EIFS/Stucco Inspections

Tramex EIFS moisture meter in use on exterior wallTallahassee Real Estate Inspection’s Mike Pagozalski has successfully completed The Exterior Design Institute’s EIFS/Stucco Inspection course and is certified to inspect both types of cladding systems. You should hire a professional experienced with these systems if you fear you may have a moisture problem. Our tools and knowledge will save you time and money, helping you to identifying problems without having to have EIFS completely removed.

What is EIFS?

Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS) is a siding system used for exterior walls in both residential and commercial construction. It consists of an insulation board attached either adhesively or mechanically, or both, to the substrate then covered by an integrally reinforced base coat and a textured protective finish coat.EIFS system diagram

How does it fail?
Unfortunately for some EIFS products, there is a history of water infiltration problems causing significant damage to the buildings it’s installed on. EIFS is typically designed to resist water penetration at the outer surface and these EIFS systems therefore cannot drain water that gets behind it. EIFS cladding typically does not fail, meaning water will not penetrate directly through the surface of the cladding. The points of water intrusion are most frequently due to poorly installed windows and flashing, missing kick out or diverter flashing at roof/wall intersections, wall penetrations and decks that are not properly flashed.Kick-out flashing diagram

 

Once water is allowed behind the cladding, it can intrude into the unprotected sheathing or the wood structural members and cause rot. If left undetected, damage can become serious. The location of water entry is often difficult to see and the damage to building materials underneath the EIFS frequently cannot be detected by visually examining it.

What is an EIFS inspection?

 

Tramex EIFS Inspection KitThe object of an EIFS inspection is to identify and note any problem areas
or details that vary from EIFS Industry Member Association, EIFS, and Stucco manufacturer’s guidelines. This is done first by visually inspecting for any deficiencies at vulnerable areas like termination points, flashings, expansion joints, penetrations and any damaged areas. Next we use a non-invasive moisture meter, however this technology is limited to providing only a basic understanding of possible elevated moisture levels in areas tested

Any areas where the scanner indicates an elevated level of moisture should then be probed using a reliable moisture meter. Probing or drilling through the cladding will require permission in writing from the owner prior to performing any invasive testing. Holes are made in a pair of two holes (approx. 1/8” diameter and 1” apart) in each test location and will be filled afterwards with a paintable sealant recommended by an EIFS manufacturer. The final report will bring together a collection of pictures and observations with measurements and indicated moisture levels of the building cladding along with recommendations for corrections.

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