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Old 12-31-2009, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, CA
41 posts, read 84,653 times
Reputation: 13

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Ok, we are relocating to Alpharetta and have been looking at many homes for sale. We are being told tht homes with EIFS stucco is a big no no and to stay away from them.

I decided to do a bunch of research on EIFS (synthetic stucco) and found a lot of good information, but I also wanted to hear the public opinion on it. Out here in California, we only have the concrete hard coat stucco, seems to be a standard and works well with our climate.

My big questions are:
1. Is EIFS stucco reallty a problem in the Atlanta aria with the climate?
2. Is hard coat concrete stucco any better?
3. Should I stay away from a stucco home all together?

I appreciate your feedback!
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:28 AM
 
13,136 posts, read 20,699,235 times
Reputation: 35314
When we were transferred here we were told the same thing, by company associates, the realtor, and also the company we used for homeowners ins. If I remember correctly the problem was that moisture could get behind the EIFS stucco and rot the wood behind it. The cost of removing it is prohibitive, so you will still find homes with it.

We were not similarly warned about hard coat stucco, however the homes we saw with it were much older than we wanted.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:08 PM
 
2,982 posts, read 6,463,673 times
Reputation: 5476
I understand that the EIFS stucco allows moisture to build up behind it which not only rots the wood frame, but provides a hospitable environment for termites. That is why people with stucco homes are told to "cut and seal". The stucco is cut away six or so inches from the ground and then sealed so that it is no longer permeable to water. Because termites live in the ground and are attracted to moisture, they will not chew on the wood if it is not in contact with the soil.

Though this is primarily a problem faced by the synthetic stucco, you will find homes with "real" stucco who have gone through the cut and seal process as well.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,499 posts, read 48,513,778 times
Reputation: 14060
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreelover View Post
I understand that the EIFS stucco allows moisture to build up behind it (EIFS in itself is not the cause of moisture infiltration)which not only rots the wood frame, but provides a hospitable environment for termites. That is why people with stucco homes are told to "cut and seal" ("cut and seal" was a termite prevention action. Because the polystyrene was not sealed below the final grade- it was a pathway for termites. But that exacerbated the original problem- moisture; because it didn't allow drainage of moisture that got caught within the wall). The stucco is cut away six or so inches from the ground and then sealed so that it is no longer permeable to water. Because termites live in the ground and are attracted to moisture, they will not chew on the wood if it is not in contact with the soil.

Though this is primarily a problem faced by the synthetic stucco, you will find homes with "real" stucco who have gone through the cut and seal process as well.
First and foremost remember, the stucco/EIFS systems are not the problem- it's the way they were installed. And/ or lack of other materials or steps that should have been taken.

Read my posts here-
Stucco Siding - What can be the disadvantages?
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:39 PM
 
997 posts, read 4,244,359 times
Reputation: 350
EIFS homes in GA have a bad rep. The thing about the eifs homes are that most are tough to sell and take a long time unless you drastically reduce the price and then some still sit because of the negativity. If you purchase one, be prepared for this come time to resell unless you reside. K'ledge is right it was the way were installed.

Our neighbor has EIFS and hasn't had a problem. On the other hand, we have hardocat and did have a problem where moisture did get behind one of the terminations that didn't have flashing and did a little damage. It all comes down to how it was installed and if the home has been maintained and taken care of.

Hardcoat homes do have a better rep and don't have as tough of a time selling that's why we bought ours. We passed up our dream home in St. Ives because of the synthetic stucco. To this day, we still talk about how that home would have been great for us. The cost to reside it plus all of the updating it needed made it too expensive for us. That house is not on the market now but it never sold and it has been 2 years. It sits vacant. Our realtor told us it will never sell because if someone finds a home that is just as nice and not eifs they will go for that instead just like we did.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:47 PM
 
997 posts, read 4,244,359 times
Reputation: 350
Also, I don't know if this applies to you but relocation companies won't touch a home sided with EIFS.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Cumming
59 posts, read 245,756 times
Reputation: 21
Try this article on EIFS Stucco, it's not bad.
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:33 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,262,275 times
Reputation: 22342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosa View Post
Ok, we are relocating to Alpharetta and have been looking at many homes for sale. We are being told tht homes with EIFS stucco is a big no no and to stay away from them.

I decided to do a bunch of research on EIFS (synthetic stucco) and found a lot of good information, but I also wanted to hear the public opinion on it. Out here in California, we only have the concrete hard coat stucco, seems to be a standard and works well with our climate.

My big questions are:
1. Is EIFS stucco reallty a problem in the Atlanta aria with the climate?
2. Is hard coat concrete stucco any better?
3. Should I stay away from a stucco home all together?

I appreciate your feedback!
EIFS also known as Dryvit has a wicking action which pulls moisture in. The moisture then degrades not only the EIFS, but the underlying construction as well occasionally causing rot and mold issues.

Initially, before people realized this problem existed, they would put the EIFS all the way down to ground level and it would suck the moisture out of the earth at an alarming rate. More recently, when it has been applied, there is usually a four or five inch gap between the siding and the ground. Nevertheless, you can often see large cracks in the EIFS where it has swollen up due to moisture problems.

I worked for an insurance company, and people who had EIFS had a much higher premium and sometimes could not get insurance coverage because of these problems. It was considered a "hazard" (a very negative thing).

Personally, I would stay as far away from it as possible. As for traditional stucco, if you can be 100 percent certain it is the "real thing" and that it was done correctly, I don't see any problem with it. In fact, there is a big alternative movement for "ferrous cement" exterior which is, essentially a fancy name for just about the same thing.

Personally, I like stucco fine. I would certainly choose it over vinyl siding any day.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
12,499 posts, read 48,513,778 times
Reputation: 14060
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
EIFS also known as Dryvit has a wicking action which pulls moisture in. The moisture then degrades not only the EIFS, but the underlying construction as well occasionally causing rot and mold issues.

Dryvit is a brand name. It has no "wicking" properties at all. Moisture infiltration came from fenestration openings and no flashing.

Initially, before people realized this problem existed, they would put the EIFS all the way down to ground level and it would suck the moisture out of the earth at an alarming rate. More recently, when it has been applied, there is usually a four or five inch gap between the siding and the ground. Nevertheless, you can often see large cracks in the EIFS where it has swollen up due to moisture problems.

Of course the finish is suppose to be below finish grade. The problem- the polysytrene was not back wrapped to the foundation. Thus, providing a moist passage way for termites. Polystyrene has no "wicking" properties either.

The Dryvit system was basically- polystyrene base, a nylon mesh (base coat reinforcement), a portland cement base coat, and a finish color coat (quartz sand, propylene glycol, titanium oxide, and color additive).



Personally, I like stucco fine. I would certainly choose it over vinyl siding any day.

20yrsinBranson
Avoidance of EIFS is from ignorance- as long as it was installed properly and/or the structure has been maintained properly (mostly annual caulking), it should withstand the elements just as well as any other cladding.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:24 PM
 
180 posts, read 452,886 times
Reputation: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
Avoidance of EIFS is from ignorance- as long as it was installed properly and/or the structure has been maintained properly (mostly annual caulking), it should withstand the elements just as well as any other cladding.
Ignorance or not, the fact remains that EIFS is the kiss of death in real estate pricing. Our realtor told us that a rule of thumb he and his colleagues use is to price hard-coat at 10% less than brick and EIFS at 15% less than brick. Now hard-coat is not generally a problem but the stigma of EIFS has grown to encompass it.

If you can find an EIFS home that has clearly been taken care of, has no problems, AND don't care about its resale value AND love the house in every other way, IMO that's the only reason to buy one. IMO, I said...
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