Storm Stories: The Veranda story

I was called in to repair this condominium in Ft. Walton Beach when water intrusion damage was detected.  The original builder was long gone.  This is what happens when water intrusion gets trapped by stucco wrapped around a beam. The stucco can act as a bowl holding water around the beam and create the ideal conditions for rotting. These beams were about to fail. If someone on the top floor had a bunch of guests at their door that might have been enough extra weight to cause a catastrophic failure of the walkway.

It's amazing that there had not been a catastrophic collapse of this porch yet.  There's hardly anything left of this porch beam where it connects to the wall.

Here are the telltale signs. Cracks in the stucco under the bottom of the beams. Dark stains from the rotting wood inside. It's never a good idea to encapsulate an exposed beam like this. Water got in but had no way to get it. It just marinated the beam.

All the sheathing and quite a few of the wall studs were rotted out behind the stucco. Poor stucco control joint installation and bad flashing around the windows allowed water to get in and trickle down inside rotting everything out along the way down.

It's amazing these beams were still holding. This building was one hurricane away from catastrophic failure.

You'd never know from looking at this building that it was about to fall over in the next big wind.

House of cards

This is what we found after removing the old stucco from around the porch beams. The entire left side wall was rotted out behind the stucco from top to bottom, the result of poor window flashing and faulty stucco joints. This building was one good wind storm away from total collapse. You wouldn't suspect it from it's outward appearance though.

"Thanks for saving our building. We had no idea how close we came to disaster. "

~ John Grayson

Les White, Acorn Construction General Contractor, #RG0055853
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