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  1. #1
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    Default Need help with EIFS system!

    can anyone tell me what may be going on here with this eifs system? (pretty sure its eifs as it sounded hollow when tapped on) is it an underlying problem or just improper maintenance? please see attached pictures.

    thanks!!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Really hard to say what is going on, but you can bet those areas of discoloration are not good. You would need to put a moisture meter on those interior walls to see if moisture is an issue. I honestly have never seen anything like that before.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Our home inspector said the same thing about not seeing that before. He thought the rust stains may be from the shutter bolts rusting but who knows. Not sure about the white spots. The eifs is only on the front of the house. The rest is vinyl siding. Other houses on the block have eifs and show no problems and all were built by the same builder in 2004


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin fisher View Post
    can anyone tell me what may be going on here with this eifs system? (pretty sure its eifs as it sounded hollow when tapped on) is it an underlying problem or just improper maintenance? please see attached pictures.

    thanks!!
    First off you have to define the system.
    There are 2 main systems in exterior insulation and finish systems, a. barrier and b. drainage plan. barrier systems are banned now in certain states.
    If you do not know that I recommend limiting your self from that section of the report.
    Recommend: A professional eifs company evaluate the system based upon with your suspicions are.

    I see a (suspect) separation of the assembly, under the window, and discoloration in the finish of the system.
    The discoloration=(That maybe linked to the manufacturer's finish coating.}
    Irion in the aggregate used for the surface finish texture.
    They are paying greater detail to the aggregate which can be sand and removing any chances of iron.
    NOTE: I use to have an article but lost so much when a virus infected my OS operating system.

    Any-Hoo, That would be the first step in the report.
    Defining the system.
    Then you break it down into the defects and deficiencies.

    I would also recommend a IR camera to pinpoint moisture intrusion and other facts you you can use to make the report faster and more defined.
    Best regards.

    Sorry forthe edit.

    Last edited by ROBERT YOUNG; 01-27-2014 at 04:25 AM.
    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    First off you have to define the system.
    There are 2 main systems in exterior insulation and finish systems, a. barrier and b. drainage plan. barrier systems are banned now in certain states.
    If you do not know that I recommend limiting your self from that section of the report.
    Recommend: A professional eifs company evaluate the system based upon with your suspicions are.

    I see a (suspect) separation of the assembly, under the window, and discoloration in the finish of the system.
    The discoloration=(That maybe linked to the manufacturer's finish coating.}
    Irion in the aggregate used for the surface finish texture.
    They are paying greater detail to the aggregate which can be sand and removing any chances of iron.
    NOTE: I use to have an article but lost so much when a virus infected my OS operating system.

    Any-Hoo, That would be the first step in the report.
    Defining the system.
    Then you break it down into the defects and deficiencies.

    I would also recommend a IR camera to pinpoint moisture intrusion and other facts you you can use to make the report faster and more defined.
    Best regards.

    Sorry forthe edit.
    The OP is the buyer, not a home inspector. See the 3rd post....

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin fisher View Post
    Our home inspector said the same thing about not seeing that before. He thought the rust stains may be from the shutter bolts rusting but who knows. Not sure about the white spots. The eifs is only on the front of the house. The rest is vinyl siding. Other houses on the block have eifs and show no problems and all were built by the same builder in 2004
    Eifs consist of a type of insulationing foam with stucco then paint on the exterior. The paint is your moisture barrier. Water may cause the stucco to leach lime which may cause discolorization. You may just need a new exterior paint and calking.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Burkard View Post
    Eifs consist of a type of insulationing foam with stucco then paint on the exterior. The paint is your moisture barrier. Water may cause the stucco to leach lime which may cause discolorization. You may just need a new exterior paint and calking.
    In the construction I was involved in for 30 years the coloring was added into the finished coat. Not paint.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Kevin, You really won't know what the issue is without some invasive inspections. I would start with a moisture meter equipped with probes that can penetrate down to the sheathing. If the sheathing is wet then you know you have a significant problem and need to get more invasive. In the second picture you can see that the moisture starts all the way up at the gable vent which is under a soffit. Normally (what I see) is the moisture comes in around the window (flashings) and you will see most of the damage below the window or where a roof and wall meet and the kickout flashing is missing or deficient. Let us know how this turns out, it would be helpful to us on future inspections. Thanks!!

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    I may have missed it, but what he needs is an inspection by someone certified in EIFS, such as by EDI (Exterior Design Institute) ... at least what I have been told about those who went through EDI training, not sure if it is still that way - I think Scott P might know that.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    It's hard to say without being up close and without testing for moisture beneath the surface, and I'm sure there is more than one "thing" going on.

    The discoloration could be from a bad mix, using a different batch of finish coat, being painted over, efflorescence, and so on and so on.

    I do see what looks like a field fabricated kick out flashing, which are normally undersized or poorly made. I see cracks/joints in line with the window frame, which is wrong and/or are usually attributed to improperly installed insulation board and/or mesh.

    I see rust stains that may be coming from the use of improper hardware or a contaminated mix.

    That is what I see, but to be quite frank you should be more concerned about what you can't see. What you can't see is what -can hurt you most.

    The best money you can spend would be on a complete EIFS inspection with moisture probing by an experienced certified EIFS inspector that is also a certified moisture analyst. As stated the best are those that originate from EDI. Don't be talked into a limited infrared inspection. It will confirm nothing. You need the real thing.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 01-27-2014 at 09:36 AM.
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The OP is the buyer, not a home inspector. See the 3rd post....
    Thanks Scott.
    Best regards.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Burkard View Post
    Eifs consist of a type of insulationing foam with stucco then paint on the exterior. The paint is your moisture barrier. Water may cause the stucco to leach lime which may cause discolorization. You may just need a new exterior paint and calking.
    Paint is not the preferred method...... It actually can cause problems...
    Adding colorant to the finish coat is the preferred way to get the color you want on the wall.

    An EDI trained inspector is the way to go when looking for an EIFS inspector......

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  13. #13

    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Kevin
    as others have mentioned you do need an invasive EIFS inspection.
    Make sure you get someone that has the training and has a good knowledge of construction as well. Here is the EDI link and you can look up by state.
    https://www.exterior-design-inst.com/
    You will want to wait until it warmer but you can start the interview process now.

    Where in Wisconsin are you located?
    I do see I forgot to put WI in my multistate listing but you do have a few listed to choose from.

    Call me if you have questions.

    Mark Parlee
    The Building Consultant www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    “Real Solutions for Real Problems” EDI EIFS and Building Envelope

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Kevin
    as others have mentioned you do need an invasive EIFS inspection.
    Make sure you get someone that has the training
    Here is the best course on EIFS: "Stucco & EIFS Inspection Training for Home Inspectors" video course - InterNACHI

    Play the short videos to get an idea about the online video EIFS course.

    Lisa Endza
    Director of Communication
    InterNACHI

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    It's hard to say without being up close and without testing for moisture beneath the surface, and I'm sure there is more than one "thing" going on.

    The discoloration could be from a bad mix, using a different batch of finish coat, being painted over, efflorescence, and so on and so on.

    I do see what looks like a field fabricated kick out flashing, which are normally undersized or poorly made. I see cracks/joints in line with the window frame, which is wrong and/or are usually attributed to improperly installed insulation board and/or mesh.

    I see rust stains that may be coming from the use of improper hardware or a contaminated mix.

    That is what I see, but to be quite frank you should be more concerned about what you can't see. What you can't see is what -can hurt you most.

    The best money you can spend would be on a complete EIFS inspection with a moisture meter by an experienced certified EIFS inspector that is also a certified moisture analyst. As stated the best are those that originate from EDI. Don't be talked into a limited infrared inspection. It will confirm nothing. You need the real thing.
    Thermal imaging without moisture readings will not produce accurate information unless you are just considering surface moisture. Since that is not your issue I would suggest you defer to a qualified EFIS contractor and save yourself time and worry.
    This is an area that I only allow my most experienced inspectors to report on, and most of them ( including two with more than thirty years experience ) refer this sort of issue to licensed and insured contractors we have used for years.
    I would recommend that you be on hand during their inspection process if you really want to learn about this sort of issue.
    I take every opportunity to learn something new and with more that forty years in the trades and 15 as an inspector, I still need to satisfy my curiosity.
    Just for the heck of it, and only based on the images, I would say this is a surface issue that is likely caused by an inferior mix of the finish coat.
    Be smart and defer to an EFIS contractor.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Endza View Post
    Here is the best course on EIFS: "Stucco & EIFS Inspection Training for Home Inspectors" video course - InterNACHI

    Play the short videos to get an idea about the online video EIFS course.
    Good post Lisa.
    When I did the EIFS course 2 years back Ron Hufford was the instructor. Hope I spelled his name right. Gary Ron approaches EIFS a with real hands-on dynamics and even covers other traditional hard coat stucco.
    Thanks Lisa.
    She's the NACHI princess you know:-)

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Kevin, Do you have any updates on this for us?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa Endza View Post
    Here is the best course on EIFS: "Stucco & EIFS Inspection Training for Home Inspectors" video course - InterNACHI

    Play the short videos to get an idea about the online video EIFS course.
    Hi Lisa,

    If you remember I was one of the first (if not the first) EIFS inspector to come out and say that the INACHI EIFS course was good for the purposes intended, and if nothing has changed with the content of the course, my opinion has not changed. I know Ron Huffman personally and he is an expert in the field. I value anything that Ron has to say.

    The INACHI course as I know of it is an excellent course for a Home Inspector that wants enough knowledge of EIFS to complete a general Home Inspection on a home with EIFS cladding. In a case such as this where there are specific problems that have to be addressed; it is necessary to have more advanced training, skills, and most importantly... experience.

    In other words, whereas a Home Inspector is an expert generalist, In a situation as presented here, this is a job for a specialist.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Well it is not an eifs system. It is hard coat stucco. Caulking around the stucco areas has deteriorated and was not kept up on by previous owners. Still waiting on a stucco professional to come look at it to see what the problem may be. I suspect bad caulking may be the culprit


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Lisa Endza
    Director of Communication
    InterNACHI

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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin fisher View Post
    Well it is not an eifs system. It is hard coat stucco. Caulking around the stucco areas has deteriorated and was not kept up on by previous owners. Still waiting on a stucco professional to come look at it to see what the problem may be. I suspect bad caulking may be the culprit
    Stucco is a drainage system with a drainage plane behind the stucco, wire lath, and bond breaker - water WILL go through the stucco ... caulking (which is a surface sealant) should not have any real bearing on the performance of a properly installed stucco system. Caulking might have a bearing on an improperly installed stucco system, but then the problem would not be the caulking the problem would be the improperly constructed stucco system.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    So its possibly not from water then maybe its from a bad mix? Just seems like the lathe is rusting through the stucco which is causing the rust stains but im not exactly sure. Its kinda weird that no one has really seen this type of problem before


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Kevin, Does it appear to you that the stucco may have been painted?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Cant really tell if it was painted or not. Is there a way to tell?


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin fisher View Post
    Cant really tell if it was painted or not. Is there a way to tell?
    Check in the expansion joints.

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    Kevin,

    That type of staining is not uncommon and it is usually due to installation errors, occasionally the rust staining may be from something in the mix or the water but that would be rare and would typically be seen across the entire stucco area (potable water is required to be used for the mix, but there is "potable water" and then there is "potable water" - think municipal treated water and house well water with lots of iron in it ... big difference but both are "potable water").

    Of course they could have (I've seen this done) added powered laundry detergent to the mix to make it easier to apply (the was the reason I was given), except that it did affect the water penetration in a negative way as it allowed water to penetrate through the stucco faster and easier - the detergent could have a negative affect on the galvanized coating too.

    Another cause could be that the lath was not galvanized properly, again, though, this would likely affect the entire piece of lath and most likely all of the lath on the house - but that does not appear to be the case and lath which is not galvanized properly has not been a problem from what I've seen.

    Another cause could be that the lath was damaged where some of the lath had the galvanized coating damaged (bundles of lath drug from lot to lot over asphalt streets or drug over concrete slabs), I've seen that, but not often.

    Another cause could be that the stucco was not applied in the proper three-coat application nor applied thick enough.
    - When applied over solid substrate (such as masonry), stucco is to be applied in a two-coat application: scratch coat and finish coat, with a minimum thickness of 1/2" over masonry and a minimum thickness of 3/8" over concrete (cast-in-place or precast).
    - When applied over frame (other than solid substrate), stucco is to be applied in a three-coat application: scratch coat, brown coat, and finish coat, with a minimum thickness of 7/8".
    - When stucco is shown on the drawings and the drawings show the stucco thickness, typically the thickness is shown as only being 1/2" ... which does not meet the minimum required thickness anyway, and then the stucco contractor typically does not apply it even that thick.

    I've seen the outline of the metal lath through the stucco before, this indicates that the stucco is likely only about 1/4" thick.

    In photos 1 & 2 it is quite possible that the window is not flashed properly, that the anchors for the shutters are leaking into and through the stucco system and to the wood sheathing, could be several things going on there.

    In photo 3 it looks like the stucco may not be thick enough - look carefully and you can see lighter area along the control joints where it looks like they are out further than the other stucco areas, which look sunken back in, and is where the staining is.

    Photo 4 is hard to see but may be the same as in photos 1, 2, and 3 above.

    Photos 5 & 7 look like it could be the same as in photo 3 above.

    Photo 6 might be the same as in photo 3 above, along with cracking in the stucco, which could be from the metal lath not being installed properly (it seldom is installed properly).

    Hard to tell from the photos, though.

    If you have a green laser (red lasers are not as easy to see in sunlight as green lasers), shine the laser across the surface of the wall - high areas (thick areas) will catch the laser, low (thinner) areas will not - my guess is that you will be able to shine the laser from accessory to accessory (corner bead, J bead, weep screed, control joints) as they should all be installed for the same stucco thickness, and that the wall areas within the outlines of those pieces you will find the stucco is thinner, sometimes a lot thinner.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Need help with EIFS system!

    **FINAL UPDATE**
    The product used turned out to be dryvit. I had a moisture test done and it showed about 20% (after 2 days of rain)so we ended up cutting a small 6 inch by 6 inch square out to see the wood behind. The wood ended up being perfectly fine and as strong as the day it was installed. He determined that the rust possibly was from a bad mixture which caused the rust stains (supposedly a lot of houses had this same problem when it was applied back in 2004). He powerwashed the surface, repaired all cracks and replaced all caulking and coated the surface with elastomeric paint. Part of the problem was also the paint used on the shutters was bleeding onto the surface making it look worse than it was. New shutters have since been installed.


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