Utah due to its ability to withstand the high heat in the summer and the extreme cold in the winter and with its high resistance to water damage. Stucco is also very affordable and looks amazing for years when installed by a professional. There are numerous color options for stucco exteriors, and because it’s so affordable, it’s easy to update later on if you want to try a new look as trends come and go.

Real estate in Utah is booming with new homes being built all over the state. If you’re building a home or renovating, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful stucco exterior. There are several finishing options to choose from such as worm finishes with tiny indents and grooves, smooth finishes that have a clean European look, sand finishes that are simple and familiar, or lace finishing, which is the most common style you’ve most likely seen before, and even more.

Warm wood tones, creamy whites, dark grays, and bronzes are predicted to be hot choices for home exteriors throughout 2021 and 2022. Whether you have the gorgeous Wasatch Mountains as your backdrop or the stunning red rocks around central and southern Utah, a classic black or dark gray trim with white stucco is one very popular option right now, yet also timeless. The high contrast in this finishing is eye-catching and can be especially appealing on a new home. On the contrary, a white on white can be just as stunning. There are a million shades of white that can be beautiful when paired together appropriately. Combining two different shades of white with your stucco and trim creates a soothing look for your exterior style.

With stucco, you can easily showcase your bold and artistic flare with numerous color choices. Navy with a bright white trim can be truly elegant. By pairing a dark color such as navy or green with a thin neutral white trim will keep the attention where you want it while also creating clean lines and finishes. Red shades pair very well with wood elements and darker trims, creating a welcoming, warm exterior that is also eye-catching. In Utah, a rich red stucco looks especially amazing against the greenery in the spring and summer as well as the white snow in the winter. Our team of experts can help you decide on what color combinations speak to you while also informing you of what’s trending.

RAM Builders has your back when it comes to your home’s stucco exterior anywhere in Utah. We keep up on current trends and understand the importance of a timeless look, which allows us to proficiently assist you from the initial color and finishing style selection process to the final application. Our crew consists of employees rather than mostly subcontractors, so you can trust that we are highly trained and committed to our projects. Our employees are clean, efficient, and knowledgeable about everything stucco (and more!).

STUCCO REPAIR OR EXTERIOR REMODELING QUESTIONS? PLEASE GIVE US A CALL.

American Architectural Manufacturers Associationexterior home remodel and repair contractorHome Builders AssociationMember NFIBAWCI member