Lately, the media has been rife with stories of condominium developments, new homes and renovations gone awry because of moisture intrusion related to a form of synthetic stucco called exterior insulation finishing systems, or EIFS. Multi-million dollar projects have been halted mid-production or worse – home and condominium owners are homeless because their dwellings are so rotten and mold-infested that people cannot remain inside.
EIFS is essentially a three-layer system – a base coat intertwined with fiberglass meshing, a styrofoam-like board and an aesthetic top coat that resembles stucco. Knock on your wall. If it’s solid, it’s stucco. If it sounds hollow and is slightly soft to the touch – it’s EIFS.
The material itself is not problematic at all and tends to be a decent and functional wall cladding. It insulates effectively and sheds water properly like any siding or brick – but the liberties taken in its installation are a big issue. Many installers take it upon themselves to modify the application of the three-part system or mix-and-match components from different suppliers. Others may do a poor job of installing it by allowing the styrofoam board to meet the ground or even be buried partially underground, allowing moisture to seep in and create conditions that are perfect for toxic mold growth.
Worse yet, when the EIFS is installed in such a manner it voids any warranties put on the products by the manufacturer. This leaves the home, business or condo owner with zero recourse, and Toronto building codes are far too slow in catching up to begin regulating these practices.
Once moisture gets in, it becomes trapped within the EIFS because of the way it’s designed. Then, it easily penetrates areas like basements and the wooden components within a wall.
EIFS litigation lawyers are springing up across North America like nobody’s business because the mold issues are so difficult for the average homeowner to spot without a professional mold inspection – until it’s too late.
Because it offers a form of nice-looking and green exterior insulation, the use of EIFS is on the rise in many new homes, commercial buildings and condominiums in and around the Greater Toronto Area. To avoid the chain-reaction of issues caused by the moisture intrusion, get a mold inspection to ensure your home remains structurally intact and mold-free.
Know what you’re getting into. For Mold Inspsection Services in Toronto and Ontario, Contact Moldinspections.ca in Toronto @ 416.575.6111 or toll free @ 1.866.310.4219. We can help.
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