Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (Synthetic Stucco)

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:48 by admin
Synthetic stucco is a multi-layered exterior wall system commonly known as Exterior Insulation and Finishing System (EIFS) that was first used in Europe after World War II to repair bomb-damaged buildings. EIFS consists of three layers: an inner layer with a foam insulation board secured to the exterior of a wall surface, a water-resistant base coat applied to the insulation and reinforced with glass fiber mesh and an exterior layer--a hard, textured finish coat ("stucco").

EIFS was first used in the United States in the 1980's on commercial buildings, but became popular in residential homebuilding when architects discovered synthetic stucco's versatile design uses. EIFS, which has a stone-like finish, also presented homebuilders with an alternative to traditional wood and brick houses.

The first problems involving EIFS homes were seen in New Hanover County, North Carolina when a significant number of homeowners complained of moisture damage to their houses. Soon after, reports of moisture damage to homes built with synthetic stucco emerged in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Designers discovered that when synthetic stucco is applied to a home, the EIFS layers bond to form a covering that is nearly airtight. Less porous than other materials, EIFS layers will retain water if moisture gets behind it. If significant moisture buildup occurs, the water soaks into the wood framing on homes, causing the wood to rot. The damage can cost homeowners thousands of dollars. Termites, which thrive on water and wood, can also destroy a wood infrastructure due to EIFS layers. Fortunately, this same damage is rarely seen on stone or brick homes built with synthetic stucco.

To date, hundreds of homeowners who lost tens of thousands of dollars due to damaging EIFS layers on wooden infrastructures have filed lawsuits against makers of synthetic stucco.

If your home was damaged due to synthetic stucco, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

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