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EIFS - Hairline cracks


StevenT
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I inspected an EIFS installation today, one that may end up going into litagation. The manufacturer claims that the system froze during installation. The homeowner claims that it was not applied during a freeze.

After looking at it, I'm leaning towards finish coat failure. If it was basecoat failure, I think I would see the white of the EPS.

Anyway, if it was not applied during a freeze, and it is not the basecoat, it has to be finish coat failure. Finish coat comes premixed, so it would have to be product failure.

The owner tells me he did some investigation (he's an attorney), and that he was told that the company had some failure problems in the past.

How would I find out if this is true? I doubt if they will tell me, and I'd like to find out if there were similar problems with the product.

Although I can point out other installation errors that can not be denied, I don't see how I can stand up to the chemists, scientists, etc. that the company will come up with should I claim product failure.

My feelings are that if it's not due to freezing and my client goes after the mfgr, they will attempt to prove that it was an installation error.

If it is truly product failure, how would I prove it? Should I remove a section and send it to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory? I know that they specialize in EIFS testing.

Do you think EIMA would help with this, or might they side with the mfgr?

By the way, the mfgr. wants to coat the entire system with an elastrometric coating/paint. I saw a section that they did and it actually didn't look so bad. I do question the warranty they will give to that fix.

Brad, please jump in.

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The local weather office will have temperature records, if you know the date of installation. On my side of the border, these things are handled by Environment Canada. The weather offices are usually located at airports, with remote monitoring stations scatted throughout the area. Weather authorities, in my experience, keep really good records. Aside from that I'm afraid I'm not much help.

-Brad

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Hi Jim,

I agree with your line of thinking.

Who knows what they really did at the time of application. The finish looks sprayed on, so it is very possible that they thinned it out. I just wish there was a way to find out. I have a feeling that I may end up removing a section and sending it out to a lab to test. I think I am better off not mentioning the mfg. name... just to keep it "unbiased."

Another reason that I agree with your theory, is that I think that if it froze, it might be flaking off and separating off the basecoat. I saw no adhesion problem.

I think I will give the lab tomorrow and see what they suggest.

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Originally posted by StevenT

My feelings are that if it's not due to freezing and my client goes after the mfgr, they will attempt to prove that it was an installation error.

Well, FWIW, I worked on quite a few EIFS cases. The manufacturer always blamed the installer. And the manufacturer was always right.

Also this: The installer always blamed the window manufacturer. And the installer was always wrong.

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Good morning guys,

Bill, It might be improper storage that caused the fimish to fail. I would like to get past the "might be" and be sure. I will speak to the lab today and see what they can tell me.

WJ,

So far the only EIFS faults I've ever seen are installer faults, too.

Last week I did three EIFS inspections. One was on a very... inexpensive home, the other two were on homes that are very high end properties. They all had the same faults. I have yet to see an installation that I can say was done "right."

Joe, Thanks for the info. By the way, did you ever build that shower?

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Originally posted by StevenT

Joe, Thanks for the info. By the way, did you ever build that shower?

I was afraid you might ask that. The wood is still, uh, it's still curing in the garage. Can't have wood too dry, ya know!

It's actually good that I procrastinated, because I came up with a much simpler design for the base (slab and wood slats) than I was going to do.

First I have to trim my 15 foot high Leyland Cypress hedge, which I should have done this spring.

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