Dryvit Flashing

I was going to link to the page on Dryvit Flashing but as it turns out I do not have one, so here it is. I have already went into depth on what a kickout flashing is and why it is so important to use them but other flashing is important too. It is surprising how often flashing is left off all together when it comes to EIFS (Exterior insulation and Finish System). I have seen it time and time again where the EIFS is taken down tight to the brick ledge and a bead of caulk applied.There is so many things that can go with his application I’m not even sure where to start.

With the system touching the brick ledge directly it is impossible for the bottom edge to have a cement coat on it, so we know that there is exposed foam on the brick ledge. Any moisture on the brick ledge is going to be absorbed into the exposed foam. A bead of caulk along the brick ledge when to system meets the brick is not enough to prevent moisture from getting through. The caulk does not work well in that application. The caulk is suppose to be an expansion with backer rod so it has an hourglass shape. That is how the caulking works best. With two points of contact. From my experience what happens with the caulk is that it pulls away from the stucco side because it is not utilizing the two points of contacts.

So, that what doesn’t work. Now lets talk about what does work. It is just good sense to put a brick ledge flashing on before you install the Synthetic Stucco. The stucco should be up off the flashing about three quarters of an inch. The moisture barrier on the substrate should come down right on top of the flashing.

With the flashing in place and an expansion between the metal and the stucco there is not chance for moisture sitting on the brick ledge to be absorbed by the system. The Exterior Insulation and Finish System should have drainage which would allow any moisture behind the system to drain out the bottom and onto the flashing and out over the brick.

Dryvit flashing Southeast Michigan EIFS
Dryvit Flashing

What Kind Of Stucco Do I Have On My Home?

I get this question a lot and I believe most people are not sure. If you have stucco on your home and you are trying to figure out what exactly it is, well you came to the right place. I will do my best in this article to explain the different types of stucco you may have on your home.

There are 4 basic types of stucco.

  1. Synthetic Stucco – Also known as Dryvit ™ or EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System). If you knock on this system it will sound hollow. The cement coat is only about an eight of an inch thick and the styrofoam is typically an inch and a half thick.
  2. Traditional Stucco – If you knock on this system it will feel just like concrete. It will hurt your hand.
  3. One Coat Stucco – Probably the hardest one to figure out as it is still pretty thick cement but you should be able to hear a slight hollow because of the foam, but will still hurt your hand when knocking on it.
  4. Stucco Board – Probably the easiest to identify. This is a pre-manufactured board you buy at the store. There are trim boards around the four foot by eight foot pre-manufactured boards. Typically, four foot by eight foot and five sixteenths of an inch thick.

Exterior Insulation and Finish System consists of:

  • A moisture barrier (both cloth and liquid moisture barriers are available)
  • EPS styrofoam (adhered or mechanically fastened)
  • Base coat with embedded fiberglass mesh
  • Top coat with aggregate (aggregate size determines the texture)

Traditional Stucco is

  • A moisture barrier (typically roofing felt)
  • Metal lathe
  • Scratch coat
  • Brown coat
  • Finish coat

One Coat Stucco is

  • A moisture barrier (typically roofing felt)
  • Styrofoam
  • Lathe
  • Brown coat
  • Finish coat

Stucco Board is

  • Four by eight pre-manufactured board (boards are installed directly to studs. There is no OSB installed typically)
  • Trim boards (the panel board seams are covered with the trim boards)

Now you should have enough knowledge to figure out what kind of stucco your house is clad with. Some types of stucco are much easier to determine, but for the most part it should not be to tell after reading all the information in this article. The one coat stucco is the hard one and it even makes determining the others harder. The EIFS is simple because it sounds hollow. The traditional is easy because it is hard like a rock. Stucco board is easy because it is four by eight panels trimmed out with wood boards, The one coat is in between hollow sounding and hard as a rock.

Stucco Homes

What type of stucco is my house clad with?

EIFS Woodpecker Damages

Woodpeckers and other birds seem to like the EIFS Stucco

I am not really sure why the woodpeckers like EIFS stucco. I originally thought it was because moisture had got behind the system and they were feeding on bugs. That has not stood up to my years of testing in the field. Actually, I believe it has to do with the roosting season at least for the woodpeckers. It seems the other birds are more interested in the hole after the woodpecker makes it, for the most part anyways. I found the other birds pull the foam out to build their nest, or use the hole as a nest. I have seen them tunnel out several feet of foam and live right inside the synthetic stucco wall. Patching the hole is relatively simple, but just patching the hole is not always acceptable. Sure, after patching the hole it prevents water from entering the system, so functionally it works, but most customers do not want to look at an ugly patch on their home. Blending a patch into the existing wall and not being able to see it once you are done is next to impossible. Typically if a customer wants the wall to look like it had never been patch you would have to redo the entire wall the hole is on. I have found over the years most commercial building owners can live with a patch on the building and home owners want it to look new again. Repairing the damages is really just half the battle. Keeping the birds from doing it again can be a real challenge. After deterring the woodpeckers away, in most cases they will roost at a nearby location and then when someone chases them away form there, odds are, they find their way back after a season or two.

EIFS Woodpecker Damage

There are a lot of different woodpecker deterrents out there that people buy. Just to let you know most of them don’t work. Your best beat is the pie tin in the farmers field technique.

Synthetic Stucco Bird Damages

Repairing EIFS Stucco

The ascetics of repairing EIFS Stucco / Dryvit

There are a couple different ways to approach repairing EIFS stucco. What most people don’t know is that it is near impossible to repair a small area in the middle of the wall and not have it look like an eyesore. From a ascetics perspective resurfacing the entire wall is always going to be the best option. When it comes to dollars an cents it best just to patch a small area and call it a day. So, which way do you go? Well, that depends on a few factors. What type of person are you. Can you live with a patch on the wall or are you the type of person that now you know it’s there you will see it every time you pass it and it will drive you crazy. And, perhaps the more important thing, how much more is it going to cost. Of course, the extra cost is going to vary from patch to patch. Sometimes it is going to make sense to just go ahead and do it so it looks the best it can and other times it may take some careful consideration. Let me explain with a couple of examples. First let’s say we have some woodpecker damages to the trim around a window or door. You could patch the small damages by just addressing the actual holes. You would see these patches around the trim pretty easily especially when the sun hit them. Now, instead of just patching the holes we could resurface the trim around the door or window after patching with very little effort and material. The trim would look pretty close to new again. It makes perfect sense to resurface the entire area in this case. Now, let’s say the woodpecker damages the trim and got into some of the wall next to the trim as well. In this case to resurface it would be a much bigger job due to the fact the wall next to the trim would be a substantial amount of square feet to apply the material to.

In conclusion, if you have an endless amount of money it will always look better to resurface the entire wall the damages are on, but if you do not sometimes it makes sense to live with the look of a patch.

Painting EIFS Stucco Dryvit

Repairing EIFS Stucco

EIFS Repair Reviews – Sterling Heights, MI | Angie’s List

See reviews for EIFS Repair in Sterling Heights, MI at 44648 Mound Rd. from Angie’s List members or join today to leave your own review.

Source: EIFS Repair Reviews – Sterling Heights, MI | Angie’s List

We have been using Angie’s List for some time now. We have a lot of great reviews and maintain an A rating. Feel free to check out our page. We are one of the few contractors that specialize in Exterior insulation and Finish System and have been doing so for close to twenty years. Call 1-888-407-2609 for your free estimate in Southeastern Michigan for your next EIFS / Dryvit ™ stucco repair project.We would be happy to come out and take a look at it.

Don’t fall for this up-sell when painting your next EIFS Stucco project

Less is more when painting EIFS Stucco / Dryvit™

Painting an older EIFS Stucco building or home can be a challenge and many of you may already have had an issue with it when hiring a painting contractor that does not have much experience painting the product. Even the most experienced painters can mess up painting this product. Exterior Insulation and Finish System does not react like other products when it is painted. The manufacturer actually makes a specific paint for the product and you have to be certified by the manufacturer before buying their material. For the past five years or so, I have noticed local painting companies pushing this paint that is like super paint that will seal the EIFS and not allow moisture to penetrate it. Typically, the moisture issues with this type of exterior stucco does not come from the material itself breaking down, but from moisture getting behind it due to other products around it failing or not being done right (like flashing, caulking, windows, etc.). In most cases, when the stucco material has broken down it is because of another problem.

The paint that they are pushing has a lot of elasticity to it and is waterproof. This makes for a thick paint that covers everything very well and is a very easy sell for them when they talk about the moisture issues the product has had. The problem is that when moisture gets behind the system from a leaky window or some missing flashing, this paint will hold the water because it does not breath like regular paint. The paint holds the water in bubbles on the building when it rains, but that’s not the worst problem with using this paint. Once a painted area is damaged and needs to be repaired it does not hold up well. In a freeze-thaw environment, the elasticity in the paint moves at a different rate than the cement used in the patch and ends up popping off the wall. Obviously, this does not happen to every patch, but when it does happen it is such a huge pain that it is not worth using this type of paint. Don’t fall for this up-sell it really does sound good and they guy selling you this probably believes it is better, but believe me it is not.

Painting EIFS Stucco Dryvit

Please, when painting EIFS stucco don’t use the paint with the added elasticity that makes it waterproof.

EIFS Inspection

EIFS Inspection

An Exterior Insulation and Finish System Inspection should be done before you buy a Synthetic Stucco home (Southeast Michigan call 888-407-2609).

Everyone knows to get your home inspected before you buy it, but there are a lot of people that do not know if you plan on buying a house clad with Exterior Insulation and Finish System you should have it also inspected by an EIFS professional to make sure the system is up to par and if it is not you need to know how much it is going to cost to fix it. Essentially, there are 4 things that every buyer should do before purchasing the home.

  1. Have a professional do a visual inspection of the cladding. A simple visual inspection for the well trained eye can find many things on the exterior of a home that are missing or not done right.
  2. The professional should be trained in thermal imaging, so he can perform infrared thermography on the home to find any moisture anomalies.
  3. The professional should have an invasive moisture meter to confirm any moisture anomalies found by the thermal imaging. 
  4. The guy that comes out should be able to put together a quote for the cost of repairs.


EIFS inspector

 As a buyer those are the four things I am looking for when I call someone to come out and look at a house I plan to buy. I have had some people suggest this is a conflict of interest as the guy doing the inspection is also the guy doing the repairs which has some merit, but for me I am an honest guy just giving the buyer what they need.  If you call me to come out to inspect the home you will get a guy that has over 25 years experience in the industry with extensive training in moisture testing and trained in thermal imaging. I have been repairing this product for over 15 years. I know when, why and how this product fails. You would be hard pressed to find someone more qualified to inspect your home. That being said I am not a 3rd party EIFS (aka Dyvit or Synthetic Stucco) inspector because I do the repairs. To properly do repairs you have to be able to test the moisture  behind the system. For that reason I own the moisture meter and thermal imaging camera and use them on a daily basis.  Here is a list of my certifications. It is one thing to read the books and take the classes, but having over two and a half decades of hands on experience is something you just can learn in a book or classroom. Before doing repairs I always like to inspect the house with a visual inspection and then thermal imaging and lastly I confirm any anomalies found with the thermal imaging camera with my invasive moisture meter, which will read the moisture content of the substrate behind the system. By doing this I can get a pretty good idea of how much the repairs are going to cost. That being said I am NOT a 3rd party Exterior Insulation and Finish System inspector I am an EIFS repair guy. I have 26+ years hands on experience. I have training in Infrared Thermography. I have been using a Delmorst Invasive Moisture Meter on Exterior Insulation and Finish System houses and buildings for over 10 years. You will be hard pressed to find a more qualified guy to evaluate your Synthetic Stucco home.

EIFS inspector Corey Turcotte






EIFS Inspection by Corey Turcotte 888-407-2609


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EIFS Samples

The Making of the EIFS Samples

These samples will be used in the research experiment

We will be making 3 samples for the experiment. One sample using an old version of the barrier system. One using a cloth barrier and mechanical fasteners with a drainage system. And a sample with a liquid moisture barrier with a drainage system. This post will focus on the actual creation of the three samples. We will go in depth on the materials used and exactly how they were made. Each sample will be made on a piece of OSB. The object of this research is to determine the affects on the OSB from the system once we introduce moisture behind the system. The experiment will be designed to allow water behind the EIFS much like a failing area on a home. For example a missing kick out flashing that is allowing roof run of water to infiltrate the Synthetic Stucco. Now that we have a little background it’s time to explain how each sample will be made.

  1. Old Barrier System – You would see this being done in the 80’s mostly. With this sample we are going to adhere the foam to the OSB with the Exterior Insulation and Finish System cement (back in the 80’s we were using a glue, which has been discontinued). For the purposes of this experiment the cement will work fine and was used a lot in the 80’s. There will be no barrier between the OSB and the foam at all. Then the foam will be sanded and a coat of Alpha Base-coat will be applied with reinforced fiberglass mesh embedded. Once that drys a coat of finish will be applied. 
  2. Cloth Barrier and Mechanical Fasteners with Drainage – With this system the OSB will be covered with a cloth barrier that is ribbed for drainage. A track will be installed at the bottom and the cloth barrier will be dropped in the track. Then the foam will be attached to the OSB with the mechanical fasteners. The foam will be sanded and the Alpha Basecoat will be applied over the fasteners and then over the entire area with the embedded fiberglass mesh. Again at this point a coat of finish will be applied.
  3. Liquid Moisture Barrier with drainage – The surface of the OSB will be painted with a liquid moisture barrier (two coats). The the track will be attached at the bottom and the liquid moisture barrier will extend down over the track using a fiberglass grid tape pr cloth. The foam will be adhered to the substrate with the Alpha Base Coat making sure all ribs are vertical to create channels for moisture to drain. Again the foam is sanded and the Base Coat is applied with the mesh embedded. After it drys the finish coat is applied.  

The first system is not a drainage system and that is why it does not have the track installed. The other two systems are drainage systems and the idea is that if moisture finds it’s way behind the system it will run down the barrier into the track and out the weep holes in the track and not affect the OSB. We are about to put them to the test and see how well they fare.


Old Barrier SystemCloth Barrier & Mechanical FastenersLiquid Moisture Barrier
Gallery LinkGallery LinkGallery Link
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Back to the EIFS Research page

Research EIFS Samples by Corey Turcotte




The Making of the EIFS Samples

Another Beautiful EIFS / Dryvit Job in West Bloomfield

Absolutely beautiful EIFS / Dryvit home in West Bloomfield Michigan

Really feeling great walking away from such a good looking project in West Bloomfield

A lot of hard work and long days has really paid off. Just looking at this house all finished makes it all worth it. Lots of high detail on this one and some challenges setting up the scaffolding, but we where out of there in 4 weeks, so not to bad considering we did it right.  I would rather spend a little more time doing it right once than having to come back and do it again. I think the chimney was the hardest part.  The back porch was no picnic either. The owners were very happy with our work for sure.

It is very satisfying walking away from a job seeing such a great looking home. These people will be happy with the outside of their house for years to come.

Check out more of our projects on the Gallery page where you will find images of several jobs including some great pictures of roof rake repairs, column repair, signs, bird holes, and much more. We do complete remove and replace to fixing small holes. We have seen it all over the years that’s for sure. Call 1-888-407-2609 for your free estimate if you have a repair in Southeast Michigan.

EIFS / Dryvit house Bloomfield MI




Synthetic Stucco or Exterior Insulation and Finish System

Another Beautiful EIFS / Dryvit Job in West Bloomfield