The building industry first learned about the problems with synthetic stucco siding in 1994 when hundreds of new or almost-new homes in North Carolina suffered significant water damage. Since then, the controversy has mushroomed into a mess of lawsuits. A trial for the products was just started in early October, and it is expected to last through December. Even though the issue has been geographically limited, some building industry experts recognize that the problems are broader.
As a barrier system, synthetic stucco is susceptible to leakage even with a perfect installation. Because the material is impermeable, moisture will get through, causing costly repairs. Properly installed flashings and caulk around windows are necessary to prevent moisture from seeping through the walls and siding. If they do, water damage can become a costly issue. Despite these benefits, the installation process is not always enough to ensure the longevity of the synthetic stucco system.