Stucco House Problems
If your home improvement project involves stucco in Indian Springs, you will want to be sure you find the right contractor for the job. It is always important to hire good contractors, but it is especially important when they will be doing work such as stucco installation, which is not as common as other contracting duties. You need to work with a people who know how do to the job properly, so you can be sure it will get done right the first time.
When you get the bids, make sure to ask if the work will be guaranteed once it is completed. A quality stucco contractor will stand firmly behind their work, so don’t hesitate to ask this question. If the labor and material are not covered by some form of guarantee, you should quickly move on to the next bid. There are plenty of contractors out there who are willing to stand behind their work, so there is no reason to work with one who isn’t.
Stucco can be messy business. Make sure there is a plan in place to protect the rest of your property from the mess that can be made when stucco is put in. You don’t want to be left with a huge cleanup project after your contractor has left the job site, so ask specific questions as to how they will keep the rest of your property as clean as possible.
Hiring a stucco contractor doesn’t need to be a long and drawn out process, as long as you know what you are looking for from the start. Use the points above to guide your search, and only hire a contractor once you are fully satisfied that they are the perfect selection for the work that you need completed.
The Life Expectancy of Stucco
As it happens the next generation of EIFS has learned a lot from the last generation
From 1969 to about the year 2000 was the first generation of EIFS where the EIFS foam was installed directly to the substrate of a house. Where the EIFS exterior itself was the weather barrier. Before the year 2000 building codes did not require a secondary moisture barrier. The IRC (International Residential Code) in 2000 required this secondary moisture barrier on all sidings used over wood framed construction. The problem with the EIFS itself being the water barrier is that when any moisture infiltrated the system there was nowhere for it to escape. A properly installed first generation EIFS application that has been maintained has a very good chance of not having any problems. The EIFS can be done right, and the caulk and sealants maintained over the years, and still a window or roof leak can cause major damage over time on a first generation EIFS home. However, you can still have a first generation EIFS home inspected, and after passing the inspection get a warranty on the home through The Moisture Warranty Corporation.
The Next Generation of EIFS has grown and learned from the past along with the entire building industry. The unprecedented testing done has helped many industries, and has had an impact on the building codes. With the addition of a Air/Water barrier to the EIFS process has made significant improvements to the overall performance of EIFS, and is now mandatory on all wood framed construction whether you are using EIFS or not. The next generation of EIFS has been proven to drain water effectively. This overcomes the major issue with first generation EIFS.
The Next Generation of EIFS is a superior material, and out preformed all other exterior wall claddings (including brick, stucco, concrete block, and cementitous fiber board siding) in the Hygrothermal Performance testing by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which was funded by The US Department of Energy and EIMA. A study by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shows that over a 50 year life cycle of a building, the carbon footprint of EIFS is 1770 compared to brick at 8303. We are talking some huge numbers here, as Dryvit, one of the leading manufacturers, boast 'over 2 billion square feet of EIFS applied' you can begin to imagine what a positive impact having such a smaller carbon footprint has had on the environment.
Benefits of The Next Generation of EIFS - Superior Cladding
- Thermal bridging virtually eliminated
- Improved IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)
- Improved overall energy performance of a building
- Helps keep structural members at a consistent temperature, which extends life expectancy
- The constant temperature helps structure member movement and stress from temperature swings that lead to cracking in concrete and stucco walls.
- Dewpoint is eliminated
- Vapor diffusion from condensation is minimized
- Deterioration of batt insulation from condensation is minimized
- Mold growth due to condensation is virtually eliminated
- Rusting of metal fasteners and framing from condensation is minimized
- EIFS has low levels of volatile organic compounds as know as VOC's
- EIFS carbon footprint is 5 times smaller than brick
- EIFS saves money in construction costs
- EIFS is more energy efficient
- ASHRAE (American Association of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers) Standard provides minimum requirements for energy efficient design of buildings - EIFS meets these requirements
- According to ASHRAE 90.1 2001 - 2 inches of EIFS offers the equivalent energy efficiency performance of 8 inches of fiberglass insulation in a wall cavity.
- EIFS puts the continuous insulation on the outside of the building where insulation works best.
- EIFS is in the International Building Code and the International Residential Code
- EIFS provides the continuous insulation (CI) described in ASHRAE 90.1, which is required by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
- EIFS can contribute to LEED certification
- EIFS is the only cladding that has an air-barrier, insulation and aesthetics all in one system, which is installed by a single contractor, with a single warranty
- EIFS has a very low Global Warming impact, where brick has a very high Global Warming Impact
It may not be faster than a speeding bullet and it can not leap tall buildings, but The Next Generation of EIFS is a Super Cladding when compared to the other leading Claddings.
How to Apply Exterior Stucco
When fall inevitably comes each year, home owners who have been "thinking about" renovating their home with stucco suddenly realize they're running out of time, and give their contractor(s) a call. All of them. The resulting mayhem is an influx of home owners requesting a contractor do their home before winter so that they can enjoy their new beautiful home's look and increased energy efficiency. The contractors who make most of their money during the summer, begin to quicken the pace to accommodate this work before winter, often at the expense of quality. Each stucco construction project is not given it's due diligence, and critical portions of work are ignored such as contracts, weather barriers, proper surface leveling, warranties. Even not so "critical" but finishing aspects such as proper moulding selection is often ignored.
The average stucco construction renovation will take about 3 weeks, with a 2 week lead time. This can all be expedited with an experienced project manager, but most home owners opt to do the managing themselves, sometimes naively. With 5 full weeks required from the time you SCHEDULE the contractor, you really need to start looking for prices about 7 weeks in advance. Generally, the stucco construction season (for Toronto) will end towards the end of October. This means that if you're not looking at the beginning of September, you need to exercise a degree of caution about getting your project done before temperatures drop below acceptable levels. EIFS manufacturer guidelines state:
Do not proceed with application of base coat and/or finish coat at ambient air temperatures below 5C (41F)
Applying the material in these temperatures may cause it not to cure properly, resulting in improper adherence to the substrate, and subsequent delamination - in English, your walls could fall off. The weather can't be blamed for all problems though, and you do need to pay attention to make sure your contractor is doing all the layers properly. No weather barrier means that water can get onto your substrate. Adhesive not being done in vertical channels means that water can become trapped against the substrate. Not meshing styrofoam fully can mean cracks developing, and water infiltrating your walls. Not mixing the base coat in the proper ratios or applying it too thin can result in a weak and easily damaged wall surface. Not spending enough time "floating" (troweling) the finish coat can result in discrepancies in the texture, which really just looks awful. Having a third party project manager or home inspector come once or twice a week to inspect the quality of work for a few hundred dollars is very inexpensive compared to having to rip the stucco off your walls and redo it in 5 years.
Aside from application problems, you want to ensure you give yourself enough time to really think about what you want for this project. Too many home owners take the first, cheapest guy they find and go ahead without a contract, resulting in them not knowing exactly what is "included", and a lot of "extras". Doing your due diligence includes researching items you need included with your project, such as flashing, replacing old substrate, whether a weather barrier is required or not, in what order to proceed with renovations... the list goes on. In short, don't go into a project without being fairly confident you know you have the details worked out, and use a contract to clarify those details.
Even moldings are sometimes not given their due consideration. Proper molding selection will help manage water runoff, further protecting your walls. They can direct water away from window openings - which tend to be the most susceptible to water damage, and kick water off the walls - preventing the black or white water streaks you often see below window sills. Using a wall band at the base of a high traffic wall can protect your wall from being hit by snow shovels, moving furniture and even cars. The same protective quality can be said of quoins or pilasters on the corners of your wall.
When renovating your home, it's important to focus on more than just the initial cost of stucco construction. You need to do your research to ensure you don't get "ripped off", and you need think about future maintenance. If you can't realistically put in the time to make sure you have everything included, get multiple estimates, have a contract made, and think about how to reduce future maintenance costs, you are better off waiting until spring to have your project completed. You will lose 1 winter of lowered heating costs, but prevent thousands of dollars in possible damage.