WALL CLADDING CONCERNS
Moisture intrusion may occur in a number of areas in any structure.
Windows and Doors
- Look for peeling paint, evidence of water damage on the interior wall, staining on the on the exterior.
- Check for caulking around window sills and doors. Stucco manufacturers recommend specific sealant specifications for their products. Compare window and stucco manufacturers’ sealant specifications; use the most restrictive sealant.
- Is sill pan flashing present or is it needed?
- Flashing at appropriate places direct water away from the house.
- Missing, improper or unsealed flashing where roof lines terminate into an EIFS wall will allow roof run-off to be dumped directly behind the EIFS.
- Water must be directed away from windows, decks, gutters, etc.
- Penetrations in the EIFS at decks, hose bibs, dryer vents, light fixtures, satellite dishes, must be properly sealed with the appropriate sealant.
- All joints where EIFS meets a dissimilar material must be sealed with the appropriate sealant.
- Existing sealants should be adhered, soft and flexible.
- Foam insulation should be at least 6 inches above soft grade and 2 inches above hard This prevents wicking of moisture and eliminates a termite path into the structure.
- The foam substrate should be properly back-wrapped to provide for proper protection of the exterior system.
- The usage of backer rod and sealant is necessary for the proper construction of an isolation type of joint such as windows, expansion joints and grade terminations.
- EIFS used on non-vertical surfaces such as trim and decorative touches should have a sloping surface to prevent standing water; minimum is 6” in 12”.
Problems with EIFS
When people talk about problems with EIFS, they are most likely talking about problems with Barrier EIFS (aka PB EIFS or Face-sealed EIFS). All wall cladding materials can have moisture intrusion problems. The objective is to prevent moisture from entering the system. Barrier EIFS is a system that relies entirely on its outside surface to prevent water penetration and moisture intrusion. Therefore, excellent design, compatible quality materials and excellent workmanship are required to produce a weather-tight and long-lasting system.
Many homes have a stone appearance for portions of the wall cladding. While some of this may be natural stone the majority is Adhered Manufactured Concrete Veneer (AMCV) often called Manufactured Stone Veneer (MSV). Below are some of the properties and installation requirements of stone veneers.
The attachment of adhered stone veneer both natural stone and MSV is very similar to a Hard Coat Stucco system. For example they require the following:
- A Water Resistive Barrier (WRB) on moisture sensitive substrates
- A lath; in most cases it must be an expanded metal “diamond” lath that must be attached to the studs or wall framing.
- Various accessories such as casings and weep screeds.
- Backer rod and sealant between scratch coats and dissimilar materials.
- They are to terminate about 2” above hard-scapes such as concrete, asphalt, decks and roofs.
- Terminating about 4” above soft-scapes such as dirt and landscaping materials.
- Kickout or diverter flashings to manage water flow.
- Proper installation to avoid vulnerability to moisture intrusion and the related damage it can cause.
ESEC has the expertise to evaluate stone installations and develop remediation recommendations.
Concerns regarding stone installation are very similar to the concerns that exist for stucco installations. The inspector will be looking at the same standard locations for improper conditions and weather tightness. The primary difference is the stone wall finish. The common problems unique to stone finished walls include:
- Stones coming loosed and falling off the walls.
- Stones with cracks through the stones.
- Stones exposed to repeated wettings deteriorate and crumble.
Tips for Homeowners and Realtors
Home Inspector Training Video
You can maintain curb appeal to the exterior of your property with proper care & maintenance!
The ideal situation is to have the exterior cladding on your property inspected as it is being applied to the house. However, that may not always be possible. An inspection by a Certified Third-Party EIFS Inspector or Certified Moisture Analyst would provide the necessary information to assist you in establishing the condition—and maintaining the integrity—of your property.
The purpose of this inspection is to look for visible installation flaws, inadequate water diversion, and sealant failures and—if part of the scope—to conduct moisture readings with electronic moisture devices and check the condition of the substrate when probing.
Moisture intrusion problems are not limited to stucco cladding. Time of exposure coupled with the quantity of water to which the structure is exposed result in problems for any home. Homes often combine stone, fiberboard, wood, cement board or vinyl siding, brick, and various types of stucco in their construction.