Looks can be deceiving...

McMansion Back

... walk around back, and guess what?

EIFS stands for “Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems,” and was developed in the 1950s. EIFS has evolved and there are now over a dozen manufacturers. You will commonly see it referred to as synthetic stucco, Dryvit, Senergy, Sto, and Parex.

EIFS, if not properly installed or maintained, can be subject to moisture intrusion through openings in the cladding. In the case of a wood framed structure, the trapped water is absorbed by the wood and wood rot, decay, fungus, and insect infestations become problems. A detailed inspection is required by an experienced and certified EIFS inspector for buildings with this type of cladding system.

Below is a sample contract for my EIFS Inspection.

Inspection agreement

1.1 PURPOSE: The purpose of this moisture inspection is to help assess the condition of the stucco system by looking for visible installations flaws, inadequate water diversion and sealant failures and conduct random moisture readings using the Delmhorst BD 2100 moisture probe device. Please note that the provision of a scope of work for remedial repairs is not the purpose of this inspection. Further investigation may be needed to determine the extent of water damage, if any, and how best to modify your building to address any moisture problems that may be indicated by this inspection.

1.2 SCOPE OF INSPECTION: This is a basic, stucco inspection limited to the following:

A visual examination of the condition of the stucco, exterior sealants, flashing, windows, doors, roof-to-stucco transitions, parapets, gutters, deck-to-building connections, stucco terminations and any penetrations through the stucco.
Conducting of random electronic moisture scanning of the building envelope.
Preparing a report of our observations of potential problem areas and recording any high readings found.
Providing detailed information on typical moisture-related problems in stucco buildings to assist you in maintaining the value of your building.

1.3 LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: Because this is a limited inspection, we can make no guarantee, express or implied, that our observations and random moisture readings offer conclusive evidence that no installations or moisture problems exist, or that problems found are all-inclusive. This inspection company, its employees and any divisions shall not be liable for non-visual defects, unseen defects unspecified defects or hidden damage and conditions existing on the subject property and hereby disclaims any liability or responsibility thereof. All parties concerned agree to hold harmless and indemnify this inspection company involving any liabilities that may result.

1.4 FURTHER TESTING / INVESTIGATION: Our policy is to rely on moisture meter readings as an indicator of relative moisture values between different test spots, not as an absolute value of water content in the substrate. It is difficult to determine if the structural substrate of your building has been damaged in areas of high readings without “probing” and/or removing a core sample of the stucco to allow for visual inspection. Should we feel that further investigation if needed this will be indicated in the summary section of the report.

1.5 REPAIR FOLLOW-UP AND ANNUAL INSPECTIONS: A repair follow-up inspection should be conducted within three months after completion of the repairs to assess the effectiveness of the moisture modifications. This is extremely important. Annual inspections should also be scheduled to ensure that your stucco system remains dry. This way any sealant failures, stucco cracks, etc. can be caught and repaired promptly. Testing and maintenance on a regular basis is the best way to prevent costly repairs associated with moisture damage. Also, should you decide to sell your building, annual inspections and maintenance documentation will be a valuable selling tool, providing evidence to show that your building has been inspected and maintained on a regular basis by a reputable and qualified firm.