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Beachfront High-Rise Condominiums, Southeastern Coast U.S.

Buildings built along the east cost of the United States are subjected to severe weather conditions.  Many of the high rise condominiums built along the shores of the east coast in the 1980s were found to have chronic leakage problems to the interior leading to staining, damage to finishes, and mold and deterioration of structural wall systems.

WDP investigated the nature, extent, and severity of the stucco problems on a high-rise structure built in the late 1980s with exterior walls comprised of steel studs clad with exterior sheathing and Portland cement plaster (stucco).  Several destructive and nondestructive tests were performed to aid in the investigation.  Infrared thermography was used to determine where the stucco was installed over concrete, masonry, or stud walls.  Ultrasonic and direct measurements were made to determine structural properties of corroded studs, and water penetration tests were performed to determine the actual flow paths for water leakage. Following these studies, recommendations for repairs were made with detailed cost estimates.