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What Is EIFS ü ü Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) is a multi-layered exterior wall system that is composed of foam board insulation that is glued or nailed to the structural sheathing (usually Oriented Strand Board - OSB) on the exterior of a home. A field applied fiberglass mesh is installed over the outer surface of the foam which is then finished with two or more coats of the synthetic stucco-like material.
Statements ü ü ü Energy Efficiency Exterior in an energy-efficient thermal blanket. Reduces air infiltration, Design Flexibility Maintenance & Repair Resistance to dirt
Synthetic stucco ü Randomly tested EIFS - 95% found to have some moisture problems, with the resulting damage $4, 000 to $10, 000. ü American Institute of Architects found "unacceptably high" moisture levels in 90% of the 205 EIFS homes it tested.
Identify EIFS / Real Stucco ü ü EIFS is relatively light and only about 3/8 of an inch thick, and sounds hollow when tapped. Real Stucco Cement contains sand water. It is heavy and feels and sounds solid when tapped. It is a much harder material.
The Problem with EIFS (Synthetic Stucco) ü When properly installed, a waterproof system such as this leads to trapped moisture behind the coating. ü Trapped moisture inside of exterior walls contributes to decay of structural lumber. A study in Wilmington, North Carolina found that builders frequently installed the material incorrectly or homeowners failed to maintain it properly. ü In every case, water intrusion is attributable to one or more of the following situations:
The Problem with EIFS (Synthetic Stucco) ü Water finds its way behind the EIFS from gaps at window openings, roofs and other structural terminations. In some cases, this results in localized water damage to the underlying wood sheathing or structure.
The Problem with EIFS (Synthetic Stucco) ü No flashing or improper flashing at rooflines, heads of penetrations, deck-to-house attachments and other joints.
The Problem with EIFS ü Faulty caulking at penetration points or correct caulking which is not applied according to the EIFS manufacturer or sealant manufacturer's specifications.
Signs of EIFS Damage ü Around Windows and Doors Check that installers held the surface 3/8 - 1/2 inch back from the window or door. Check caulk joints for continuity. Be wary of transitions between different exterior materials like EIFS and wood siding.
At Roof & Wall Flashings ü Inspect sidewall and roof flashings for proper placement and coverage. Kickout flashings are needed where eaves of lower roof butts into sidewall.
At Penetrations ü Make sure installers sealed all penetrations (including deck ledgers, utilities and meters, electrical boxes, gutter components, and shutter fasteners).
Inspecting EIFS There are several special pieces of inspection equipment that are necessary to inspect EIFS. üRadar based scanning moisture meters üDeep wall probe moisture meters üStructural Resistance Tester
Summary EIFS construction on residences have a: ü ü Higher Probability of installation and moisture problems Potential mold problem Possible insurance considerations Potential for loss of value if the general public develops more awareness and concerns about the problems associated with EIFS
Realtors should ü ü ü Identify type of stucco Check history of problems with seller Properly disclose Thoroughly inspect and test ¨ Use reputable inspectors Use a warranty program such as Moisture Free Warranty to provide assurance to the continued soundness of the EIFS cladding and structure.
A closer Look Inspection Service ü ü ü Jim and Lorê Hemsell ¨ Lorê was the 1 st female Texas Home Inspector 28 years ago ¨ Jim has been an Inspector for 22 years and served on TREC’s Inspectors Committee for 5 years (TREC #129) Business (940) 981 -3803 Cell (214)244 -3118 www. Professionalinspector. com [email protected] com