Selling property can be a challenge—one that’s magnified dramatically if the structure faces the damaging effects of mold and rot. In an upscale Doylestown, Pa., neighborhood, improper sill flashing and reverse through-flashing on window openings are contributing to these severe moisture management issues in a series of stucco homes.

AI Restoration, a local construction and repair firm specializing in stucco, tested for water damage in a number of homes in the community. Analysis showed extensive damage and the firm recommended Benjamin Obdyke’s HydroGap drainable housewrap and HydroFlash self-adhered flashing to help filter the water out of the building envelope. As AI Restoration’s universal water management system for siding installations, the manufacturer’s products are made to effectively manage moisture and increase the life of structures following remediation.

Proper installation would also be critical in certain areas throughout the homes, such as underneath the edges of windows and around doors, where moisture is most likely to creep in.

“Realistically, when a moisture management system is re-installed, water should be able to drain between the housewrap and the façade without penetrating the building envelope and causing damage,” says Bryan Darby, operations manager at AI Restoration. “Dissimilar services are the root cause of these problems in many of the homes we work on. While windows may not necessarily be leaking, the water that gets between the window frame and the stucco can be extremely difficult to remove without the proper drainage solution.”

Prep Work

Remediation of one of the houses required AI Restoration to remove approximately 3,700 square feet of stucco covering the sides and back of the home. The area included a large walkout basement that showed elevated moisture readings along the back wall.

Before installing the specified moisture management system, AI Restoration needed to replace a significant amount of sheathing, framing and band board throughout this home. This was a weeks-long process in which the remediation team oversaw staging the home with scaffolding, pulling and resetting doors and windows, extensive rot repair, proper flashing installation, roofing work and more.

As the next step, the Benjamin Obdyke service team provided product recommendations for warranty-approved installation. From the time they arrived on-site, the team worked hand-in-hand with AI Restoration to ensure best practices were implemented throughout the installation on this home. That process was repeated in every home AI Restoration worked on in the community.

Wrap it Up

AI Restoration wrapped homes with HydroGap, a drainable housewrap that is produced to remove bulk water up to 100 times faster than a typical housewrap. The product creates a drainage space between the sheathing and cladding material, allowing water to quickly escape the building envelope. This advantage is critical for combatting wind-driven rain and other extreme weather conditions common in the Northeast U.S. Additionally, the product’s low profile drainage space eliminates the need for design changes in the wall assembly.

The product was also used to create a tight seal over sheets of the drainable housewrap, protecting against moisture and air intrusions. Considering the reverse lapping of the prior, failed installation, properly applying the housewrap was a major upgrade that eliminated the potential for leakage around windows, doors and other penetrations.

After the moisture management system was installed, the warrantied stucco board needed approximately six weeks to cure. AI Restoration pointed to the combination of products and knowledgeable on-site support services from the manufacturer as a key to accelerating completion and reducing labor costs for these projects.

AI Restoration is a leader in providing solutions to these common moisture issues. Over the course of more than 17 years, the company has transformed thousands of homes using the highest quality moisture management systems on the market. 

Current homeowners in the community will be able to focus on selling their home without worrying about the effects of water damage, while future homebuyers will have peace-of-mind that their investment will be properly protected from water intrusion for years to come.

“We’re in business to provide our customers with the optimum solutions for moisture management,” said Darby. “We pride ourselves on using the best products on the market, and we’ve been able to do that time after time with systems and support from Benjamin Obdyke.”