Being one of only a handful of qualified EIFS/Stucco inspectors in our area, I'm often called out to inspect the EIFS or stucco cladding on a home. Many times, I can see glaring issues from the street when I drive up to the home. Those issues do not take any special equipment or really much knowledge after you know what to look for. Hopefully this Blog will allow readers to identify some issues prior to making an offer on a home.
This is a hardcoat or real stucco home. This was about 12 hours after a rain shower and the water stain is a telltale sign that we have a problem. The flashing dead ends into the wall and the water has no place to go but down the wall. A simple piece of kick-out or diverter flashing could have been fabricated to direct the water off the roof instead of down the wall. The lack of rain gutters is not much help either. Look for stains, dry or wet!
Same house, but this time they have added the kick-out flashing, but it was not installed properly! The stain is telling us that something is wrong!
This is an EIFS home. The EIFS is on the roof line, it should be 2" above the roof surface! Also we have no visible flashing at the sidewall and the roof! It is also missing the kickout diverter flashing at the bottom to kick roof water runoff into the gutter. This you can see from the street!
Here we have the diverter flashing, but it was just stuck into place and now it is funneling more water into the wall! The first picture is the interior of the window next to this diverter flashing. The wall is wet and the wood is swollen!
The following are just some common issues that you can spot now that you know what to look for!
I hope that this little bit of on EIFS and Stucco problems will help you with your current home or if you are looking for a new home. Keep in mind that we are one of just a few companies in our area that can offer an EIFS/Stucco inspection with your home inspection. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions on what you might be looking at!
What else can you say?
So many times during our inspections we run across "unique" designs or unusual designs that have worked for years at the home, but would not be allowed under current building standards. This type of situation is what makes our job difficult at times! We need to identify improperly installed or built items at the home and make our client aware of the possible implications that might arise out of the item or items we are identifying. But, we also know that this item has functioned for a long period of time and most likely will never cause an issue, but we really cant say that in so many words! Often, as experienced inspectors we also know that the owner will most likely not do anything about the issue!
This is one such find on a 25 year old log home! the stairs to the second floor bedroom, bathroom and loft end at the exterior wall! It is impossible to extend that wall and it is impossible to rebuild the stairs! The owners that built the home, learned to live with this "unique" design and believe it or not the new buyers did not even notice it until I pointed it out! This home was built in a rural setting with no code inspections.
Here we have a set of stairs and the builder could not figure out a way to make the handrail go all the way to the top at the landing! So, you have about four steps that do not have a handrail.... This is really a dangerous design that can be corrected, it will just take some thought and a little talent to correct it. This house was only two years old and it had passed the local city inspections! If the owners had only had a home inspection prior to buying the home from the builder this would have been caught. Now they are being forced to correct it at their own expense
So if you are looking at a new home be sure to take those "blinders" off and really look at that home! Ask yourself if you will be OK with the design of the home and any of those "unique" items in it. Most of all be sure you get an inspection of you new home regardless if it is new construction or of it is 100 years old!
Scott Patterson has been a professional home inspector since 1995. Scott works out of the Greater Nashville TN area. Contact his team at Trace Inspections for all of your inspection needs.