Your best defense? Prevention. An ounce is worth the proverbial pound of cure in averting litigation.
Demand adequate information from the seller. If you represent the buyer, insist on obtaining all relevant, available information about a stucco home from the seller even if your state doesn’t require disclosure. Is the system traditional stucco or is it EIFS? Have repairs been performed? Have moisture readings or other inspections been conducted? Although low moisture readings are no guarantee that there isn’t a problem with EIFS, one or more high moisture readings definitely indicate the need for investigation.
Encourage your client to obtain an EIFS inspection. Hire an Atlanta certified stucco inspector rather than a home inspector because the more invasive testing methods certified stucco inspectors use are more likely to find moisture problems. As is the case when recommending any vendor, offer buyers several names to choose from. Also advise the client that if they use an invasive test, they may have to return the property to its prior condition.