Parrish Construction

Q—I’ve heard that EIFS, synthetic stucco can cause mold problems. How can I tell if my house has EIFS, and should I be concerned?

March 15th, 2012 Posted in Exterior Remodeling, FAQ, Materials- Construction, Waterproofing
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A—Real and synthetic stucco look a lot alike, which isn’t surprising since they are both stucco. One way to tell is by pushing on it. Real stucco has no give and should be very rigid. Synthetic stucco on the other hand is softer. The other way to tell is by looking in a vent or hole. If you see a wire mesh, then you are looking at real stucco or hard-coat synthetic stucco. If you see a foam core then you are looking at synthetic (‘EIFS’) stucco. You may have no problems with EIFS as long as the following conditions exist:

  • The foam doesn’t extend below grade (doesn’t touch the dirt)
  • Windows and doors are sealed properly to keep water from seeping behind the EIFS
  • Gutters drain away from the house
  • Pipes and other items that stick through the stucco are sealed properly

If you notice the following problems you should consult with a contractor immediately to minimize damage:

  • Mold or mildew inside or outside your home
  • Swollen wood around door and window frames
  • Blistered or peeling paint on the stucco surface
  • Cracked EIFS or cracked sealant

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