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Thread: Wet wood

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    Default EIFS - Wet wood

    I'm inspecting an EIFS installation on a 2 year old home. There are some design flaws and serious water intrusion.

    I've discovered wet wood in a number of locations. Moisture content ranges up to 100%. I removed a portion of the system where it tested 100%, and as I expected, the wood sheathing was decomposing.

    One EIFS contractor quoted a price to remove a major portion of the system and to reinstall. Although his fix addresses the cosmetic issues, they do not address the points of water intrusion, other than to mention that they were not included in the quote.

    Another contractor quoted repairing the existing system. He also didn't address the water intrusion.

    I'm not against saving an existing system, and am confident I've identified the water sources.

    The client would like to eliminate the water source, and let the wood dry out. There are areas that I will undoubtably recommend replacement of the wood. Because of the size and proximity to each other, I am not concerned with the shear load. I am concerned about WDI/WDO, especially until it dries out.

    I'd like some opinions regarding the options, and the different effects/ramifications at different moisture content levels.

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    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 11-26-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    You mention the sheeting is wood. Is it actually wood boards or a composition? In general, wood compositions cannot be dried and reused. They should be replaced.

    Secondly, it really makes no sense to replace the effected EIFS without addressing the intrusion problem. It also makes no sense to address the intrusion problem without addressing the damaged areas.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    IMO it makes no sense to do anything but replace all the EIFS

    The stuff is trouble and inspecting it and repairing it is a dangerous game since you will undoubtedly be blamed for future problems (last man in theory).

    As for your question, a lot to me would depend if it's plywood or OSB. Plywood seems to 'dry out' better than OSB and still offer a good portion of its original strength. That being said, repeated moisture contact (which is most likely here) commonly eliminates the glues that hold the layers of wood together which takes away most of it's strength. And, of course, rot is rot and must be replaced.

    When EIFS was popular in my area about 10 years ago there were many inspectors that specialized in inspecting it. One by one they pretty much all got sued out of business for either missing stuff or mis-identifying problem areas (house is torn apart only to find no problem.... now, who pays to put it back together?)

    My state has specifically forbidden it to be installed in residential applications due to all the problems. Be carful with it.....


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    The substrate is water resistant gypsum over plywood. There is a liquid applied moisture barrier.

    I agree that it makes no sense to adress the effected EIFs and not the water intrusion. That is where I came in. The contractors did not see beyond the cracks caused by lack of expansion joints at the floor lines. (although perhaps one did and just worded the proposal so he could hit the client with a big extra.) Because of the age of the home, they are not my main concern.

    But why do you feel it makes no sense to stop the water from intruding without replacing the damage? I feel that the system can be saved, the water diverted, certain areas should be removed and the substrate repaired.

    I am trying to evaluate the option of letting small portions of the damaged substrate remain and to dry out. Is it that cut and dry? The wet wood must be removed, no ifs, and, or buts? Even if there is no shear load?

    If that is so... OK. I just want to discuss why, and not "because that is the way it is."

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I'm inspecting an EIFS installation on a 2 year old home. There are some design flaws and serious water intrusion.

    One EIFS contractor quoted a price to remove a major portion of the system and to reinstall.
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    IMO it makes no sense to do anything but replace all the EIFS

    The stuff is trouble and inspecting it and repairing it is a dangerous game since you will undoubtedly be blamed for future problems (last man in theory).
    Steven,

    While the "There are some design flaws" statement is most partially correct, you will get a lot of argument from the manufacturers who state that the older systems were "designed" properly, that it was the "installation" which failed, and that the newer drainable EIFS have addresses those perceived "design flaws" by allowing for water to be drained out, meaning that the "installation" is what is flawed.

    The manufacturers have a lot of backing in their statements, but what must also be considered is an exterior weather resisting system which must be installed with so great of an attention to detail that it is beyond the typical capabilities of typical installer, and does that constitute a "design flaw".

    If the system requires 'rocket scientists' to install it, then only 'rocket scientists' should be allowed to install it, and then only on 'rockets' where the attention to detail is afforded.

    The question now becomes: When the entire EIFS is removed, what do I replace it with?

    If you do not replace it with another EIFS, how will that affect the operation of the building as a "system" in that there is no less insulation on the exterior walls, and there is no insulation on the exterior of the sheathing, that any insulation will now be "within" the stud cavities, which will affect the location of the dew point and the operation of the building as a system.

    And, if you do replace it with another EIFS, which system and (more importantly) which contractor is capable of installing the system defect free?

    In my opinion, "repairing" the existing system is not a viable option as you already know the existing EIFS was not installed properly, thus any repair will be leaving the remaining existing problem in place. Which will not be good.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Steven,

    I was typing when you posted the additional information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    But why do you feel it makes no sense to stop the water from intruding without replacing the damage?
    I will turn that question around: WHY do you feel there is not a need to replace the damage yet stop the water intrusion?

    I am baffled by that question.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    But why do you feel it makes no sense to stop the water from intruding without replacing the damage? I feel that the system can be saved, the water diverted, certain areas should be removed and the substrate repaired.

    I am trying to evaluate the option of letting small portions of the damaged substrate remain and to dry out. Is it that cut and dry? The wet wood must be removed, no ifs, and, or buts? Even if there is no shear load?

    If that is so... OK. I just want to discuss why, and not "because that is the way it is."
    In my opinion it comes down to your liability. If you feel that 10 years from now you could convince a court that reusing damaged, wet plywood and gypsum was a ok because you dried it out and there was no way you could possibly be held responsible for the recently found rot and mold, then go right ahead and do it.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    IMO it makes no sense to do anything but replace all the EIFS
    If the faults can be remedied, why does it make no sense to save the system?

    The stuff is trouble and inspecting it and repairing it is a dangerous game since you will undoubtedly be blamed for future problems (last man in theory).
    I love inspecting EIFS and am not afraid of it. I don't feel that the liability is any greater than inspecting a home. I do feel that it requires making direct statments and making direct recommendations.

    It would be very easy to recommend total removal any time you came across a detail that is wrong, inspections and reports would be very fast, most installations have faults... just like any building system.

    I would rather identify a problem and if possible offer a remedy. By the way, when I do a home inspection I do not take the easy way out either. Something either is or it isn't, and although I frequently recommend calling in an "expert" to fix it, I rarely recommened calling in an "expert" to decide if it is "broken."

    As for your question, a lot to me would depend if it's plywood or OSB. Plywood seems to 'dry out' better than OSB and still offer a good portion of its original strength. That being said, repeated moisture contact (which is most likely here) commonly eliminates the glues that hold the layers of wood together which takes away most of it's strength.
    I agree

    And, of course, rot is rot and must be replaced.
    BINGO!!! Even if it allowed to dry out? Even if there is no shear load? Why?

    When EIFS was popular in my area about 10 years ago there were many inspectors that specialized in inspecting it. One by one they pretty much all got sued out of business for either missing stuff or mis-identifying problem areas (house is torn apart only to find no problem.... now, who pays to put it back together?)
    It sounds like there are oppertunities in your area for a good EIFS inspector. Did any of the Home Inspectors fall by the wayside?

    My state has specifically forbidden it to be installed in residential applications due to all the problems. Be carful with it.....
    There are also states that require a contract with a licensed EIFS inspector to be in place, on an EIFS house, prior to the initial building permit being issued.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    ST: The NAHB and every experienced EIFS inspector I know regards barrier EIFS as an inherently defective product. That is to say that no matter how well it is manufactured, installed or maintained, it is impossible to keep moisture from getting behind the system. On a wood-framed and -sheathed building that is the kiss of death.

    I recommend to every EIFS inspection client that they remove the offending material and replace it with a viable cladding. About 60% of them follow that advice. There are hundreds of choices, all of which are infinitely superior to patched-up barrier EIFS. Why throw good money after bad?


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Steven,

    While the "There are some design flaws" statement is most partially correct, you will get a lot of argument from the manufacturers who state that the older systems were "designed" properly, that it was the "installation" which failed, and that the newer drainable EIFS have addresses those perceived "design flaws" by allowing for water to be drained out, meaning that the "installation" is what is flawed.
    When I say design flaws, I am referring to the system as a whole and not the individual componants. If there aren't flashing, it is a system design flaw, which is an installation error.

    The manufacturers have a lot of backing in their statements, but what must also be considered is an exterior weather resisting system which must be installed with so great of an attention to detail that it is beyond the typical capabilities of typical installer, and does that constitute a "design flaw".
    I can't think of any componant in an EIFS system that cannot be installed by an average installer, with a knowlegable foreman, that has the authority and is willing to stop... or not start a job if the structure is not ready. And a GC that can delegate responsibility.[/quote]

    If the system requires 'rocket scientists' to install it, then only 'rocket scientists' should be allowed to install it, and then only on 'rockets' where the attention to detail is afforded.
    It does not take a rocket scientist to install EIFS, but rather an architect to clearly include the specification in the plans, and jobs should be inspected at all phases.

    I assure you, EIFS contractors could install the system right is they had to, of course there will always be those that will do poor work. Just like roofers, electricians, plumbers, crapenters, etc.
    The question now becomes: When the entire EIFS is removed, what do I replace it with?

    If you do not replace it with another EIFS, how will that affect the operation of the building as a "system" in that there is no less insulation on the exterior walls, and there is no insulation on the exterior of the sheathing, that any insulation will now be "within" the stud cavities, which will affect the location of the dew point and the operation of the building as a system.
    Agreed

    And, if you do replace it with another EIFS, which system and (more importantly) which contractor is capable of installing the system defect free?
    That is why the new installation should be properly inspected DURING the installion, not after it is done.

    In my opinion, "repairing" the existing system is not a viable option as you already know the existing EIFS was not installed properly, thus any repair will be leaving the remaining existing problem in place. Which will not be good.
    This statement make sense, but let me explain the faults:

    No expansion joints at floor lines. Although cracking has occured, since a wood frame building shinks only once in its lifespan, usually within the first two years, I am not extremely concerned about this. But having said that, expansion joints will be cut in.

    There are three balconies that have ceramic tile flooring. The water is seeping through and draining into the header below. I recommend removing the tile, installing a "pan" and drain to accept and remove the water.

    The EIFS at the top of the system is not protected. Because of surface tension and wind driven rain can enter behind the system. I recommend adequately flashing and sealing the top of the system.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 11-26-2009 at 12:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    No, no, no.

    I do not feel that the damaged wood should not be replaced. My client has asked me to seriously consider the option.

    By the way, I feel that the system should be removed where there is damage, and the remainder of the system can be saved.

    I am pondering his request. There is no shear load on the area, and it is well above grade. What will happen if the wood stays? Will the building explode or turn into a pumpkin? Will the rot continue to spread even after it has dried? What can happen?

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    ST: The NAHB and every experienced EIFS inspector I know regards barrier EIFS as an inherently defective product. That is to say that no matter how well it is manufactured, installed or maintained, it is impossible to keep moisture from getting behind the system. On a wood-framed and -sheathed building that is the kiss of death.

    I recommend to every EIFS inspection client that they remove the offending material and replace it with a viable cladding. About 60% of them follow that advice. There are hundreds of choices, all of which are infinitely superior to patched-up barrier EIFS. Why throw good money after bad?
    What do you call Barrier EIFS? Installed w/o a moisture barrier? Why can't there be a Water managed system that is flawed and can be corrected? It is not black and white.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    What is your plan to dry the plywood? How can you guarantee that it is dry on the interior, that there is no mold on the interior of the plywood or wall cavity and such without removal?

    If you close up that wall and have not gotten rid of the moisture in the wall cavity the rot and mold will continue and you will be held responsible.

    Personnally I would recommend full replacement. If the homeowner or contractor decided to go against my recommendations I would have them sign a statement of responsibility.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    What do you call Barrier EIFS? Installed w/o a moisture barrier? Why can't there be a Water managed system that is flawed and can be corrected? It is not black and white.
    ST: Pardon my assumption. I also have never seen a residential "water-managed" installation that was working. It is simply EIFS 2.0; same $hit, second verse. If one desires the look of stucco and/or cast stone with the added benefit of some insulation why not install Portland cement stucco and/or cast stone along with spray-on foam insulation in the stud bays? Why continue to pretend that EIFS was ever intended for use on wood-frame buildings? Just because something can be done, does not mean that it ever should be.

    You are right though, nothing is black and white. I just personally do not see the point in insisting on repeatedly making the same mistakes.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    ST: Sorry, I intended to include yet another comment that you may not agree with. The very idea that an architect is actually going to be involved at all in most residential projects is absurd, at least in my area. Architectural involvement and oversight is usually confined only to commercial and extremely high-end residential ($5 Million and up). That figure may be chump change in some areas, but will get you a small palace here.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    ST: Sorry, I intended to include yet another comment that you may not agree with. The very idea that an architect is actually going to be involved at all in most residential projects is absurd, at least in my area. Architectural involvement and oversight is usually confined only to commercial and extremely high-end residential ($5 Million and up). That figure may be chump change in some areas, but will get you a small palace here.
    You are right, I don't agree. Where I am, you must have a architect draw up plans to build a house. The architects usually just copy and paste the manufacturer's specs. If nothing else, it alerts the installers to bid the job accordingly.... this is what it is all about. $$$$$

    Listen, they found a way to regulate electrical, plumbing, etc. There has to be a way.


    ANd now I hear the turkey calling, I'll be back later.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 11-26-2009 at 01:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    As general practice rot must be removed to prevent it from spreading and to prevent the attraction of wood destroying insects. In most cases neither happens once the water source is removed but it's just wrong, wrong wrong to leave rot and a lawyer and jury would eat you for lunch if you suggest otherwise.

    The problem with a lot of this stuff is that even if you're right it doesn't matter if somebody comes behind you with another opinion. You can spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to prove you are, in fact, right. And, in the case you are describing, I'm not so sure you're on the right track... IMO.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Steven,

    You've responded to a lot of points, and raised a lot yourself, so instead of trying to quote this thing to death in a partial response (to many to respond to all of them) I will combine the points/statements/questions into a list below with my responses.

    Ken Rowe said that it comes down to liability, and it does, and if you feel comfortable with that liability ... go for it.

    Matt Fellman said that it makes no sense to anything but replace all the EIFS, you responded that if the faults can be remedied why not save the system. I also pointed out that if there are fault you are aware of, there are likely faults you are not aware of so why bother trying to save a system you KNOW IS DEFECTIVE. You said that if there isn't a flashing, it is an installation error, and you can repair it, and that there were no expansion joints at floor lines and expansion joints will be cut in ... keep in mind that EIFS does not have typical expansion joints, that the insulation is not to be bridged through to the sheathing, the an expansion joint is simply a groove cut into the EIFS, basically something like a concrete crack control joint, it is not really an "expansion joint" per se.

    You said that they fond a way to regulate electrical, plumbing, etc., that there has to be a way (to regulate EIFS). Yes, if there were licensing, testing, and regulation of EIFS products and contractors - but there is not. You also said that EIFS needs to be inspected during installation, to which I will add and clarify that the inspections need to be done by manufacturer certified inspector who can sign off on the installation and who have the power of the manufacturer behind them to say no, the installation is wrong and if you want any type of warranty coverage and if you ever want to install our EIFS again you will correct these problem areas ... but that only happens on commercial jobs.

    You also said "What do you call Barrier EIFS?"
    I reply: Because a barrier system is impossible to achieve under normal contraction working conditions and with normal contractors and their workers, that, yes, a barrier system IS "rocket science" and does require "rocket scientists" to install it. This is because a barrier system it TOTALLY relying on the "barrier" (the outer surface) to KEEP ALL WATER OUT from getting past the "barrier" (the outer surface).

    You also said "Installed w/o a moisture barrier?"
    I reply: How can any system be installed without a moisture barrier and be expected to keep moisture out? You will need to explain that to me.

    You said "Why can't there be a Water managed system that is flawed and can be corrected?"
    I reply: A barrier EIFS IS REALLY just a water managed system which is flawed, the problem is finding ALL the flaws, and then in being able to correct ALL the flaws, and knowing that you are working with a defective system SHOULD tell you that the installing contractor did not know how to address keeping water out, which means that it is highly unlikely that the rest of the installation is not also flawed. So why would you want to keep a flawed system in place?

    You then said "It is not black and white."
    I reply: You are correct, it is not black and white ... until you have determined that the installed system is flawed to the degree you have, and in this case the extent of the flaws show an overall inability of the installation contractor to install a system without flaws at critical points, which indicates the lack of ability of the contractor to grasp what was needed, which indicates that other less critical aspects are also most likely flawed too, and why would you even consider saving a flawed system?

    Not sure why you are fighting this so hard.

    But, because you are, you have been given enough information by all of us to justify removing the entire system and installing a new system, probably a new EIFS system for the operation of the building system as a system.

    If you decide NOT TO remove it all, that will be your choice, against all other advice, and there is not really anything more we can say to you to dissuade you. So go for that is you must, against all of our advice.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    First let me say that I appreciate everyone's input. I'd also like to say that I am not fighting.

    Long before this thread began, I had already advised the client that the damaged areas would have to be repaired.

    I would also like to add that in my opinion not every flawed system has to be totally removed. For instance, if you inspect a system... mind you, an inspection is more than just a visual thing. There is probe testing and occaisionally a core sample taken and even IR testing. Anyway, after testing a system you learn that there one or two isolated areas that have failed. Do you recommend total removal? Or, do you recommend repairing the problem. If a kickout flashing is missing, do you recommend total removal, or install a kickout flashing. Etc, etc. Even if it is a barrier system and no matter how many probe tests you perform, they all come up "dry;" Do you still recommend a total rip?

    In new construction, the manufacturer's specs should always be followed. They are a guide on how to assemble/install the interface between the EIFS and adjacent construction, and other installation flaws. But, in existing installation, an alternative detail is acceptable... if it works. In most cases, when EIFS fails, it is usually not the EIFS that has failed as much as it is an interface. And, in most cases, when EIFS fails, it is not a total failure.

    A few weeks ago I inspected a job that had a moisture barrier along with corrugated EPS. The starter track did not have weep holes. It caused a crack along the starter track thus providing an escape for the water. Probes revealed acceptabe moisture content above. Should I have recommended ripping off the entire system? What I did recommend was repairing the crack, and drilling weep holes in the track. If all an EIFS inspector knows how to do is call for a total removal, they are doing their clients a disservice. You really have to look at what is happening and decide. Otherwise you could do EIFS inspections over the phone, the client tells you he thinks the may be a problem... you tell him the whole system needs to be removed, now pay me.

    As far as liability, is there more liability than doing home inspections? or repairing brakes, or whatever? I could also mention that my inspection agreement protects me, but we all know that anybody can still sue anybody. So I try to be careful.

    As far as this particular inspection, I will recommend removal of the tile work and reinstallation with a pan and drainage. I will recommend that the system be properly flashed. Even though I don't believe that it is necessary, I will recommend an expansion joint. Yes, I will recommend removal of the damaged wood.

    As far as removal of most of the system, or a limited repair, that seems to be turning into an evaluation. I will bring up the points about both options, including that the ripoff estimate did not include the items I mentioned above, and to be prepared for the additional cost. As far as leaving the damaged wood to dry out, well that was at the request of the client. I will mention the possiblities and let the client decide what to do.

    I alway recommend a reinspection after the work is done to determine the sucess of the repair, just like I recommend that all work be inspected while in progress.

    Re: the w/o a moisture barrier issue, I think you misunderstood me. No system will protect the structure without a moisture barrier. Not EIFS, brick veneer, vinyl, or anything. The reason that I brought it up is because the original barrier systems were installed without a moisture barrier directly on the wood. They had no chance. Once there is a moisture barrier with a drainage plane, there are usually possibilities. It is usually a matter of what makes more sense; correcting if possible what is there, or a total rip off.

    I also want to repeat that I really appreciate and respect everyone's input. I agree with most of what was opined. Perhaps I wanted to hear other's opinions to reinforce some my own and to help me formulate some new ones.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I would also like to add that in my opinion not every flawed system has to be totally removed.
    I believe we all agree on that.

    But ...

    Anyway, after testing a system you learn that there one or two isolated areas that have failed.
    ... that was NOT what your post implied.

    Your posts implied there were many more than "one or two isolated areas" which were a problem, and with the KNOWN PROBLEM related to EIFS, your original "There are some design flaws and serious water intrusion." and follow-up comments took that particular installation far from the realm of "one or two isolated areas" to the extent that total removal and replacement was recommended.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Re: the w/o a moisture barrier issue, I think you misunderstood me. No system will protect the structure without a moisture barrier. Not EIFS, brick veneer, vinyl, or anything. The reason that I brought it up is because the original barrier systems were installed without a moisture barrier directly on the wood. They had no chance. Once there is a moisture barrier with a drainage plane, there are usually possibilities. It is usually a matter of what makes more sense; correcting if possible what is there, or a total rip off.
    Steven,

    That is another part of the communication problem here.

    The original EIFS were BARRIER systems, as you stated yourself, and BARRIER systems do indeed have a moisture barrier, it is just on the SURFACE, which makes up THE BARRIER.

    It seems to me that you are somehow seeking to define an older barrier EIFS in terms of the newer drainable EIFS which do have a drainage plane between the EIFS and the sheathing, then saying that there was no moisture barrier ... but there was ... it was just on the surface of the older systems, and was one of the reasons for their failures.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Agreed

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Directly from the stocorp web site.
    Sheathing should be free from surface defects or moisture damage. Damaged sheathing should be replaced.
    How can you even consider leaving it in?

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I believe we all agree on that.

    But ...



    ... that was NOT what your post implied.

    Your posts implied there were many more than "one or two isolated areas" which were a problem, and with the KNOWN PROBLEM related to EIFS, your original "There are some design flaws and serious water intrusion." and follow-up comments took that particular installation far from the realm of "one or two isolated areas" to the extent that total removal and replacement was recommended.
    I just realized that you had posted this.

    I'm sorry that I was misleading. You are correct, on this particular job the areas affected are more than just limited to one or two places, but they are caused by two very distinct problems.

    The porches are a no brainer. The tile installation should have resembled a shower pan, not a hallway. The other is effecting the bottoms of three window buildouts. It is caused by the roof not being properly flashed.

    When I really think about it, in either case, it really wasnt the EIFS that failed. It is more "something other than the EIFS caused damage to something other than the EIFS." In reality, the EIFS wasn't damaged and was stronger than the substrate. OK, because it is a system, you could say that the flashing is technically part of the system, but I think you know what I mean.

    The floor line cracks, at this point are more a cosmetic issue.

    The house is over 10,000 sf, so to me, its the same thing as a smaller house, just bigger.

    The reason that the owner would rather repair than replace is that he got an estimate to replace for $85,000.00. It is not for a total replace and still leaves the entire top two feet... exactly where the problem is. And, although it vaguely mentions the roof flashing and tile work, it states that it is not included. It also doesnt include repairing any damaged substrate or heating. In my opinion it will probably end up at well over $100,000.00

    The other estimate of $14,000.00 is limited to crack repair and adding expansion joints.

    Of course it is better to rip it off, if for no other reason than to be sure. But in this case, it might be worth trying to fix what is clearly causing the problem. Either way, the porches have to be fixed, and either way the roof has to be flashed.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 11-26-2009 at 11:02 PM.
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    Default Re: EIFS - Wet wood

    (underlining is mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    The house is over 10,000 sf, so to me, its the same thing as a smaller house, just bigger.

    The reason that the owner would rather repair than replace is that he got an estimate to replace for $85,000.00. It is not for a total replace and still leaves the entire top two feet... exactly where the problem is. And, although it vaguely mentions the roof flashing and tile work, it states that it is not included. It also doesnt include repairing any damaged substrate or heating. In my opinion it will probably end up at well over $100,000.00
    And possibly even $150,000.00 to take it all off and install a new drainable EIFS properly.

    But ... I had forgotten this part from the very beginning:
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    I'm inspecting an EIFS installation on a 2 year old home.
    THAT should be the builder's responsibility, without a question, and being as you are seeing all that damage in just 2 years - it most likely means it leaked from day 1 during construction as it was being constructed.

    Should not take even a real good attorney to take care of that one, and the attorney's fees and expert witness fees will be far less than $50,000, and the builder gets to cover it all themselves, either them or their insurance. At least in Florida it would be that way, not sure about up there.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    You are absolutly right about the builder being responsible. It is a very long story, most of which is not my business, but the owner is the builder.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    the owner is the builder
    ST: It is always a pleasure for me to see karma in action.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    You are absolutely right about the builder being responsible. ... but the owner is the builder.
    Steven,

    How fitting.

    And all the more reason to stick with what really needs to be done: remove the existing EIFS, replace any and all damaged wood sheathing, then install a new EIFS properly.

    Also keep in mind that some day ... some day that builder will become a seller, so now is the opportunity to make sure the repairs are done correctly, by the responsible party, so that no buyer down the line has to deal with an improperly repaired mess which should have been removed and started from scratch.

    You have a rare opportunity for a 'teaching moment' there, and a rare opportunity to protect a future buyer from a big mistake.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    I am sick of EFIS construction. I have been a PCO in NC for 36 years and that is the worst construction I have ever seen. Most termite companies here will not warranty a termite treatment on these even if the have been "fixed" because they break again.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    There are thousand of repaired EIFS systems that have no moisture intrusion at this time. If fact i did a Moisture warranty inspection for a home that the repais were 3 years old so the could renew the warranty It was dry at all areas probed.

    Barrier barrier systems are not a s good a drainage systems BUT they are made functional by contractors every day. Unless serious structural rot has occured then the house framing and the EIFS system would need only REPAIRS NOT REPLACEMENT. EIFS is still a good product and it always was. Most of the post show the lack of understanding of moisture intrusion in the post 60s home. I have said it before windows, doors, deck, chimneys and Kickouts. This is where most leaks occur. AND they occur here on ALL wall cladding systems . Each cladding system has unique issues and EIFS is no different BUT it is not the worst system necessarly. I would take a repaired EIFS home rather than a T-1-11 any day for durability and life span yet only EIFS has a class action law suit.
    .Further evaluation of the substrate may reveal More or less damage but only recommened removal after a correct and responsible accessement,


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    The only repair I have seen has been to cut off the bottom 12 inches and replace it with stone. That is all I have seen but some of my associates in other parts of the country do not warranty termite treatments on EFIS houses.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Steven , Jerry et al:

    Thank you for a very informative discussion. I have done a number of EIFS evaluations in central PA, largely for lenders. Like some of the others on the board I have concluded that an EIFS system should be reserved for steel / masonry commercial construction where adequate professional oversite is more likely. Installation on wood frame residential structures is usually done by the "low bidder" who is driven by making a profit; and therein lies the inherent flaws which are inevitable


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    There are thousand of repaired EIFS systems that have no moisture intrusion at this time.
    SVH: So you say. Can you provide us with proof of this outrageous claim?


    Barrier barrier systems are not a s good a drainage systems BUT they are made functional by contractors every day.
    SVH: If by functional you mean functioning as intended, or that is to say actually keeping the moisture on the outside of the drainage plane, then this is fiction.

    EIFS is still a good product and it always was.
    SVH: Perhaps when used as originally intended by the Sto folks, but not as it is being utilized in the US residential market. It is inherently defective.

    Each cladding system has unique issues and EIFS is no different BUT it is not the worst system necessarily.
    SVH: It is definitely the worst residential system installed in my area.

    I would take a repaired EIFS home rather than a T-1-11 any day for durability and life span yet only EIFS has a class action law suit.
    SVH: I see houses with plywood (T-111) siding on them frequently that have few issues. There are many EIFS houses in my area that can be had for 25% - 40% less than comparable houses with functional claddings. Care to move down here?

    So then, you and ST can pontificate until your huevos fry regarding EIFS. The fact remains that, in most states, there is no architectural involvement in residential structures under several million dollars. That means that there is no architectural oversight of projects. It should not much matter if there were because most US engineering schools do not even broach the residential building subject in courses leading to architectural degrees.

    Add to that the fact that EIFS is primarily installed in the commercial arena where skilled contractors operate. The contractors who install residential EIFS are those who cannot make it in the commercial end of the business, usually because of incompetence.

    Start with a product intended for one substrate and try to jury-rig it to conform to a totally different substrate for which is was never designed; have it installed on houses "designed" by builders or their bean counters; provide the absolute most incompetent installers; be certain that it is in the arena of production homes being touted as "custom", so that there is no communication or cooperation between the different trades involved; add to all of the foregoing the phalanx of apologist inspectors who (for god only knows what hair-brained [vested-interest] reasons) attempt to make the failed product sound pristine, and you have the total disaster that residential EIFS cladding represents in this country.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    So then, you and ST can pontificate until your huevos fry regarding EIFS. The fact remains that, in most states, there is no architectural involvement in residential structures under several million dollars. That means that there is no architectural oversight of projects. It should not much matter if there were because most US engineering schools do not even broach the residential building subject in courses leading to architectural degrees.
    What did I do?

    Anyway I disagree about the architectural involvement part. Most construction in my neck of the woods requires approved plans. Drawn by an architect, approveved by the building dept. As of last January, New Jersey requires a contract with a licensed EIFS inspector (on EIFS houses) before the initial construction permit is issued.

    I believe that if all an architect was to do, was to cut and paste a copy of the man's specs to the plans, it would have an effect on the installations. It would alert the owners and builders. The installers would open their eyes. Mostly, it would open up the bidding process.

    It is a pity that in most installations are flawed. But it should be a crime that the causes of most failures are due to the installation and not the product. I don't believe the rocket science idea , because I really don't think the deatils are that difficult.

    I reminds me of SCUBA diving. Most of what you learn to become certified is very simple... once you know it. If you don't know how, it can be deadly. If you know how and don't follow the rules anyway, well, you could end up dead too.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    The failures I have seen here have been because there was no void between the wood and EFFIS material. No ventilation could happen and when it got wet the wood was gone.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    I beleive the saying is all hat no cattle.

    TX has several traditional building methods and terms and the also vary thruout the state, Post and Beam In TX means something Different in PA
    Does a hard coat stucco include a PM EIFS in you area? Is a PM vs a PB EIFS system more or less inherently defective? One Coat vs 3 Coat stucco which is better,and what if these are applied over a foam sheathing, are these stucco systems better than EIFS.
    Any answer you give will be an opinion, All of these stucco systems can be made to be functional. And many installations done within the last 20 have moisture intrusion issues. The amount Depending on your location.

    There are those who think that EIFS is inherently defective. But i think this shows a lack of understanding of the whys of moisture intrusion and the building process by making such statements.

    The issue , for older EIFS is can a barrier system perform ? And the answeris yes. T-1-11 any of the composite board products, sheet goods or lap siding and some solid wood sidings can be applied as Barrier
    Systems. Some times they fail just as does EIFS AND They fail at a high percentage at the same locations that EIFS. With out any doubt EIFS has had more than a fair share of moisture issues for several reasons.

    I have been on another thread on this site in the past and I wont was any more of my time on a issing match. But for those who want fair and balanced information - start with these attachmet and go to EDI - EIMA and AWCIA


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Stacy, you are dead on. Unfortunately, there are some on this site (A.D.)who think the only option for EIFS is the "nukular" one, quoting our most recent Texas misanthrope.
    You are right to let this thread end without more of your time, I learned that a while ago, like most of the "flat-earthers", these bozos will never concede even a valid point of argument, much less a factual, reasoned analysis.
    Jerry is right, have the builder do the right thing and repair this problem properly, so as not to foist it on a future buyer later, and if he won't, then walk away, it's not worth the risk.

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic-Don't believe there is a dog...

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by John Carroll View Post
    Stacy, you are dead on. Unfortunately, there are some on this site (A.D.)who think the only option for EIFS is the "nukular" one, quoting our most recent Texas misanthrope.
    You are right to let this thread end without more of your time, I learned that a while ago, like most of the "flat-earthers", these bozos will never concede even a valid point of argument, much less a factual, reasoned analysis.
    Jerry is right, have the builder do the right thing and repair this problem properly, so as not to foist it on a future buyer later, and if he won't, then walk away, it's not worth the risk.
    JC: EIFS is $hit. No nukes required for retrofitting, just remove, discard, reclad.

    Bush was not a misanthrope, merely a Republican moron. Pardon the redunancy.

    "Flat earth Bozo" would be an appropriate term for a Phoenix resident, if I were in a polite mood.

    Supporters of EIFS would not know factual, reasoned analysis if it bit them in the ass.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Are you salesmen or inspectors?

    I don't understand the arguement. If you install EIFS on wood, and you are not careful, there is a likely chance that it is going to fail. Is anybody denying that?

    It is also true that when there is an EIFS failure, it is usually not a complete failure. Having said that, as an EIFS Inspector, if I evaluate a home with EIFS, and everything is fine except one or two details... that are repairable... should I recommend a $30,000.00 (or more) removal, or a $3,000.00 (or more) fix? Whether to replace or repair is all in the arithmetic.

    Almost any failure is fixable. I say "almost" because if there is no internal moisture barrier, and there are a number of failures, with substrate damage, well... IMO there is not much hope and you may be throwing good money into bad money.

    EIFS is a system, and if one componant fails it can effect everything downline, so when you look at it, you can't look at it like EIFS, you have to look at it like Exterior Insulated Finishing SYSTEM. If you look at the trees instead of the forest, and can figure out what caused it to fail, and can install or invent a fix... is that bad?

    When I was first introduced to EIFS, my opinion was that it was the best thing since white bread. I saw some really ugly buildings... many that were built without insulation... transformed into beautiiful properties.

    When the nightmare of EIFS began, my opinion did a 180 degree turn around, and I wouldn't use it on a doghouse.

    As a Home Inspector I was torn. I don't believe in "passing" or "failing" a house. It is what it is, I report to my client, explain the ramifications, and let them decide if they want to own it.

    So, like A.D., based upon my opinion, when I pulled into the driveway of an EIFS house, it was all over. I didn't see a reason to continue the inspection.

    This philosophy, based solely on opinion, did not work. I found it necessary to learn the facts. Now, armed with facts I have an open mind and am able to look at each installation independantly. My opinion is based on facts.

    My clients usually don't call me because they want my opinion on whether to use EIFS or not. They call because they already have EIFS and need to know the facts.

    Whether you recommend EIFS or not, it is out there. So on an existing installation, to blindly say if its EIFS "rip it off" is a disservice to you client. Imagine telling the client to rip it off only to discover one or two "areas that have failed, which could have been fixed.

    I do not promote or dispromote EIFS. I do promote having every step of the installation inspected... or be prepared for failure.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 12-13-2009 at 09:34 AM.
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  40. #40
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    EIFS . . .be prepared for failure.
    ST: On that we can agreee.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Are you salesmen or inspectors?

    I don't understand the arguement. If you install EIFS on wood, and you are not careful, there is a likely chance that it is going to fail. Is anybody denying that?
    As I understand them, there are at least two who are denying that.

    I do not promote or dispromote EIFS. I do promote having every step of the installation inspected... or be prepared for failure.
    Agreed, and I will add that it not only needs to be inspected at "every step", with the emphasis on "step" but that it needs a person standing there inspecting CONTINUOUSLY so they do not screw up part way through and "step" and conceal the screw up prior to the inspectors arrival.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    As I understand them, there are at least two who are denying that.



    Agreed, and I will add that it not only needs to be inspected at "every step", with the emphasis on "step" but that it needs a person standing there inspecting CONTINUOUSLY so they do not screw up part way through and "step" and conceal the screw up prior to the inspectors arrival.
    Jerry,

    I agree, and although that is expensive (which is the problem), I assure you that it is probably far less expensive than the eventual repair or replacement of the system.

    I stress PRIOR to every step, so coverups are a bit less likely. And the building must be inspected prior to start to ensure it has been properly prepared. Everyone involved must be aware (prior to bidding the job), that any portion which is not acceptable gets removed. What is the use of inspecting if you don't correct. As far as starting before the inspector arrives, well that is not acceptable. If its not inspected, it doesn't start.

    It really is true, that most failures are installation related and this is unfortunate. But because of the efficiency of EIFS, EIFS is very desireable. If the installation practices were improved it would be the best thing since whitebread.

    Perhaps if it was in a building classification of it's own, and maybe even regulated... the installation, I mean. Just like electricians and plumbers... and even auto mechanics.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 12-13-2009 at 06:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    If you install EIFS on wood, and you are not careful, there is a likely chance that it is going to fail. Is anybody denying that?
    I'd like to correct my mis-statement. What I mean is; "If you install EIFS on anything are not you are not careful, there is a likely chance it will fail.



    The problem is the damage that can be caused to the building. Although we are focusing on wooden structures with EIFS, water infiltrating into ANY building, with any building envelope is bad. I have, as I'm sure most of you have, seen all different horror stoies involving water intrusion.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Very educational post Steven.


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    Default Re: Wet wood

    My good friend Bob,

    How have you been?

    I appreciate different opinions. You can see better with your eyes open.

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    Default Re: Wet wood

    quote=Steven Turetsky;112478]My good friend Bob,

    How have you been?

    I appreciate different opinions. You can see better with your eyes open.[/quote]

    Business is good Steve.
    I hope the new websites are doing the job for you as you seem to have good ranking and I know you do a good job.
    So far I have been blessed not to inspect a EIFS cladded structure but sure know who to call if I have any issues.

    If you have not done so I suggest you visit http://www.your-leaking-house.com/ and help those guys out once in a while.


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Wet wood

    Stephen

    I am a building consultant the only thing i sell is my services, THIS year alone i have inspected buildings with the following wall clading systems (some systems on mutiple buildiings) They all have had moisture intrusion , Viny siding w/o a WRB, Brick veener, Compostiton wood both lap and sheet products, EIFS both barrier and drainage (all PB), One coat over foam sheathing, one coat over wood with a moisture barrier, Traditional 3 coat, One coats that were not one coat material. Cement board (lap)

    The only product that failed as a product was the one coats that were not a one coat material. All other moisture was due to the cladding and its installation and resulting interaction with a building detail, or incorrect design.

    I think your on the right road to correct the system repairs don't pick on cladding the product, make the system work, intergrated building systems and their componets are what the building envelope is.


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