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

New Home owner with EIFS – Question

My question as a new homeowner with EIFS, should I avoid all together
putting any kind of nails or screws in the EIFS for fear it will allow
moisture in. I am thinking of hanging some planters, a piece of
grillwork, and a hose holder. Is there a special way to insert a screw
or nail to prevent introduction of moisture? Thank you.

That is a very good question Joyce, and you are right to that the nail or screw hole will allow moisture and over time can even cause some real problems. What you will need to do first is to get some screws long enough to go through the EIFS system and into the sub-straight. It is important to make sure each screw hole is sealed with silicon caulk. The reason I say silicon caulk is that the silicon caulk will not eat away at the foam like other caulks will.

With that all being said I would like to tell you about a conversation I had the other day with a rep from STO about a cool way to do this process. How it works is that you get some PVC tubing and use it for a mounting bracket. First you will use a drill to cut a hole of the desired diameter and push the piece of PVC with a small amount of adhesive (once again make sure you use a foam friendly adhesive like PL Premium)  into the hole making sure the tubing is flush with the EIFS System. Now you can run your screw in your home made hole and fill with caulk. With this system if the nail or screw were to fall out of need to be replace you can simply pull out the caulk and replace it all nice and clean. Having the PVC will help with the heavy things like planters as well you have to keep in mind that there is only foam back there. I really like this idea. I feel this process would work great for filling the holes on store fronts after the side has been removed.

EIFS Repair | Exterior Insulation and Finish System