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  1. #1
    Seth Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Do you guys tell me if this is EIFS? I did not want to poke a hole in it.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    A good way to tell is to tap on it and see if it sounds hollow or solid (true stucco will sound and feel like concrete). You can push on the wall and tell as well usually.

    Also, if you are not used to seeing this product, you can pull a receptacle, light fixture, etc. and see right away whether it is EIFS or stucco.

    Hope that helps


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Hughes View Post
    Do you guys tell me if this is EIFS? I did not want to poke a hole in it.
    Hard to tell just from the photo. Based on the center photo and the way it meets the brick and door trim, it could very well be EIFS.

    Brandon gave you some common ways to tell.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    You can do as Brandon stated or you can whack it with a sledge hammer and pop a good dent it. If you see styrofoam behind it, it was probably EIFS.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Looking at the photo of the door bottom, (the siding overhangs the foundation) I say EFIS. And in considering the craftsmanship of the trim work, I say EFIS.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    you can whack it with a sledge hammer and pop a good dent it. If you see styrofoam behind it, it was probably EIFS.
    Rick H:

    Sounds like you've been reading too many of EC Jerry's posts . . . but that is certainly a valid (though perhaps costly) test.

    Aaron


  7. #7
    Seth Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    I went back today and just knocked on it. It definately sounded like hollow styrofoam.(EIFS) how do you guys write this up for the client? The rest of the house seemed to have much water damage, all of the windows frame were rotting, the fascia as well, all of the siding seemed to be buckling and unsealed.. Just seemed like water was finding it's way to everything. I have a pic of the chimney. The flashing directs water right onto the side of the chimney. What should I recommend here? you can see they haven't sealed very well where siding meets chimney. Thanks in advance for any input.

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  8. #8
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Seth. I say something like this although we have very little EIFS around here.
    EIFS:
    : Recommend Licensed EIFS inspector for evaluation before close of escrow.
    : EIFS stucco siding has history of failure and water penetration due to poor installation especially around window and doors.
    : Recommend this web site for more information. Exteriors of Residential Buildings - Inspection, Defects, Repairs, Siding and Paint Failures

    Sure looks like a lot of moisture damage with that house. Make sure you inform your clients in plain language about these issues. I would add after all your comments on trim, siding etc "Risk of concealed damage"
    Good luck.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Sometimes, when the house was in bad enough condition, I've said to my client: (while looking around the lot from where we were standing) "This is a really nice lot, isn't it? That is why you are buying this ... isn't it? ... To build your new home on?"

    That usually immediately gets their attention with a response of something like "WHAT?"

    From there you can explain what you are talking about.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  10. #10
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Sometimes, when the house was in bad enough condition, I've said to my client: (while looking around the lot from where we were standing) "This is a really nice lot, isn't it? That is why you are buying this ... isn't it? ... To build your new home on?"

    That usually immediately gets their attention with a response of something like "WHAT?"

    From there you can explain what you are talking about.
    Jerry. I had the same thought looking at those pics. Could be some serious moisture issues. Run Client Run!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Jerry,

    I had a house this morning in such poor condition that I told my client I would discount the inspection 50.00 if they'd tell me they decided their not going to buy it.

    Very young couple, first time home buyers.

    Couldn't stand the thought of them getting ripped off.

    For those who'll say its not my place to say such, tell the hand as they say.


  12. #12
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Rick,

    I do something similar for the young kids.... it's usually is something like;
    "Yep, if you don't buy this one... I'll certainly do you right on the next one you want me to look at"

    Planting that seed is something that I can always feel good about telling kids who don't have two nickels to rub together.

    Of those re-inspects, quite often, I'll give too much away (monetarily) to help out the kids just starting out. Hell, many times I just flat told'em to just send me their family/ friends and relatives business... Everytime, I get paid back 2 fold.

    rr


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Rick and Rich,

    I know what you mean, been there and done that too.

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

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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Hi Seth,

    The pics in your first post certainly could be EIFS. It's hard to be sure just by looking at the pictures. Knock on it, like the others have recommended.

    The pictures in your second post show wood damage, but there is no EIFS anywhere near-by, So the damage shown isn't really EIFS related. Flashing related, maybe... which is also one of the reasons that causes EIFS... and every other exterior cladding problems.

    You would be better off, and do better by your client to simply recommend that they contact a Certified EIFS Inspector. Although there are a number of certifying organizations out there, EDI (Exterior Design Institute) Certified Inspectors are considered by many to be the best. I'm not knocking other organizations, but EDI emphsizes inspecting, while many other organizations emphasize installing.

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

  15. #15
    David Block's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Seth, it is hard to determine if this is EIFS based solely on the pictures however the others are correct in ways to determine the type of stucco present. In the pictures it looks like the material in question in at a covered porch area? If this is the only place it is located with no direct expose to rainfall there is a chance that there may be little or no damage under the siding. If this is EIFS, the installation details are all wrong. Anywhere the EIFS material meets dissimilar materials ie. brick veneer, windows, doors, porch there must be roughly 1/2" joints with sealant in tact to ensure water tightness. The material cannot be in contact with concrete as insulation board will absorb moisture through wicking action and cause damage that way. It also depends on the type of system installed as there are drainable systems that now provide a drainage path for water that penetrates the siding materials. Inspecting this type of siding system should only be done properly trained inspectors. The Exterior Design Institute is a great way to get properly educated to inspect this siding material. I went through the program several years ago have become one of the few inspectors in my area offering this service.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Mirror works great as well as removal of exterior door bell, receptacle or switch cover plate(s)
    Foam can be seen in the holes of the newer systems with drainage track or at mitered corner of casing bead/track

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  17. #17
    harvey kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    Mirror works great as well as removal of exterior door bell, receptacle or switch cover plate(s)
    Foam can be seen in the holes of the newer systems with drainage track or at mitered corner of casing bead/track
    I like the mirror idea. Thanks that is truly useful information.


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    Cool Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Mirrors are convenient, BUT, it will only tell you if a weep screed was used, NOT what type of system it is. Some EIFS systems are installed with the same type of weep screed as regulat stucco or plaster. Sound also can be deceiving (the tap test). My advice is either get educated on stucco/EIFS identification, or call for an expert opinion.

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

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Not sure if this has been put to rest. I am a certified EIFS inspector in San Antonio. Some of the comments as to the verification of the finish are accurate, (removing fixture) EIFS could be a direct applied finish, elastomeric, cemetitious stucco. or one of the major manufacturers of EIFS. It does not look like eifs to me. more of an elastomeric finish with poor drainage and flashing. Curious what you really find.

    Steve


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    A word of caution when calling it EFIS. I inspected a house last year and used the mirror method to see the foam and fiber-glass mesh. It was there and tapping gave the hollow sound. Yep! EFIS I said to the realtor. A great consternation came over his face! "I have it on the listing as hard coat stucco" he said. Uh let me look at this again. The house had large decorative EFIS over hard coat at the base of the walls, on the corners and around windows. It did sound much different in the center of the wall. Oops! Another clue I should have picked up on was metal control joints not normally seen in EFIS.


  21. #21
    John McCormick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    Mirror works great as well as removal of exterior door bell, receptacle or switch cover plate(s)
    Foam can be seen in the holes of the newer systems with drainage track or at mitered corner of casing bead/track
    Awesome trick!

    As has been said, there are a bunch of different hybrid systems and the only way to really know is to get a qualified EIFS inspector out there. The trim is so poorly done in the first pictures I have no idea what it's even made out of.


  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    On those homes with a lot of exterior concerns I just touch on them in general from front to back and side to side. Then I recommend that they have the entire exterior evaluated for water penetration and replacement of siding and trim. I go on to tell them of the expense involved in such a wide range of repairs. I also tell them that it is impossible to go into great detail do to the water penetration and what could possibly be involved for repairs under the siding.

    I have also told a client getting an FHA loan on an as is HUD foreclosure. By the time I did a walk around outside then just took a walk thru the interior and just looked at the roof from the ground I had no choice but to tell my client (that had absolutely no money for repairs) That I could stop the inspection right now and give her a break on the inspection because I was looking at a home that could not be purchased with an FHA loan due to the vast amount of major repairs.

    With out any doubt I was looking at 50,000 in repairs. That was before the pretty up stuff or getting deeper into an inspection.

    I stopped the inspection and just gave a sheet report stating that the client did not want to complete the inspection. I had her sign it and gave her a copy. The Realtor was furious.

    She tried quoting me TREC standards and reporting procedures. The procedures and standards stop at the point the client tell you to stop.

    This Realtor actually demanded that I complete the inspection. She also stated that she would report me to TREC. By the time I got done with her on just the verbal barrage and then talked to her manager for trying to push this home on her client I do believe she is working some where else now.

    I referred her to a Realtor that I new would take care of her. The Realtor actually told me that she was going to have her husband have a little talk with me. I said great, where is he, I will go have that chat right now. I think that stemmed from telling her to take that sheet report and stick it where the sun did not shine.

    Not to many people have the ability to tick me off the older I get but this woman pushed to many buttons. I was about ready for anything and did not care.

    I think she thought the louder and more forceful she talked and the more threats she made that it was actually going to get me to cave or something. Wrong!

    Oh yeah. She said she was going to make sure that I never inspected again. Please.


  23. #23
    tabatha ness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Hi Seth,

    In your first picture where the exterior meets the brick it looks like EIFS. However, the trim around the window is wood. I can't tell if the wood trim is stuck over the exterior cladding or not. Also, a control joint is needed between the exterior cladding and the brick. In the Third picture where it comes down to almost the sidewalk. It looks like some white in the corner, I think that maybe plastic starter strip. If you run your hands under it check for holes made in the plastic or for foam. Usually if it's EIFS they run plastic starter strips or they may back wrap with mesh. If there is back wrap than most times contractors have an area where they missed the application of basecoat and you can feel foam. If there is a plastic starter strip with holes than the contractor was using a moisture drainage system in which there should be stucco wrap or another type of moisture barrier on the sheathing. With the control joints missing I would be amazed if they utilized a drainage system.

    As for the other pictures of the exterior it appears to be wood siding. I agree with the other poster that more than likely it's a flashing error. Also, check the caulk joints there may be failures at the windows which would allow moisture penetration. You can pick up a moisture meter which can be used on any cladding systems to detect moisture between the cladding and sheathing.

    Hope that helps and Good luck.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Hughes View Post
    Do you guys tell me if this is EIFS? I did not want to poke a hole in it.
    Looks like stucco with a painted sand finish. Note the thickness at the bottom of the wall, texture, straight bottom edge. Knock on it to hear if it sounds "hollow". Also push on the surface to feel for "give". Surface of EIFS will be slightly flexible. If the whole area moves, check for delamination or improperly attached sheathing.

    Michael J. Minigh
    Exterior Envelope Consulting
    304-904-6055


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Seth,

    The second set of pictures appears to be cement fiber siding. The waveiness in the wall is from poor framing and is not structural because it is skewed. Had this dozens of times and call it out as sloppy and the AHJ says they don't care what it looks like it's integrity is okay.
    The mold is northern exposure and cheap paint. The vertical trim board is missing at the chimney creating the gap or the chimney moved.

    Last but not least update your profile

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Michael J. Minigh
    Looks like stucco with a painted sand finish. Note the thickness at the bottom of the wall, texture, straight bottom edge. Knock on it to hear if it sounds "hollow". Also push on the surface to feel for "give". Surface of EIFS will be slightly flexible. If the whole area moves, check for delamination or improperly attached sheathing


    I agree maybe stucco, look at the thickness of the fluted door trim is 3/4" to 7/8", and the base blocks 5/4" so that leaves the cladding about 3/4" ...the surface has a more barnished finish look you get with the 3 coat process...We see a lot out there the straight trim at the bottom horizontal edge could be casing bead and it should be weep screed with the locking holes and bull nose profile

    I jump on the wagon for tapping on it for sure..

    Joseph Ehrhardt
    Building Forensic Specialist LLC

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Can you tell me if this is EIFS

    Lots of good information. The wall could also be a cement board system with an acrylic pebble finish. There are so many systems and hybrids out there, it's imposible to tell. Could also be acrylic or elastomeric finish over gyp sheathing, DensGlas or even 1/2 inch Styrafoam or plywood. I've seen all of these in the 28 years of EIFS experience.

    I was the Quality Control Administrator for Moisture Warranty Corp(MWC) for the Dryvit national class action suit for several years- Also did warranty work for the EIFS manufacturers for years (plus installing and selling Dryvit, etc) and trained most of the MWC inspectors and repair contractors. Just when I think I've seen it all, someone invents a new shortcut or "system" that looks acceptable but will fail when water gets to it.

    Main cause of failure is water intrusion- through the window units at jamb and sill joint, field formed kickouts or no kickouts and at deck attachments. All are flashing details, but you've got to know what is good and where to test.

    To protect yourself, suggest a moisture test.

    Feel free to call me if you have any more info to add- 304-904-6055- and maybe I can give you some other ideas or an EIFS inspector near you.

    For EIFS training, AWCI is good for new installation training (I helped write the certification test), EDI for both new installation and some moisture testing and MWC for in-depth moisture testing.

    Mike Minigh


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