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EIFS – Additional Inspection Guidelines

When home inspectors are evaluating an Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) house, many of us are concerned with poor flashing before installation causing water penetration. If we see evidence of moisture, some may assume that the flashing has been compromised, not installed properly, or omitted completely. Of course, we cannot see behind the finished areas. What if we do see evidence of water penetration away from flashed areas?  It could be that the moisture has migrated to this area from an improperly flashed area. Although the EIFS was initially installed properly, there are important conditions that a home inspector should be looking for. Contractors and homeowners may have created conditions that will compromise the integrity of EIFS installation after it was initially installed. In addition to ensuring there is evidence of proper flashing, proper drainage, kick-out flashing at roof  / wall insertions,  observing “puckering” around windows and doors, home inspectors should be also looking for the following conditions that may have been created long after the EIFS was installed: MORE…

  • Any fastener including downspout or shutter screws should be stainless steel and encased in a proper sleeve. Sealant should be used to ensure moisture does not enter the cavity
  • If a window extends out past the EIFS, then a bond breaker and fillet bead of sealant should be present
  • EIFS should be terminated a minimum of 8 inches above grade to allow for moisture drainage, visual inspection and treatment of the foundation for pest control
  • There should be a gap with visible flashing between EIFS and a roof or deck surface
  • All flashing under EIFS should extend a minimum of 6 inches
  • If EIFS is “tight” to the soffit / gable end, a triangular backer rod with sealant can be installed to help prevent water from entering the cavity

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