Delamination creates bad public relations for your company, your firm and the building community.


It’s important to be clear that unless there is widespread wholesale failure, the delamination can be isolated. Removal of the unbonded paint or finish coat and re-application of the finish and paint coat will solve the problem. That is unless the foam and basecoat are soft enough to put your keys through the coating as you see above.

img_0255To keep it from happening in the first place requires that you are clear about 3 things:

  •  The need for a stable basecoat: in this case solid basecoat and netting
  •  No entryways for moisture
  •  Roof drainage away from the popout or Architectural Foam

Moisture entry ways include plaster freeze block joints, window/plaster joints, horizontal reveal screeds without joints that are set in a bed of caulk, signage holes, parapet caps, etc.

The other critical issue is the breathability of the paint coat. Industry standards recommend only elastomeric coatings that are breathable.

In the case of these foam columns, the roof scuppers dumped moisture directly onto the foam until the finish delaminated.

If your brown coat or finish coat is soft, an elastomeric paint coat can be easily pulled off or picked off. Making sure the stucco finish is hard prior to application of the elastomeric paint coat is critical.


A school job I looked at in the California central valley had finish that had flash dried in the middle of summer and was painted. The whole paint/stucco coat needed to be scraped off then re-applied –  the whole school.

If you have questions about this condition or other situations, call or email:

Bruce Bell
Bell Construction Consulting

Consultation with licensed and experienced stucco professionals is recommended for stucco-related endeavors. No liability is accepted for any reason or circumstance, specifically including personal or professional negligence, consequential damages or third party claims, based on any legal theory, from the use, misuse or reliance upon information presented or in any way connected with