Synthetic stucco is a man-made covering used on homes, touted for its excellent insulation qualities. In recent years there’s been controversy about synthetic stucco, or EIFS, as the industry calls it, because moisture has come between the synthetic stucco and the walls of the home. The moisture causes significant and expensive damage to the home. The EIFS industry says the moisture-related installation problems have become more rare, but it’s still difficult to find a good, reputable installer.
You may have heard all about synthetic stucco, and how many homes with synthetic stucco coverings suffer water damage. But is it worth it to replace synthetic stucco to improve a home's value? Even if your EIFS, or synthetic stucco, has been problem free, there may be a stigma around synthetic stucco. Before deciding whether to change the synthetic stucco siding on your home, it may be worthwhile to consider your home in comparison to others in your neighborhood.
When you own a home covered with synthetic stucco you may decide to install a water barrier system. Some water barrier systems work, but many fail, and you should ensure that your system is in working order. A synthetic stucco-certified home inspector can look at the exterior of the home to find potential damage.
A reader purchased a synthetic stucco (EIFS) home and now has detected a bubble on the exterior of the home. Buyers should be cautious if purchasing homes with a synthetic stucco exterior. A home inspector with experience in synthetic stucco should always give the home a thorough inspection.
If your home has synthetic stucco as its exterior finish, you may encounter water damage. One solution to water damage related to an incorrect synthetic stucco installation is a new drainage system, but it's not clear how reliable that system will be. Should you repair water damage related to synthetic stucco before selling a home? Ilyce says she wouldn't want a home with water damage related to synthetic stucco but it is up to the home seller to decide whether to repair it prior to selling the home.
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How can you tell the difference between synthetic stucco (EIFS) or real stucco? Synthetic stucco sounds hollow when you knock on it and real stucco is similar to concrete. A real estate agent can help you determine what kind of stucco a home is covered with.