Where EIFS Moisture Intrusion Occurs


Where EIFS Moisture Intrusion Occurs

If your Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS) is damaged or installed improperly, moisture intrusion becomes a very big threat and can cause significant damage to your home. Below we talk about some installation mistakes that cause moisture intrusion and the common areas on the home’s exterior these mistakes are made.

Though EIFS is often installed properly and can last for years, improper installation does happen. These installation mistakes include:

  • Foam insulation less than 6 inches above soft grade and two inches above hard surfaces, allowing wicking (capillary action) of moisture.
  • The foam insulation is not properly back-wrapped leaving the exterior system unprotected.
  • Lack of a backer rod with sealant for an isolation joint such as windows, doors, other penetrations, expansion joints and grade terminations.
  • No sloping of EIFS on horizontal surfaces to prevent standing water.

Below are the areas where moisture intrusion often occurs and some warning signs you can look for. If you see any of these signs or need a professional opinion, do not hesitate to get an inspection.


All joints where EIFS meets a dissimilar material must be sealed. Penetrations in the EIFS at decks, hose bibs, vents, light fixtures, satellite dishes, etc. must be properly sealed with the appropriate sealant (caulk). Just as important as choosing the correct sealant for the job is paying attention to how the sealant bead is applied. Existing sealants should be adhered, soft, flexible, and not split.

Windows and Doors

EIFS and stucco manufacturers often recommend a specific configuration for backer rod and sealant for windows and doors. Without a properly performing isolation joint moisture intrusion can occur at windows and doors. Keep an eye out for peeling paint or water damage on the interior walls near windows and doors and staining on the exterior EIFS.


Flashings need to be installed at appropriate places to direct water away from windows, decks, gutters, and roof lines. Missing, improper, or unsealed flashings where roof lines terminate into an EIFS wall will allow the water from roof run-off to flow directly behind the EIFS.

If you see any of the EIFS installation mistakes mentioned above or you are seeing signs of moisture intrusion, get a professional inspection as soon as possible. ESEC provides professional EIFS inspections throughout Denver and across the Colorado Front Range. Contact us online or give us a call today!

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