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Lack of Basic Construction Techniques' Is Root of moisture problemsby Veteran Contractor Defends EIFS: Says 'Lack of Basic Construction Techniques' Is Root of Moisture Problems
Your excellent article, "Synthetic Stucco's Natural Foe," which appeared in The Washington Post on November 7, 1998, brings to light the real problems that the construction industry faces in dealing with weather elements and water infiltration through house veneers.
As a Construction Consultant, I am quite familiar with the problems with EIFS that have surfaced in New Hanover County, North Carolina. Hundreds of new custom-built homes at the Landfall Development in Wilmington, North Carolina, were built with EIFS exteriors, and all developed the same problem with water infiltration. Most of these EIFS-clad homes have been refaced with other materials, and the balance is underway at considerable expense to the owners. There is no option to the removal of the EIFS material due to resale rejection of the synthetic-stuccoed houses.
The unfortunate result of the action by New Hanover County to prohibit the use of synthetic stucco is due to complete lack of the use of basic construction techniques that new players in the industry are ignorant of.
Allen Golden's comment that the product design concept is inherently flawed is not true. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the design concept of EIFS cladding. Who are the experts who agree to minimize problems on an EIFS-clad house to inspect it, repair it, and maintain it? The real solution is to build it right the first time, and you will eliminate the need to maintain it except for natural erosion.
I was in the General Contracting business for close to 50 years and ran my own company and have built literally hundreds of projects, both commercial and residential, using cement stucco and synthetic stucco and have never experienced a failure resulting from the performance of the stucco materials used.
It is simply a matter of not knowing how to combine the various building systems to provide a complete maintenance-free product, with the Design Architects, the General Contractors, the EIFS Installers, and the Building Inspectors at fault.
The EIFS products are excellent for the intended use, and the failures that have developed are due to the lack of construction techniques applicable to each installation.
Your article was well written to help focus attention on this very serious problem.
Very truly yours,
ROMER ASSOCIATES, INC.
Arthur H. Romer, Jr.
More info of this article can be found on the web at: http://www.eifsfacts.com/residential/expert/1999/expert_04.htm