Having a house with EIFS, also known as Dryvit, isn’t the end of the world. EIFS isn’t a disease; it’s synthetic stucco. And even though your house may have been built using it, with knowledge and proper maintenance everything can be just fine.
It pays to be informed
EIFS is an Exterior Insulation and Finish System. Some people call it synthetic stucco. It’s made of lightweight, two inch thick polystyrene panels with an acrylic coating that mimics traditional stucco. Although marketed as a “maintenance-free” product you need to keep an eye on how it’s holding up. Moisture that gets in through poorly caulked joints or surface punctures can get trapped and cause the framing and plywood sheathing underneath to rot, leading to costly repairs.
Check and see if your stucco is “real” or EIFS
Lightly knock on the surface. EIFS sounds hollow while traditional stucco is solid. Press lightly on the surface. EIFS gives slightly while real stucco is very hard. EIFS exteriors have caulking, while real stucco exteriors do not. And if you can place your hand under and behind the bottom edge it’s probably EIFS. Also don’t ignore synthetic stucco used other places as a decorative element. EIFS always needs to be installed and maintained as if it were used to side the entire house.
How to maintain your “maintenance-free” siding
Regular inspection is key to making sure seams are intact and the surface hasn’t been damaged. Always check after a windstorm as limbs may dent or pierce the siding. Woodpeckers can also create holes that will let water in. And you should never attach anything to this siding that punctures the surface such as mailboxes, hose holders, street numbers and planter boxes. EIFS should not contact the ground or another surface where water accumulates. This could allow moisture to be absorbed through the bottom of the wall. Certain brands of siding may call for specific repair techniques. Don’t hesitate to call a professional if they seem beyond your comfort level.
A few words about the installation
EIFS is not a “do-it-yourself” type of product. Proper installation is critical to the product’s performance. To qualify for a warranty make sure that the installer is certified by the manufacturer to install their product
Contact The Andrew Agency for Insurance
We think you will rest easy when knowing you’ve reduced your chances of having an unexpected problem. That’s why The Andrew Agency provides simple information and tips like this to help you understand your coverage and prevent losses. If you are buying a home with Dryvit and need insurance contact us at (804) 320-2886.