The below guidelines may be helpful in determining if there is a need for remedial work on single-family, EIFS clad houses. Visual inspection should be performed along with a moisture test to get the true condition of the property in question. A visual inspection is NOT a moisture inspection / test.
Item Description: Termination Above Finished Grade Function: A gap should be maintained between EIFS and the finished grade. The gap must be wide enough to allow access for visual inspection and treatment of the foundation for pest control. Guidelines: Where access to the foundation is not required for visual inspection or treatment for pest control, the EIFS can remain in place.
Item Description: Sealant Joints around Openings and Penetrations Function: Prevent water entry where EIFS meet other materials. Sealant is installed to provide a weather seal and to accommodate movement between materials. Guidelines: Sealant must be utilized at all terminations, including where EIFS terminate or meet other materials. Filet beads with bond breaker (such as triangular backer rod, or bond breaker tape) are appropriate for weather seal joints around windows, doors and other minor penetrations in single-family houses.
Item Description: Kickout/Diverter at Roof/ Wall Intersection Function: Accumulating water runoff should be directed out and away from the structure. Roof-to-wall flashing requires a kickout/ diverter at its termination to insure that water is directed to the outside. Guidelines: The diverter can vary in its dimensions to accommodate local exposure conditions and specific detailing requirements, as long as it directs water completely away from wall surfaces.
Item Description: Termination above Roof or Deck Function: A gap allows for appropriate system edge termination, ease of roof or deck replacement or repair. It also allows for the system and flashing to be inspected for proper installation. Guidelines: On an existing project, the termination can occur closer to the roof or deck surfaces than indicated in published details, as long as the bottom edge of the EIF system satisfies the manufacturer's specifications.
Horizontal Joint at Floor Lines Function: Address cross-grain shrinkage in dimensional lumber that could result in wrinkling or cracking of coatings, or bulging of the system. Guidelines: This type of shrinkage occurs when lumber experiences its initial loss of moisture. This happens only once in the life of a house, typically in the first two years. For houses two or more years old, a joint or other remedial work is unnecessary if there is no evidence of bulging, wrinkling or cracking at the floor line. (The American Institute of Timber Construction can provide information on wood properties.)
The information in this document is intended to serve only as a guide for inspecting and determining what remedial work may be necessary if EIFS are not installed in accordance with EIMA's published application instructions, guideline specifications and typical details.