Atlanta Stucco Buyers and Sellers
Synthetic stucco is commonly referred to as Exterior Insulating and Finish System (EIFS). Homes with this exterior finish are often strikingly beautiful, offer great flexibility in home design, and provide energy savings. EIFS (usually pronounced “eefs”) constructed homes, however, have a dark cloud surrounding them—allegations of water accumulation and damage resulting in mold growth.
EIFS construction consists of an insulation board secured to the exterior wall surface (e.g., plywood), a durable, water-resistant base coat applied on top of the insulation and reinforced with fiberglass mesh, and a finish coat, which gives the product its stucco-like appearance.
Evidence suggests that once water gets into the EIFS insulation board, it has no way of getting out. Thus, water penetration is not the problem itself, as water can easily penetrate many types of exterior finishes, such as wood and brick. The problem is, according to some civil engineers, water retention. The EIFS system virtually wraps the exterior of the home in an energy-efficient blanket, which promotes energy efficiency but can leave water trapped within.
According to a member of the Georgia Area Home Inspectors in Atlanta, “This product cannot breathe.” He contends that it collects moisture, and the moisture has no way to drain or evaporate.
To counteract these problems, the EIFS industry developed a more drainable type of exterior finish in the last few years. The new “drainable” or “water-managed” system incorporates a secondary moisture barrier and a drainage mat with weep holes in the bottom that allow the escape of water that might get trapped.
Hardcoat Stucco or Traditional Stucco systems allow water to enter the systems in the same areas and while they do not retain the moisture as long as EIFS Stucco systems the exact same problems can exist in a Hardcoat Stucco home.
The Good News
All of the problems associated with stucco homes are readily fixable. The first step is to determine if you have a problem. Have a stucco inspection by a certified stucco inspector. Not just a “regular home inspector”. If the inspection finds problems with the stucco system then have the problems remediated by a certified stucco repair contractor. Not just a “regular general contractor”. There are specific repair techniques which are necessary to prevent moisture intrusion into the stucco systems which most “regular general contractors” do not know how to apply these specific fixes.
For further peace of mind their is a specific stucco warranty program available which will guide you through the entire process.