There are lots of different codes and requirements that are needed for stucco and one of those codes is how far away the soil should be from the weep screed, or the bottom of the stucco wall. The answer may not be as simple as just providing a specified measurement though and we will be going into some of those variables in this post.
How Far Away Should The Soil Be From My Weep Screed?
Let's just look at the minimum requirements first and then we will go from there. According to the International Building Code, you are supposed to have a minimum of 4 inches from the bottom of your weep screed to the soil or dirt. This clearance is reduced to 2 inches (minimum) for harder surfaces like concrete and asphalt.
Keep in mind that is the minimum requirement and a distance of around 6-8 inches is usually much better, if your situation allows for it.
What If I Don't Have The Minimum Clearance?
If you live in a house that does not have a 4" minimum clearance from the bottom of the weep screed to the dirt, in most cases you don't have to worry about it, if there has not been an issue in that area of the house regarding moisture, generally.
If you do see problems starting to pop up or are just worried about something potentially happening in the future and want to prevent it from happening then there are a couple of things you can do that come to mind.
Do Some Leveling:
If you have enough room around your house, you could do some dirt work to gain the required clearance that you need (or more) by loosening the soil up and feathering it away from your house. A tractor is ideal for this but in certain circumstances, a rototiller and a rake can work well too, it will just take quite a bit longer.
There is a grade recommendation as well and those minimum requirements are that the soil should slope a minimum of ten feet from the house and have a minimum slope of 5%, which I believe, is roughly 6 inches of fall for that ten foot span.
The Other Option:
If you don't have that kind of space and are much more limited around your house, which I think is more common, then the only other option you have would be to install some type of drainage system that would divert the water from specific areas, away from your home.
This is usually accomplished by digging down a bit, laying some pipe or sections of drain piping and sloping those to run down and away from your house, the same way grading the perimeter would work.