Stucco installed over wood framing is subject to significant damage when water gets behind the stucco. Often, only small signs are visible that indicate water entry. Typically, there’s much more damage visible than one might suspect. Destructive inspection is the only way to determine the extent of the damage.
I’ve shown some examples of this below.
This doesn’t look too bad from the outside, but the interior is a different story.
At this two year old home there are slight water stains visible on the column below the stucco clad box structure. Removal of the stucco revealed heavy damage. The entire bottom of the box structure was rotted away.
Two year old home. Exterior looks fine, no staining or damage, but lacking drainage.
Damage at bottom of box structure due to lack of drainage. In a few more years, the wood structure here will be heavily damaged.
One year old building with no weep screed at bottom of wall for drainage. Trapped water has caused the bottom of the wall to rot. Photo below is same wall after removing stucco. This wall is one year old!