EIFS

This siding is one of a number of relatively new synthetic stucco materials referred to generically as EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems). These materials are enormously attractive and make some striking architectural and aesthetic detailing possible. The material itself is virtually waterproof and can afford good protection if properly applied. Methods for installing or working with EIFS are quite different than those of most other exterior cladding and thorough familiarity with the material is crucial for weather-tight work. Questions have been raised about this material due to problems with either materials or workmanship which have allowed moisture to penetrate the membrane at flashings, nail penetrations, window and door openings, etc,. and to then cause rot or moisture deterioration within the wall. A number of window and door manufacturers refuse to honor the warranties on their materials if they are surrounded with EIFS. Due to the virtual water tightness of the material, once water has been allowed in, it cannot readily escape. In addition, even if the original EIFS installation work was good, subsequent work by deck installers, electricians, plumbers, homeowners, or others unfamiliar with the the special requirements of these materials provides numerous opportunities for potentially significant error. North Carolina was the first state to ban its use and since that time a number of jurisdictions have, or are discussing controlling or banning the use of this material. There have been neighborhoods in northern Virginia where the builder, most notably Toll Brothers, has gone back, post-settlement, and reclad the houses of those who wanted them redone. Subsequent to the original materials, there are now systems being installed with drainage systems and these do not appear to be nearly as problematic as the original installations. We are happy to look at the cladding for you and can make specific recommendations but a full EIFS inspection requires specialized equipment and an additional 1/2 day or more of time so we strongly recommend that you consult an EIFS specialist if you have concerns.