One coat "stucco" on foam

Ask the pros- September, 2002
By Reggie Bullard



       One coat "stucco" on foam is EIFS 
When I bought my Morrison home, I was under the impression that it would be clad with "stucco".  That's what their sales documents advertised, anyway. What I got was something they called one-coat stucco.  It is a material
manufactured by Omega called the diamond one-coat system.  It uses that styrofoam stuff.  The builder claims it uses a thin coat of cement.  They say there are grooves in the sytrofoam, but when I looked at the Omega web site, the description doesn't show that.  There is what I think is a weep screed at the bottom of the wall for removal of moisture.  The installation of the material looks faulty, since there are many gaps between the "one-coat" and dissimilar materials, and there are openings in wndow joints
and such.

My question is, is this type of system reliable?  I'm worried that I might have the kind of trouble encountered by people who have EIFS on their homes.The builder swears up and down that the Omega Diamond system is NOT EIFS.

Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Yes, that is EIFS. I hate to make you feel bad, but styrofoam
is styrofoam, regardless of how thick the mortar is.
Synthetic stucco has a finish material that is made of paint and plastic sand.
This synthetic finish traps moisture against the wall.
It is fraud to advertise these houses as stucco.
They are finally cracking down on some ofthese people here in Virginia, but they will probably never face criminal charges, like other lying crooks
such as Enron and Worldcom for example.
    Thank you.  You're not kidding it was fraud.  Luckily, I saved the sales materials that advertised the house as stucco,the denial by the Morrison VP that the system is EIFS, I videotaped the fellow who came to repair the stuff and got him on tape admitting that it wasn't installed correctly and so on.  I'm going to do my best to use this against them.  Guess my next step is to hire an inspector to see if there is water damage.
    I'm in California.  I didn't get a response from a Morrison VP until I sent him an e-mail mentioning the huge Toll Brothers suit where the builder got nicked by saying it was selling stucco when it wasn't.  Right away he wrote me back saying that it wasn't EIFS.   Unfortunately I have an arbitration agreement on the sales contract saying any item that relates to the 10 year warranty must be arbitrated.  Luckily, stucco is specifically exempted from the warranty!  So they may have outslicked themselves on that score.  I'll see what an attorney says.  Failing that, I'll tell everyone in my neighborhood.  In this state, I'm pretty sure you can certify a class for arbitration purposes.  I'll bet dollars to doughnuts nobody in my development knows what they have.  I know the same defects in installation are on other houses, since I've looked around the neighborhood and I can see the same sorts of things.