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Thread: Stucco Stain

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    Default Stucco Stain

    I got a home inspection done. I want a second opinion. As per the inspection report the siding appears to be an EIFS or Synthetic Stucco. No tests were performed for water intrusion as it is a specialized test. There is some staining. Does this reflect water intrusion ? What shud I do ?

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Pari Bhatta View Post
    I got a home inspection done. I want a second opinion. As per the inspection report the siding appears to be an EIFS or Synthetic Stucco. No tests were performed for water intrusion as it is a specialized test. There is some staining. Does this reflect water intrusion ? What shud I do ?
    It is difficult to tell in the photos but it looks like EIFS. The staining is telling you where the water is flowing down the side of the wall or window area. The dark color is airborne dirt and or algae growing on the material. Based on the photos I would say that moisture will most likely be found inside the wall area. Just in the photos provided I see several suspect areas of concern. What area are you in I bet we can recommend an inspector to give you better answers in person...

    Hope his helps and have a nice day!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Pari Bhatta View Post
    I got a home inspection done. I want a second opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    What area are you in I bet we can recommend an inspector to give you better answers in person...
    That'd be his "second opinion"?

    As Scott said, can't tell much from the photos, but that staining on the surface is water on the surface, now, if there was staining from water coming out from behind the surface ... that's be different.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    As previously stated there are areas of concern. I'm sure there are more problems than shown in the few photos you have posted.

    Do yourself a favor; get an EIFS/Stucco inspection.

    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Pari:

    If you have not already closed escrow on this house you should seriously consider finding another that does not have EIFS cladding. After inspecting >900 houses with this material I can honestly say that it is not a durable or dependable material. Even under the best circumstances where it is a drained system that has been meticulously installed, it is subject to damage from lawnmowers, golf balls, hail, kids throwing things, and it is a maintenance nightmare. Other misguided souls on this forum may follow with attempts to defend this type of cladding. Kindly ignore their ignorance.

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 09-12-2012 at 04:35 AM. Reason: Polishing.
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    I am neither a proponent or opponent of EIFS, but since I specialize in moisture analysis and water intrusion in building envelopes; I inspect EIFS regularly and would like to add to Aaron's warning.

    EIFS, just like any exterior cladding does have its upsides and downsides. I agree that if you plan on using your home as a backdrop for practicing your tee-offs, EIFS may not be the cladding for you. At the same time would like to add that you should avoid buildings with glass.

    I have seen damage due to lawn maintenance (usually from weed wackers), but if installed properly there should be enough clearance so that lawn maintenance should not be a problem.

    I am not sure what Aaron is referring to when he speaks of the "maintenance nightmare" that he seems to be saying is associated exclusively with EIFS. Aaron, please clarify.

    Let me tell you about a nightmare. I recently inspected a 7 stories building that was brick veneer over Densglass over metal studs. There was no internal moisture barrier, no weep holes and no through wall flashings. During heavy rain, water was coming through the ceiling of 1st floor occupancy.

    I am not defending EIFS, and only want to inject that EVERY cladding system has its installation needs. A system (any system) installed wrong will suffer the same consequences regardless of the type of cladding.

    Even when the Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed he could not blow down the brick veneer house. The veneer was installed improperly. There was no through the wall flashing (or moisture barrier, improper drainage plane, etc), so eventually the house fell down on its own. When the house fell down, the wolf was waiting outside and ate the pigs. The real kicker is that from living in the mold infested home, the pigs were toxic and the wolf died too.

    I'm sure that Aaron does not advocate that as long as the home is not EIFS it is O.K. I say that ANY home, regardless of the cladding (or structure... wood, Densglass, masonry, etc) can be adversely effected by moisture intrusion, and should be designed and built with that in mind.

    Every building envelope should be inspected. If you are building a new home, it should be inspected BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the installation of the cladding system.

    Aaron, regardless of how you or I think of EIFS, it is here and it is here to stay. The use of EIFS is growing.

    Currently I am building a home. It is for myself and my family. I could use any cladding I desire. The bottom half of the building is masonry and I am cladding it with sand mix stucco. The top is wood and I am cladding it with EIFS. I am taking every precaution as specified by the manufacturers. I have no reason to believe that it will fail.

    Understand that I am not relying upon the EIFS to waterproof the building; it is simply the external moisture barrier intended to DEFLECT. Prior to installing the EIFS, it is my intention to make sure that the building is waterproof. I advocate that if you want your building to be waterproof; it should be waterproof before you install the cladding.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 09-12-2012 at 09:22 AM. Reason: polishing
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Pari Bhatta View Post
    I got a home inspection done. I want a second opinion. As per the inspection report the siding appears to be an EIFS or Synthetic Stucco. No tests were performed for water intrusion as it is a specialized test. There is some staining. Does this reflect water intrusion ? What shud I do ?
    5 minutes and an infrared camera would answer your question. 30 minutes to check the whole house.

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    I am not sure what Aaron is referring to when he speaks of the "maintenance nightmare" that he seems to be saying is associated exclusively with EIFS. Aaron, please clarify.
    Let us begin with the sealants. IF they are of the proper type and IF the are properly applied they will not last more than 7-8 years, at least where I work. The manufacturer-approved sealants are not something you just pop down and purchase at the local box store for house butchers. They are viscous to the point of not being gun-applied (for most people who do not own pneumatic or electric caulking guns) and really should be applied by professional waterproofing contractors. and that, of course, after the old failed sealant is removed. Average cost for a 4000 s.f. house in Dallas is $8K.

    If you live where the wild animals have not been totally eradicated by SUV-driving NRA members, the rodents and woodpeckers will have a field day with the EIFS. Park your BBQ grill too close to the wall and it will melt. It hails often in Texas and destroys EIFS walls in a heartbeat. Subterranean termites just love the stuff. And, for an added bonus, the flame spread rating for the expanded or extruded polystyrene insulation board is significantly higher than other common exterior claddings. Don't believe it? Take a cheap StyrofoamŪ ice chest out into your (neighbor's) yard and hold a match to it for a moment. Bring the marshmallows.

    Aaron, regardless of how you or I think of EIFS, it is here and it is here to stay. The use of EIFS is growing.
    Maybe in some places. Certainly not in the DFW area.

    Currently I am building a home. It is for myself and my family. I could use any cladding I desire. The bottom half of the building is masonry and I am cladding it with sand mix stucco. The top is wood and I am cladding it with EIFS.
    That, of course, is your prerogative. I wouldn't even live next door to an EIFS house.

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 09-12-2012 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Typo
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    5 minutes and an infrared camera would answer your question. 30 minutes to check the whole house.
    In your dreams.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Pari Bhatta View Post
    I got a home inspection done. I want a second opinion. As per the inspection report the siding appears to be an EIFS or Synthetic Stucco. No tests were performed for water intrusion as it is a specialized test. There is some staining. Does this reflect water intrusion ? What shud I do ?
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...er-stains.html

    Read this one.

    EIFS is stucco, usually synthetic stucco, on insulation, which has been attached to the exterior of a building.
    A lot of people including HI's, when they see synthetic stucco on OSB or plywood, call it EIFS, but that is wrong.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    A lot of people including HI's, when they see synthetic stucco on OSB or plywood, call it EIFS, but that is wrong.
    Yes. Then it is just the icing with no cake.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    In your dreams.
    Seriously? As an assessment of a targeted, previously identified problem area it takes one look. Mere seconds. I added the time it takes to park the truck and knock on the door.

    If the OP called me with his or her question, I'd do a walk through scan as well as the targeted areas. Most houses 30-45 minutes. I would try to stretch the time out in order to make the invoice look better (since explaining that they are paying for the camera as much as for my time gets blank stares), but never more than an hour on-site.

    Mark Fisher
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Seriously?
    Ditto.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Let us begin with the sealants. IF they are of the proper type and IF the are properly applied they will not last more than 7-8 years, at least where I work. The manufacturer-approved sealants are not something you just pop down and purchase at the local box store for house butchers. They are viscous to the point of not being gun-applied (for most people who do not own pneumatic or electric caulking guns) and really should be applied by professional waterproofing contractors. and that, of course, after the old failed sealant is removed. Average cost for a 4000 s.f. house in Dallas is $8K.
    Will the sealants used on other claddings last any longer?
    I don't agree that a low modeus sealant (silicone) can not be gun applied.
    Dow Corning sealant can be purchased at HD. Others can be purchased at same supply house as other EIFS componants.
    Why can't anyone that knows how to apply sealant properly apply sealant?
    Is it more costly to reseal EIFS than other claddings in DFW?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron
    If you live where the wild animals have not been totally eradicated by SUV-driving NRA members, the rodents and woodpeckers will have a field day with the EIFS.
    I only notice woodpecker damage on a small percentage of EIFS homes. And when I do see such damage, I have not noticed that the damage is on many EIFS home in the area. But yes, EIFS is susceptable to woodpecker damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron
    Park your BBQ grill too close to the wall and it will melt.
    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron
    It hails often in Texas and destroys EIFS walls in a heartbeat.
    I don't work in DFW, so cannot comment about the weather there, but recently spent 2 weeks in Austin, and I saw EIFS there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron
    Subterranean termites just love the stuff.
    Do they love EIFS (buried below grade) more than they love other claddings/siding buried below grade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron
    And, for an added bonus, the flame spread rating for the expanded or extruded polystyrene insulation board is significantly higher than other common exterior claddings. Don't believe it? Take a cheap StyrofoamŪ ice chest out into your (neighbor's) yard and hold a match to it for a moment. Bring the marshmallows.
    EIFS will melt from heat, but EIFS will not sustain fire.



    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron
    I wouldn't even live next door to an EIFS house.
    That is too bad. I was hoping to convince you to move in next door. I think we could be BFF.

    Aaron, I understand how you feel and will go so far as to say that I agree with alot of what you say (check my next post). My point is that every cladding has its issues, especially if not applied correctly. I just can't see EIFS being singled out as being bad and no mention of any other cladding. Especially since most (almost all) EIFS failures I see are not failures caused by the EIFS, but rather at the interface between the EIFS and what is next to it. Most of the faults that can effect a home with EIFS can effect any other cladding too.

    If an EIFS home fails because there is no (improper) flashing, is it the fault of the EIF?

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 09-12-2012 at 10:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    You guys don't think IR shows water intrusion? Or, given a target area, it takes longer to see what's there? Or that it takes longer to scan all of the exterior walls? Or what?

    Mark Fisher
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    @ Steve d.b.a. EIFS Apologist:

    We will just have to agree to disagree.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    You guys don't think IR shows water intrusion? Or, given a target area, it takes longer to see what's there? Or that it takes longer to scan all of the exterior walls? Or what?
    Mark,

    IR is not a "Silver Bullet". It is simply a helpful tool. I do not use IR to determine water intrusion, but rather to assist me in looking for possible wet areas that have to be probed for moisture content.

    I wouldn't dream of recommending just an IR scan to provide complete information.

    The only way to determine moisture content is by probing. The backbone of my inspections is probing (wood). Another problem with IR is that since it displays differences in temperature, it can not be done by simply "showing up with a cam". You have to scan during changes in temperature, and not when the building has had the opportunity to equalize.

    When I do an inspection and am including IR (exterior), dependent upon the season, I may have to scan the building at 5AM or 9PM. It is rare that I would show up at 5AM or stay as late as 9PM to do a moisture analysis, which is why I charge the added fee that I do. Anything else will normally give false readings.

    Anything else (IMHO) is just a dog and pony show in order to "make the invoice look better". A true moisture analysis is very labor intensive, I have no need, desire, or time to do anything for no other reason than to make the invoice look better.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 09-12-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Mark,

    IR is not a "Silver Bullet". It is simply a helpful tool. I do not use IR to determine water intrusion, but rather to assist me in looking for possible wet areas that have to be probed for moisture content.

    I wouldn't dream of recommending just an IR scan to provide complete information.

    The only way to determine moisture content is by probing. The backbone of my inspections is probing (wood). Another problem with IR is that since it displays differences in temperature, it can not be done by simply "showing up with a cam". You have to scan during changes in temperature, and not when the building has had the opportunity to equalize.

    When I do an inspection and am including IR (exterior), dependent upon the season, I may have to scan the building at 5AM or 9PM. It is rare that I would show up at 5AM or stay as late as 9PM to do a moisture analysis, which is why I charge the added fee that I do. Anything else will normally give false readings.

    Anything else (IMHO) is just a dog and pony show in order to "make the invoice look better". A true moisture analysis is very labor intensive, I have no need, desire, or time to do anything for no other reason than to make the invoice look better.
    On that we can agree.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    @ Steve d.b.a. EIFS Apologist:

    We will just have to agree to disagree.
    Aaron, we probably agree on more than we disagree. I recommend that ANY EIF system should be inspected.

    Perhaps I am an EIFS apologist.

    My whole point is that it is not only EIFS that can be a problem, and moisture intrusion is something that has to be a conscious effort during construction on EVERY building.

    BTW, I would love to be neighbors. We may not always agree, but that is OK.
    I appreciate your direct demeanor.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    I think we are talking about different tasks. I agree that a full moisture assessment is more involved. What the OP needs is a short, targeted assessment showing whether moisture has entered the wall cavity or not.

    BTW, while I agree that the temp difference is important in interpreting IR results, it is far less so for moisture. The H2O reads differently even if it is the same temp as the surrounding material; that's what the emissivity coefficient is all about. IR cameras don't measure temp, they measure infrared emissions, which is not quite the same. (Just did another training - they had two materials at the exact same temp with different IR signatures; very interesting.)

    Last edited by Mark Fisher; 09-12-2012 at 11:30 AM. Reason: detail
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    BTW, I would love to be neighbors. We may not always agree, but that is OK. I appreciate your direct demeanor.
    You would not want to live in this hot SOB where I reside. Between the expansive soil, rampant termites, withering summers, hail storms, tornadoes, and overpopulation with those who would vote for Magic Underwear, it is a nice little hell on Earth.

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 09-12-2012 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Typo
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    I think we are talking about different tasks. I agree that a full moisture assessment is more involved. What the OP needs is a short, targeted assessment showing whether moisture has entered the wall cavity or not.

    BTW, while I agree that the temp difference is important in interpreting IR results, it is far less so for moisture. The H2O reads differently even if it is the same temp as the surrounding material; that's what the emissivity coefficient is all about. IR cameras don't measure temp, they measure infrared emissions, which is not quite the same. (Just did another training - they had two materials at the exact same temp with different IR signatures; very interesting.)
    You are correct... almost.

    Different materials do have different emisstivities, but it is the emisstivity of the surface that you are scanning. If the water was on the surface, even if it were the same temp, it would be noticeable. In the case of water within the walls, you have to depend upon the temperature differential.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    True, but on the molecular level....

    Sorry, not going there unless there is beer by the pint involved

    Opening Poster, if you are still there, if there has been long term moisture intrusion, InfraRed can (in most cases) quickly locate it and probing/direct moisture reading will confirm.

    Mark Fisher
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    Opening Poster, if you are still there, if there has been long term moisture intrusion, InfraRed can (in most cases) quickly locate it and probing/direct moisture reading will confirm.
    At the risk of repeating myself: in your dreams.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    At the risk of repeating myself: in your dreams.
    Good god, man. I qualified it (long term intrusion) so that I think Steven, an obviously experienced IR user, would concur: long term implies some level of saturation that WILL show up on IR in almost all temperature conditions.

    Do you even use IR?

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Fisher View Post
    Good god, man. I qualified it (long term intrusion) so that I think Steven, an obviously experienced IR user, would concur: long term implies some level of saturation that WILL show up on IR in almost all temperature conditions.

    Do you even use IR?
    Yes, I have all of the toys you have, and then some. What you seem not to realize is that even toys have rules which must be followed. An IR camera is not totally useless during an EIFS inspection, but its uses are extremely limited.

    Even with long-term moisture intrusion, say at a missing kickout flashing or window header flashing, et al., during a long-term drought there will be no resident moisture. Much of the country is experiencing this sort of phenomenon that we in Texas experience on an annual basis. This affects the way a proper inspection of an EIFS installation is to be carried out. An IR camera is useless in this scenario and others.

    While IR technology is often a useful tool, it is not a panacea, as many of the camera owners would have us believe. If I were just entering the field today, it is the last piece of equipment I would purchase, just as it was 6 years ago when I purchased the camera I now have. Prior to that I had conducted hundreds of EIFS inspections with just as high a degree of accuracy as if I had owned ten of the pricey little SOBs.

    Enter stage left all of the IR apologists to your rescue. Get into a line against the wall and ready, aim, fire . . .

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 09-12-2012 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Correcting my Greek.
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Silly me, thinking in discussing moisture intrusion that there might actually be moisture involved.

    Screw the beer...I'm going for the Scotch!!

    Mark Fisher
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    I'm going for the Scotch
    OK. You can scan your toes to see when it reaches them.

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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    I am going to replace the term "EIFS Inspection"with "Moisture Analysis" or Moisture Intrusion Inspection". My reason being, as I usually explain is that when doing an EIFS Inspection, the least important aspect is the condition of the EIFS as compared to moisture intrusion. Also it includes all types of cladding such as sand mix stucco or anything else.

    What I mean is; sure, it is important to know if the EIFS is cracked/damaged, or whatever, but what is really important is to know if there has been an adverse effect to the structure beneath the surface. The fact is that in many cases where there is damage beneath the surface, there is little evidence that shows on the surface. Remember, water runs downhill (usually).

    The tool(s) I use the most during this type of inspection are my eyes, coupled with my experience. After that I rely upon a moisture content meter to confirm what I suspect, and of course my sense of touch when drilling into the system to determine resistance. There is a fancy tool that some use for this purpose (SRT), but in my opinion that is more of a "dog and pony" tool and I simply don't need it.

    I agree that there are those that use IR as bait to attract clients, when in reality they don't know about enough about EIFS to provide the service they are selling.

    I don't agree about the drought part as presented by Aaron, only because it is not unusual to get a false negative reading at 3PM on a sunny day... you don't need a drought.

    During a drought inspecting EIFs is not as cut and dry. I still rely on my eyes and testing resistance, but it is very possible for an area that has been wet to now be dry. The have been times that I have soaked areas with water (re-creative testing)

    Don't get me wrong, I use the IR at every inspection regardless of the time of day, only because maybe... maybe something will show up that can be helpful.

    As I said in a previous post, A moisture intrusion inspection on an EIFS building is very labor intensive. I always bring at least 1 helper.

    As far as additional tools to purchase, my interest now includes recreative testing (spray equipment and water flow equipment to gauge the amount of water being introduced into systems to monitor the efficiency of drainage planes, etc.

    I also find myself developing my own testing appliances and methods.

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 09-12-2012 at 02:21 PM.
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
    eifsinspectionsnewyork.com

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    It burns there, but I guess what burns in Vegas stays in Vegas?

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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

  31. #31
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Turetsky View Post
    Aaron, regardless of how you or I think of EIFS, it is here and it is here to stay. The use of EIFS is growing.

    Not by a long shot around here.
    No one uses it for anything except the occasional commercial project. It just doesn't hold up in our hot, topically humid, heavy rain location.


  32. #32
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    It burns there, but I guess what burns in Vegas stays in Vegas?
    Come on, Aaron, why do you think they designed the system to be installed where it gets water intrusion all the time?

    To self-extinguish those friggin' fires like that.

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

  33. #33
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Stucco Stain

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Come on, Aaron, why do you think they designed the system to be installed where it gets water intrusion all the time?

    To self-extinguish those friggin' fires like that.
    Point taken.

    Texas Inspector
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    What the plainspoken man lacks in subtlety, he makes up in clarity.

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