Hear any horror stories about Synthetic stucco (EIFS) ?
If you have, you are not alone, and if you haven’t then expect to hear one at some point in the future.
Why am I so confident you will hear something?
The reason is because these stories stem from a period in time not long ago in which this “EIFS” wall system became widely known for the massive ammounts of litigation surrounding it.
Synthetic Stucco (EIFS) was developed in the 1960’s by the Europeans to repair the wall damage to their structures caused by World War 2. In 1969 a company by the name of Dryvit brought this system to the United States just in time for the benefits that an upcoming Oil Embargo would bring its business.
In less then two handful of years the Oil Embargo was pressuring US property owners to search and opt for wall systems that were energy efficient. Coincidently, Dryvit had exactly what everyone wanted, popularity rose and people started using these wall systems.
One thing noone accounted for:
Long story short, a few years later people began to realize that these wall systems, that were once deemed a solution were actually doing more harm then good. It turns out that the original developers and installers of this EIFS system did not account for the simple, yet important fact, that the difference between EIFS and traditional stucco was that Traditional stucco had the ability to absorb water and subsequently dry itself out.
EIFS due to its synthetic properties, did not have this ability. In theory this sounds great, but in practice it also presents a major problem if the instalation methods of the contractors allowed water to come in through windows and other wall penetrations.
This meant that the water would enter the wall but would have no where to go. As we all know, water sitting with nowhere to go, can cause major rotting, deterioration, roaches, and mold along with a host of other issues. The lawsuits started to fly!
Unfortunatley, both installers and customers had to deal with the consequences of using this product. Alot of money was lost, and alot of damage was incurred. However, this chaos paved the way for what today is known as the new version of Synthetic Stucco (EIFS).
The New Synthetic Stucco (EIFS)
The New Synthetic Stucco, has been redesigned to include a drainage system which has caused many to now deem it the perfect wall system. Not only does this wall system not let any water through but if for some reason it got in through windows or other wall penetrations, then it would have a drainage system to ensure the water had somewhere to escape. A system so durable and efficient that reported cases from Superstorm Sandy have spoken to its resiliance in severe weather situations.
This new and improved EIFS is largely made up of the following layers:
Mechanical Fasteners, and Joint Reinforcements may be necessary.
Thanks to a terrible and traumatizing experience to many, new EIFS users now have what is many times considered the perfect wall system. Its ideal permeability, high energy efficiency, low need for maintenance, and pleasing aesthetic properties has made it the top choice for many !
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