In A Nutshell…No.
Many experts say that synthetic stucco repair is a myth, and that barrier EIFS is a defective product that should not be used on one and two-family residential construction.
In our experience, defendants almost always claim that repairing EIFS can be accomplished by simple steps such as cutting the cladding back around windows, doors, rooflines, etc., installing the proper flashings, joints and backwrapping, and then refinishing the outer coating.
These are usually quoted from recommendations made by EIMA, which is trying to shield its members from liability. Many of these EIFS manufacturers have encouraged use of barrier EIFS, although they have known for many years that these products should only be used over a masonry substrate (i.e., concrete).
These “remedies” also ignore several key facts, such as:
- The need to replace damaged sheathing or wood structural elements behind the EIFS;
- Indications from manufacturers and many knowledgeable sources (quoted above) that even a perfectly installed barrier EIFS cladding will still experience moisture intrusion over time.
- The fact that most, if not all, homeowners who were sold EIFS were told it was “maintenance free,” but are now faced with diligent maintenance (which may or may not be effective) beyond that required by other claddings; and
- Resale values on homes clad with EIFS are often lower then other homes clad with hardcoat stucco. Some relocation programs of major Fortune 500 companies specifically exclude homes clad with EIFS.
The bottom line: the only effective EIFS repair appears to be total replacement.
What experts think about EIFS.
* US Gypsum Co., a major EIFS manufacturer, discontinued the sale of barrier EIFS for one and two-story residential homes in 1996, stating that “these systems could not adequately accommodate water penetration.”
* Senergy, another major EIFS manufacturer, withdrew from the EIFS Industry Manufacturer’s Association (EIMA), concluding that barrier EIFS cannot be used on one and two-family residential construction.
* The National Research Council of Canada identified many design deficiencies in barrier EIFS. For example, even when EIFS is installed around windows in “textbook fashion,” “water can migrate through the interface with the [EIFS] cladding under simulated storm conditions.” Moreover, the Council concluded that EIFS’s “in-service performance is unpredictable and unreliable.”
* The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has stated its belief that barrier EIFS can develop moisture penetration problems even when properly constructed in accordance with manufacturer’s standards and specifications.
* In connection with development of their drainable EIFS products, several manufacturers have stated that their barrier EIFS products are not able to prevent water intrusion behind the EIFS.
* Barrier EIFS were originally designed for masonry construction and typically used in the commercial sector. Integration of building components tended to be oriented toward commercial construction. In NAHB’s opinion, the barrier EIFS systems have proven to be incompatible with the existing wood frame construction methods typically used in residential construction in the United States, and that has resulted in significant problems. – THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HOME BUILDERS November 30, 1998