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E.I.F.S (Exterior Insulated Finished Surfaces) vs. Hard Coat Stucco Understanding the Differences Understanding the Problems. Presented By: National Property Inspections. National Property Inspections, Inc. Company founded-February 1987

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E.I.F.S(Exterior Insulated Finished Surfaces)vs. Hard Coat StuccoUnderstanding the DifferencesUnderstanding the Problems

Presented By:

National Property Inspections


National Property Inspections, Inc.

Company founded-February 1987

Roland Bates-President-Experienced Contractor/Inspector

Close to 300 franchise inspectors nationwide and Canada

Each Franchise Independently Owned and Operated

Have trained inspectors for over 22 years

Over one million inspections conducted by NPI

Corporate Office-Omaha, NE

hard coat stucco
Hard Coat Stucco
  • AKA Portland cement stucco, Traditional stucco, One-Two Coat Stucco, FRP (Fiber re-enforced plaster)
  • Construction:
    • Substrate-Plywood, OSB (oriented strand board), concrete block
    • Asphalt impregnated felt-Moisture barrier, (AKA-tar paper, builders felt)
    • Metal lath- holds plaster to home
    • Plaster-1/2”, fiber reinforced,(old) horse hair, (new) fiberglass
    • Finish Coat-Texture, color
  • Only systems incorporating wire mesh are considered to be Hard Coat Stucco
hard coat stucco1
Hard Coat Stucco
  • Breathable, drainable, durable. Fewer problems associated with hard coat applications
  • Moisture barrier inside system
  • How to identify:
    • From edge
    • Very hard (cement)
    • Exposed metal lathe
    • Expansion joints, horizontal and vertical
    • Tap Test: solid sound
    • Push Test: no give, rigid
hard coat stucco2
Hard Coat Stucco
  • Application/Installation:
    • Felt paper applied to sheathing
    • Wire mesh installed
  • Expansion joints installed between first and second floor; every 12’ vertical !
  • Certain areas allow mesh and mortar to be applied to “foam board” (do not confuse this with EIFS installation)
eifs exterior insulated finished systems
EIFS-Exterior Insulated Finished Systems
  • Synthetic Stucco
    • Looks great, easy to shape, insulates well
  • Brand Names:
    • (AKA’s) Dryvit, Sto, Semnergy, Thoro Systems, United States Gypsum (UGA), Firestone, Parex, Bonsol, Omega, Pleco, Retro Tech Inc., Corev, Universal Polymers, H.B. Fuller, Acro Crete, Masterwall
  • Most expensive exterior cladding -
  • Typical Components:
  • Substrate - Plywood, OSB, concrete block
  • Insulating board - Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
  • Attachment - adhesive or mechanical
  • Mesh - impact resistance
  • Base coat- Moisture barrier, uniform surface for finish coat
  • Finish coat - Color, texture
  • Back wrapping must be performed at all penetrations, terminations, dissimilar materials along with backer rods and effective usage of recommended caulk
  • Termination:
  • Backer rod and sealant at ALL penetrations and terminations
    • Expansion joints, windows, doors, light fixtures, wires, A/C lines, door bells, vents, outlets, roof/wall intersections, decks, etc,
    • Many homes only surface caulk
    • Backer rod Shapes caulk (hour glass)
    • More efficient use of caulk
    • Secondary moisture barrier
eifs why are there so many problems
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
    • Most Problems Related to EIFS Due To Failure To Follow Installation details
    • Failure to back wrap at all penetrations
    • Inappropriate or no usage of backer rods
    • Surface caulking only-check periodically for adhesive/cohesive failure
    • Miss-matching of materials (each system must be installed to manufacturers specs with “BRAND SPECIFIC” components and manufacturers installation details)
    • Flashing-”Kick-out flashing”-inexpensive part, hardly ever installed
eifs why are there so many problems1
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • Flashing:
    • Keeps water from entering system by re-direction
    • Kick out
    • Most important - least used
    • Roof - wall intersections
    • Directs water into gutters
    • Roof/Wall intersections:
    • Cut back 2-3 inches, step flashing installed. This detail should be followed regardless of what type of exterior surface
eifs why are there so many problems2
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • Moisture:
    • Moisture trapped inside
    • Moisture in continual contact with substrate
    • Leads to rot
    • “Dry-rot”
    • Actually dried out wet-rot
    • Cells in wood cannot hold water any longer
    • Hard to detect
    • Tests dry
  • Termites
    • Have food (wood) and water (trapped moisture)
    • Do not need to return to soil
    • Love EIFS run into the ground
eifs why are there so many problems3
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • Moisture barrier on outside
  • Moisture will get behind the basecoat
  • EIFS is good moisture barrier provided installed correctly, no failures in outer covering (cracks), appropriate usage of backer rods and caulk.
  • NPI’s findings-
  • 97% homes inspected are installed incorrectly
  • Typically found on higher end homes $300,000+.
eifs why are there so many problems4
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • This house was 2 years old at time of inspection
  • Cost to build:$500,000.00
  • Cost to repair: $250,000.00
  • Entire home had to be stripped and recladded
  • NOTICE: dark staining at upper left hand window
eifs why are there so many problems5
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • System was fastened with adhesive
  • Adhesive was applied in horizontal runs
  • If system is penetrated, moisture gets trapped in horizontally applied adhesive, leads to rot of the substrate material
eifs why are there so many problems6
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • System runs to the ground
  • Allows easy access for termite entry
  • Once termites enter system, have food & water…no need to return to the ground
eifs why are there so many problems7
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • Contractor is wringing water out of the insulation as a result of failure to the system
  • Close observation shows live termite activity
eifs why are there so many problems8
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • No flashing installed
  • Result of non-usage of deck flashing
eifs why are there so many problems9
EIFS-Why are there so many problems?
  • Backer rods and Caulk
  • No backer rods were used were used around electrical outlet box or at door openings…allowed moisture to penetrate system
  • Appropriate usage of backer rods and caulk allows for expansion/contraction of system to reduce moisture intrusion
  • Who might be a qualified inspector/contractor?
  • Educated about the problem
  • Understands dynamic relationships between homes and exterior coverings
  • Understands legal problems associated with EIFS
  • Who may or may not be qualified:
  • Installer for 5 years? Remember high percentage of homes are defective as a result of improper details
  • Attend manufacturer training? Will a half-day training class cover everything?
  • Person who advertises on the internet? Who are they?
  • Summary
  • Would you personally buy an EIFS clad home? What if it was an acceptable system?
  • Could you afford to sell your home for $25,000 less than you paid two years ago?
  • Stigma attached to EIFS. Our guess: It will get worse before it gets better
  • If it is a non compliant installation chances are that there will be problems