EIFS Liquid Moisture Barrier

EIFS Liquid  Moisture Barrier

An in depth look at EIFS Liquid Moisture Barrier

Traditionally, the substrate (OSB) was wrapped with a cloth type building wrap, but after some pretty extensive testing done by The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) it was proven that a EIFS liquid moisture barrier is much more effect in an EIFS application for moisture drainage. Read more EIFS Liquid Moisture Barrier

Dryvit Issues

Dryvit Issues

Are you having Dryvit issues?

We specialize in repairing Dryvit ® so we know about people having Dryvit issues. There are home owners and business owners that have experienced problems with their synthetic stucco cladding. Moisture damage is one of the biggest problems when it comes to synthetic stucco. The moisture problems are mostly due to a design problem. The original Exterior Insulation and Finish System was what is known as a barrier system, which means it was a weather barrier. When done right the barrier system worked fairly well as the commercial buildings are designed a little better for the barrier system. The flat roof with a copping works much better with the barrier system than a typical residential design. The major issue with Dryvit is in the residential application when it comes to applying the barrier system, which since about the year 2000 the barrier system has not been used. The new system ‘The Next Generation of EIFS’ has been used after the year 2000. In fact the building codes where changed and now there has to be a moisture barrier over any wood framed structure. There may be a wave of homes built in the 80’s and 90’s that are failing now that need to addressed. The old barrier system when done right still holds up well if it is properly maintained. The problem with the barrier system is that if any moisture penetrated it the water was trapped back behind the system and it eventually starts to rot the wood. When the building codes changed they required a moisture barrier over wood, but we will take that one further and say that when using Synthetic Dryvit Stucco you should use a liquid moisture barrier. The liquid moisture barrier works better than a cloth moisture barrier. We have been doing repairs for over 26 years and we found the liquid barrier is far better than the cloth. When installing the cloth barrier you put tons of holes in it when you staple it to the wood and then again when fastening the foam to the wood. When you use the liquid barrier instead of fastening the foam with mechanical fasteners you apply the foam with a notch trowel which creates channels for moisture to drain. The mechanical fasteners smash the foam to the wood so tight to the wood moisture has no chance to escape. If a liquid moisture barrier is used you can eliminate the biggest issue when it comes to the product. dryvit issues

dryvit issues

 

 

 

Dryvit Issues

 

EIFS Moisture Testing

EIFS Moisture Testing

EIFS repair and EIFS moisture testing goes hand in hand

I think it is about time we included this service in our everyday services, as it only makes sense to find out where the moisture is and where it came from before we even start any repairs. Till this point we had been calling in 3rd party inspectors and waiting for the results and then taking over from there and correcting all their findings anyway. The truth of the matter is that you really cannot simply read a book, go out and buy an expensive moisture EIFS Moisture Testingmeter and think you are going to be proficient at finding moisture behind EIFS. It takes years of particle experience in the field. We have been applying EIFS for over 23 years and have been focused on EIFS Repairs full time for over 5 years. There is absolutely no one more qualified to do your EIFS moisture test, bottom line. Knowing where to look for moisture intrusion and what to look for is half the battle, but water is a funny thing. I have seen on numerous occasions water infiltrating the EIFS from one area and running down a metal stud or I-beam up to 30 or 40 feet away and causing damage. The usual suspects for moisture intrusion are other products not the EIFS itself. The flashing will fail or was not done right in the first place or the caulking will begin to crack and let moisture in around the doors and windows. Whether, the roof copping or the sealant failed it is usually due to one of two things someone didn’t do it right to begin with or someone did not maintain it for years. We have done a ton of repairs over the years and we have seen it all. We know exactly what the problem is as soon as we look at it nine times out of ten. Just knowing there is moisture behind the wall and what the percentage reading from a meter is, is really not good enough to begin the repairs or even estimate how much it is going to cost to fix it. You have to know where the moisture came from and how you are going to prevent it from returning. For this reason we carry a moisture reader with us on all our repair jobs.

EIFS / Dryvit Repair
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For more information check out our post on Moisture Drainage Systems

EIFS Moisture Testing

Buying an EIFS home

Buying an EIFS home

Buying an EIFS home; what to look for

When buying an EIFS home you can real hit a home run if you know what you are looking for. I don’t think it is any secret that the EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System) industry has an applicator problem, and that cannot be good. I think most professionals, if not all, would agree that the Exterior Insulation and Finish System product is a very good one, and when applied correctly is an excellent product (The Department of Energy’s testing by Oak Ridge National Laboratory concluded that Exterior insulation and Finish System out preforms brick, stucco, concrete block and cementitious fiber board siding). The question is how can you tell, when buying a Synthetic Stucco home, that the cladding was done correctly. Actually, for the trained eye it is a pretty simple process. There are a few basic things to look for. One of the most important things to look for is kick out flashing. If the house has kick out flashing that Buying a EIFS homeis a real good sign. The second thing to look for is the termination at the grade. The Exterior Insulation and Finish System should be at least 6 inches above grade. If the bottom of the Synthetic Stucco has a weep track then you know the home has a Water Management System. These two things are key to a good job, and when buying a Synthetic Stucco home they are the most important things to look for. The third thing to look for will really tell you that you have a winner, and that is around the windows and doors. The windows and doors should have an expansion joint around them, and the joint should be caulked. That caulk will fail one day, and has to be maintained, but we know that, and that is not really what we are looking for, what we are looking for, is if the Base Coat material goes back to the substrate in the expansion joint. If the material goes back all the way to the substrate, then when that caulk fails, there will not be exposed foam for water to soak into. You can be pretty confident when buying a EIFS home that you have a winner if the windows and doors are done this way.

One of the major things you want to make sure of is that the home has a moisture barrier like tyvek, tar paper, or a painted on barrier. Without a moisture barrier if the system fails it will rot the substrate. This can be very devastating if the substrate is wood. Unfortunately, the only way to know if there is a moisture barrier behind the system is to cut a hole in the system, and take a look. The reason this is so important is that if there is a moisture barrier the only damage will be to the Synthetic Stucco, and not to the substrate, so you will know what you are getting into for repairs, and not have major surprises trying to replace the substrate, and even the structure itself.

In closing, with an educated buyer the product can be a very attractive investment. If you can find an Exterior Insulation and Finish System home that was built by a high quality contractor that knew what they were doing, and did not cut any corners, you can buy a really great home for a steal of a deal. The problems in the residential Synthetic Stucco industry have lowered the prices of these homes, and for the ones that were done correctly they are very much worth the investment.

buying an eifs home

Exterior Insulation and Finish System also known as Synthetic Stucco or Dryvit ®

Buying a EIFS home – EIFS Repair – Synthetic Stucco

Kick out Flashing – EIFS

Kick out Flashing – EIFS

Kick out Flashing is a very important factor in Exterior Insulation and Finish System

Kick out flashing is something I find myself talking about a lot when we are talking EIFS, and residential applications. When the roof of a house with EIFS cladding terminates into the wall there is always flashing there which is good, but traditional Kick out Flashingflashing will not cut it when it comes to EIFS, and I will tell you why. Traditionally the water will run down the roof in the flashing installed, but at the end of the roof the water drops into the gutters,unless you installed an 1″ or 2″ of foam to the OSB of the house. That would make the traditional flashing flawed where the flashing actually drains the water right to the back side of the foam. This is where a kick out flashing comes in. You will take the stamped metal kick out flashing and tuck it under the existing flashing. The existing flashing will have to be pulled up with out damaging the existing shingles. The kick out flashing should slide up under the existing shingles for at least 8 inches. With the new flashing in place the water runs down the roof and into the kick out flashing with diverts the water into the Kick Out Flashing EIFSgutter instead of just running of the edge of the roof. I have included a picture of a typical kick out flashing, so you can get an idea of what one looks like and where to look for the kick out flashing’s on your house. Something note worthy to say is that your EIFS should always be held up from the roof line about 2 inches and a weep track is used at the roof line. When installing along a roof line you would run a chalk line 2 inches above the the shingles and screw the weep track on the line. Then your stucco home wrap is applied to the wall and down into the track, that way if any moisture gets behind the foam it will run down the Stucco Home Wrap into the track, and out the weep holes.   When the EIFS industry broke into the residential market in the 80’s very few EIFS applicators knew about or were using the kick out flashing. This was something new to the applicator as most commercial buildings have a flat roof and use a metal copping to seal the EIFS at the roof. For this reason alone is the main reason that EIFS is known as a great commercial product but not so good as a residential application, but I will tell you that when properly installed the EIFS product is one of the best products available today. That is even more true today than ever before with the new advancements in EIFS technology, and the fact that the price of the product is much lower today, than ever before, there is no reason that everyone should not have an absolutely beautiful product on their house like EIFS.

Read More …  An Overview of the EIFS Process

 

Kick out Flashing – EIFS Repair – Exterior Insulation and Finish System – Synthetic Stucco

Water Drainage System | EIFS

The EIFS Drainage System

The Exterior Insulation and Finish System has a particular process that should be used when applying to a residential project. The  Water Drainage System was designed to apply over OSB. The process is as follows. First if the home is new construction you will want to get your EIFS applicator in there before the windows go in. A fluid air/water barrier should be painted over the OSB with 4 inch sheathing fabric over the seams, or apply stucco wrap by stapling to the OSB  (A fluid air and water barrier is proven to be a better barrier). The windows should be trimmed with flashing tape. The flashing tape should come down over the Stucco wrap. Now the windows can go in. If the windows are already in then the flashing tape should but up to the window and overlap the stucco wrap. The next consideration is to find the grade and make sure to install the track 8 inches above grade. The stucco wrap should drop right into the track. This track is where your first row of foam will go. It is always a good practice to install your track above the windows at this time as well. Your next step is to find all areas that the roof dies into the wall. At these locations you will have to peel up the existing flashing and shingles for about 12 inches and slide a kick-out flashing up under there and fasten it to the wall. Make sure to put the kick-out flashing under the stucco wrap. Now you will want to back-wrap around the windows and doors and along the roof line. Make sure to stay 2 inches off the roof line. With all your prep work done you are ready to stick your foam. It is recommended to use the ribbed foam for the Water Drainage System.  When fastening the foam two inch plastic mechanical washers are used. The foam is applied horizontally as to keep the ribs facing the proper direction for water drainage.  The foam will be sanded and base coat and finish applied as normal from this point.

 

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Water Drainage System | EIFS