| |PLEASE NOTE: The following is a Texas lawyer's webpage information geared towards bringing on new clients. It is good to read all the information from all the different perspectives. Understanding the bias of the site helps to draw an even perspective on the issues with EIFS stucco. There is nothing really new on this page. It seems to be the compilation of information that is spread all over the web and designed to give readers a general understanding in hopes that if you do have Dryvit EIFS installed on your home that you will hire them to represent you.
Synthetic Stucco Dryvit EIFS
What Is EIFS Synthetic Stucco?
Homes made with stucco are causing big problems for their owners in all the lower 48 states. One manufacturer has agreed to pay up. If you own a residence with synthetic stucco exterior wall cladding, you may have a legal case against the manufacturer. Concerned homeowners should look for cracks, broken spots or shifting around doors and windows. Thousands of local homeowners may be able to cash in on a class-action lawsuit. EIFS are multi-layered exterior wall systems consisting of a finish coat, a base coat and insulation board, all of which are mechanically or adhesively secured to plywood or another substrate. EIFS can be used as a component of the exterior wall for residential structures. EIFS are available in various external textures designed to look like traditional stucco. Some homeowners sued the makers of stucco, Dryvit, on behalf on all of Dryvit's customers. The lawsuit claimed Dryvit's stucco was defective. Dryvit settled the class-action suit, agreeing to give certain customers a refund. To qualify for the refund, the stucco had to be installed in 1989 or more recently, and the house must be inspected by Dryvit. Homes acquired after June 5 of this year are not eligible.
There are a number of ways you can determine the type of EIFS on your home. Documents such as warranties, correspondence or bills of sale should indicate who manufactured or distributed the EIFS. You may have already had your home inspected for moisture intrusion. You may be able to obtain assistance in determining the type of EIFS on your home by contacting your builder or contractor.
The term EIFS stands for "exterior Insulation and finish systems. It is also called synthetic stucco. It refers to a multi-layered exterior finish that has been used in European construction since shortly after World War II. The majority of repairs were to buildings constructed of stone, concrete, brick, or other similar, durable materials. Synthetic stucco is also known as "Exterior and Insulation Finishing System." It is a multi-layered exterior wall systems consisting of a finish coat, a base coat, mesh and insulation board; all of which is mechanically, or with an adhesive, secured to plywood. EIFS are designed to look like traditional stucco. The product has been used in construction in the United States since 1969.
EIFS layers consist of the inner layer of foam insulation board, secured to the exterior wall surface, often with adhesive. Then the middle layer made up of a polymer and cement base coat, applied to the top of the insulation, then reinforced with glass fiber mesh. And finally an exterior layer which is a textured finish coat. North American builders began using EIFS in the 1980's, first in commercial buildings, then applying it as an exterior finish to residences--mostly wood frame houses--using the same techniques that had been successful in Europe. Many home owners began to discover problems. EIFS layers bond to form a covering that doesn't breathe. That's fine when no moisture is present behind the covering, but if moisture seeps in it can become trapped behind the layers. With no place to go, constant exposure to moisture can lead to rot in wood and other vulnerable materials within the home. What had worked well as an exterior shell for concrete and stone became a problem when used on wood.
Here is how you determine if you have EIFS. First of all the synthetic stucco is soft and sounds hollow when tapped. And secondly traditional stucco is hard and brittle, and sounds solid when tapped. To maintain EIFS properly, an opening, such as door and window frames and the areas around flashings, must be sealed to prevent water from seeping behind the EIFS. Gutters should be kept clean and positioned to drain away from the house. Foam should not extend below grade. Items that penetrate the stucco must be sealed. In other words, no moisture should be able to seep behind the EIFS.
Here are the major signs of problems: First there is mold or mildew on the interior or exterior of the home. Secondly, there is swollen wood around door and window frames and blistered or peeling paint. And finally, look for cracked EIFS or cracked sealant. To avoid the problems of the past, newer systems include a drainage design to help keep moisture from being trapped behind the covering. Problems with EIFS have resulted in lawsuits, including Posey vs. Dryvit Systems, Inc., a class action civil lawsuit in the state of Tennessee. A settlement agreement with Dryvit covers home owners who, as of June 5, 2002, own a one or two-family residential dwelling or townhouse in any state other than North Carolina (a separate civil case affects North Carolina residents). The dwelling must contain synthetic stucco manufactured by Dryvit Systems, Inc., and it must have been installed after January 1, 1989.
Contact the law offices of David M. Glenn, a Board Certified Trial Lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization