Another termite trap
Thank you for posting so much great information to your website.
My wife and I are looking to buy a house in the Philadelphia area for our family. The house is covered in "stucco", but seems to be one of the EIFS that you describe. There are dark streaks under some of the windows and the "stucco" is literally crumbling at the base of the house, where it meets the ground.
Attached are a couple pictures that we took from the home tour. I realize that I'd need to do a formal inspection, but could you please take a quick look and let me know if you think that this stuff is EIFS? If so, could you recommend anyone located between Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia, PA, who could do a proper inspection and give advice? Any feedback would be appreciated...
This is a synthetic finish, maybe over EIFS, or maybe over a one coat stucco basecoat, or a conventional stucco basecoat.
EIFS is a termite trap when down below the grade. The termites burrow easily up the foam EIFS and eat the framing lumber.
EIFS can be detected easily by knocking on the wall. If it sounds hollow and doesn't hurt your knuckles it is EIFS.
The window trim is EIFS.
Judging from the height of the window, the foundation is low, probably below the height of the window.
Termites can possibly chew up behind the cement mortar into the framing. If the framing lumber is wet, usually the case with EIFS, the termites don't have to return to the ground for water. They can just stay and multiply.
Usually, stucco over block is impervious to termites, because they can't chew their way up. If the foundation is close to the grade, the termites can find their way up through air pockets and holes.
Having a gap between the bottom of the stucco, and more importantly, EIFS is important for an inspection gap for termites. Termites that feed on dry lumber must return to the ground for water. Termites make a mud tunnel to shade themselves. The mud tunnels are obvious evidence of termites.
Synthetic finishes that stay wet, in this case from capillary action, disintegrate and crumble in a short time. These areas can't be repaired easily