September 1997 Edition

What Can We Do About Our (EIFS) Synthetic Stucco

Our house has synthetic stucco. We have heard much about the problems in the news lately. What are we supposed to do about it?                       
There has been much concern about the problem because water is entering and in some cases causing structural damage. In the December 1996 edition of Home Tips, we described the problem areas and the correct installation procedures. Unfortunately, most homes have improperly installed  EIFS and are potential candidates for problems.  
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Without properly installed sealant joints at the wood trim, moisture may enter the structure around the trim, doors and windows. If this happens, the moisture will be trapped and will start to deteriorate the wall sheathing and possibly the framing.                       
On July 11th and 12th, the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors held an EIFS Moisture Intrusion Seminar. In attendance were industry experts which included J.B. Graham, the Director of Inspections for New Hanover County, North Carolina where the first problems surfaced. The panel discussed the problems relating to EIFS moisture intrusion and reviewed some solutions.                       
The first step should be: Have the structure tested for water intrusion. GAHI has developed a Testing Protocol which describes what type of testing is needed and what areas should be tested. The inspector should be able to give the homeowner an accurate idea on how much water infiltration is present and what can be done to correct the problem.                       
This type of testing is not an exact science. Many people still disagree on what should be done. According to the GAHI Protocol, the following procedures should be followed:                       
If the moisture readings are between 10% and 19%:
Moisture is present in the wall. Additional caulking at the specific area should be sufficient.                       
If the moisture readings are between 20% and 29%:
The source of the water intrusion should be identified, if possible. Appropriate corrective action should be taken to stop the entrance of the water. In many cases, a particular detail may be corrected, or additional caulking installed as a  satisfactory corrective measure.                       
If the moisture readings are 30% or more:
This is the fiber saturation point, the level at which decay begins to occur. The EIFS at these areas should be removed so that the framing can be inspected for indications of rot or decay. Any damaged areas should be repaired or replaced as necessary. This would be a good time to consider retrofitting the entire house to bring it up to current installation requirements. Included would be:  
#1. Cutting back the EIFS from all window and door openings, backwrapping and installing sealant joints.  This is one of the major areas for water infiltration. The cracks between the EIFS and the wood trim allow water to enter into the framing.  
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Another problem, that is beginning to surface, is windows that are leaking at the joints in the wood frames. Be sure to seal the entire window frame at all of the joints. 
#2. Installing proper flashing at all openings. Flashing is required to prevent water from entering along the tops of all windows and doors. 
#3. Installing roof diverter flashing. This is rarely seen in the Atlanta area but is very important to prevent water running down the flashing, from entering the wall cavity at the end of the flashing. The end of the flashing is bent or diverted out of the wall cavity. 
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#4. Removing any below grade EIFS. This does not represent a moisture problem, but it could allow wood destroying organisms to enter the structure without detection. Part of the concrete foundation should be exposed to force the organisms to build their tunnels on the outside of the concrete where they can be detected.  
Owning a home with EIFS does not necessarily mean huge amounts of repairs or high repair costs. In many cases only simple maintenance is required. A professional inspection is recommended for all EIFS structures. If you are interested in having a water intrusion inspection made, contact the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors for a list of inspectors who specialize in this type of inspection. GAHI can be reached at 770-989-2524. 

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.


Some Web Sites To Browse.... 

A-Ball Plumbing Supply: http://www.a-ball.com

Build.com: http://www.build.com

Building Ind. Exchange Foundation: http://www.building.org

Delta Faucets: http://www.deltafaucet.com

Faucet Outlet: http://www.faucet.com

Grohe Faucets: http://www.grohe.com

Masco: http://www.homesights.com

Peerless Faucet: http://www.peerless-faucet.com

Plumbnet: http://www.plumbnet.com

Water Wiser: http://www.waterwiser.org

Western Wood Products Assoc.: http://www.wwpa.org

Dogpile Search: http://www.dogpile.com


If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.


Quote of the Month

“The best portion of a good life is the little nameless,

Unremembered acts of kindness and of love”

- William Wordsworth


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Young Sook Park

Metro Brokers Real Estate

Marietta, Georgia

**** Thank You****