EIFS is a type of synthetic stucco that was used in the construction industry in the 1990s. It stands for “Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems” and it has caused a tremendous amount of water damage and losses in homes across America as many of the installation of EIFS were not done properly. If you see a house, which was clad with EIFS, then it is likely there are very bad water leakages in the house. Of course it is more than likely you do not see such houses anymore as much of the houses with EIFS were already repaired over the last few years.
Since the 90s, there were a lot of homes that were built using EIFS as it is very easy to install and the appearance is very appealing. It was also touted to be able to save energy, as it is able to retain the heat within the house very well. Actually if the installation of the EIFS was done properly, the EIFS should be able to last and not cause water damages. However many installations were done with less than adequate care with the EIFS being sealed with simple caulking and not with metal joints as specified by the manufacturers of EIFS. This allows water to leak in and get trapped inside the EIFS. The moisture is a perfect breeding ground for termites and eventual water damages to the house. It is akin to millions of termites covering the house and eating it up bit by bit. Sometimes the damage is so bad, the entire house needs to be torn down. EIFS repair may not always be possible.
If you have an EIFS home and you have water damages, you would need to first assess whether your case is directly caused by EIFS. You should contact the American Society of Home Inspectors who will be able to help you to get a certified home inspector to test the damages, as specialized testing equipment are required for EIFS testing.
As more publicity for homes with water damages caused by EIFS surfaced over the years, more and more homes have been discovered with water leakages and damages. There are times that the owners discover the damages when the flooring break up under their weight when they walk over the termite infested flooring. With more discovery of damages caused by EIFS, there have been many litigation EIFS cases by single-family owners and even class action lawsuits.
If you would like to understand whether if you qualify for relief under a class action lawsuit, you should call the Attorney General for your state. The Attorney General will be able to examine your case and provide the assessment on your case and can also tell you whether there is a class action lawsuit in your state. Once certified that your situation is EIFS related damage, your case will be monitored and tracked at the Attorney General.
EIFS damages are also not covered by homeowners insurance policy as in general, wet rot is excluded from coverage. Damages caused by mold and mildew are not covered and if you have such damages, you should first get a certified inspector to determined whether your EIFS was installed properly. If your homeowners insurance denies coverage for your damages, you can then make a claim against the Liability insurance of the builder who had installed the EIFS on your house. Seek proper legal help for your EIFS problems so that your most important asset, you house, is protected.