FAQ's

What do we inspect?

 EIFS: 

  • Class PB (Adhered) & Class PB (Mechanical) - Softcoat system using EPS foam board)
  • Class MD - Class PB with a moisture drainage plane
  • Class PI - Softcoat system using Polyisocyanurate foam board
  • Class PM - Hardcoat system using EXPS foam board
  • DEFS or Direct-Applied Exterior Finish System (similar to a softcoat PB system without foam)

Stucco: 

  • Conventional / Traditional hardcoat stucco
  • One-Coat Stucco (OCS) hardcoat stucco

Adhered Veneer Products:

  • Thin Stone (Natural) Slate and Quarried stone 
  • Thin Stone (Manufactured) sometimes referred to as Cultured Stone, Adhered Stone Veneer (ASV), Manufactured Stone Veneer (MSV), Adhered Concrete Masonry Veneer (ACMV)
  • Thin Brick sometimes referred to as Adhered Masonry Veneer (AMV)
  • Thin Block sometimes referred to as Adhered Masonry Veneer (AMV)
  • Marble
  • Tile

Other:

  • Cement Asbestos Shingles
  • Fiber Cement sometimes referred to as cementitious composite
  • Wood including half logs & T1-11 Plywood
  • Wood Fiber sometimes referred to as hardboard or hard board 
  • Engineered Stucco Panels (wood fiber & cement fiber) sometimes referred to as Textured Panels or Stuccato Panels 
  • High-Density Molded Polymer 2’x4’ panels (HDMP) these are mechanically attached
  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl
  • Asphalt Shingles

Other (load bearing walls evaluated for visual deficiencies only):

  • Log

Masonry Veneer (non-load bearing siding commonly known as a Veneer):

  • Brick, Cement/Manufactured Block, Cement/Manufactured Stone, Natural Stone

Masonry (load bearing walls evaluated for visual deficiencies only):

  • Stone
  • Block
  • Brick
  • CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit)

What are the testing protocols?

Determine type of exterior cladding installed on dwelling/commercial building and document in the inspection report; 

Photograph all elevations including detail photos of areas of concern;  

Inspect all components such as kickout flashings, roof flashings, deck flashings, chimney flashings, window and door head flashings, sealant joints and any other components unique to dwelling/building, and document whether properly installed and functioning, or not installed, improperly installed and failing, or need maintenance and/or remediation;

Inspect all penetrations such as light fixtures, utility penetrations and any other penetrations unique to dwelling/building;  

Moisture probe below kickout flashings, roof flashings, deck flashings and chimney flashings; Moisture probe under windows, inspect window construction, and inspect for wood rot, if applicable; 

Document any cracks and/or separations in the field including reveals, expansion joints, control joints and floor line joints; 

Inspect terminations and document whether properly terminated or improperly terminated to other finishes or terminated below grade; 

Inspect chimney components and chimney cap, when accessible, and document condition; 

Photograph all moisture probes and readings obtained, document findings in the inspection report and recommendations for maintenance and/or remediation; 

Document any areas where the substrate appeared to be soft upon probing; 

Document any areas that need further evaluation upon remediation or areas that need intrusive evaluation to determine extent of damage and necessary remediation; 

Seal all probe holes with sealant that best matches finish coat, and touch-up with finish coat, if available. 

Understanding Moisture

 Wood Scale

  • In all areas where moisture readings are in excess of 29% consideration should be given to the removal of the Siding system (Stucco, Adhered Veneer, and EIF System) to allow the assessment and repair of the damaged substrate and affected structural members. Experience data has shown that when moisture levels are above 29%, there is frequently damaged substrate, if not at the exact probe location, in the adjacent sheathing and/or framing. It is believed that most damage can be repaired, and proper remediation with ongoing maintenance should prevent future moisture intrusion. Upon completion of said repairs, a new water-managed Siding System should be installed. Occasionally moisture readings will indicate “acceptable” levels, however, upon probing; the substrate is soft or will offer little or no resistance. This may be an indication of “dry rot”, a condition that can occur when wood is exposed to excessive moisture over an extended period of time and the wood fibers have decayed to the point that the wood can no longer hold moisture. When this condition is discovered the Siding System should be removed to allow the inspection and repair of the damaged substrate and affected structural members.
  • In areas of the system where moisture readings are between 21% and 29% and probing has indicated that the substrate was in sound condition, although some moisture penetration has occurred, it is believed that through proper remediation, containment and isolation of points of moisture entry, would allow the previous effects of moisture to dry, producing no negative impact to the structure.
  • Areas of the system where moisture readings are below 21% or where readings are not recorded should be considered to be "acceptable".

Gypsum Scale

  • In areas of the structure where probing has indicated that the substrate is soft and moisture readings are in excess of 2.5% on the gypsum scale, the Siding System should be removed to allow the assessment and repair of the damaged substrate and affected structural members. It is believed that most damage can be repaired, and proper remediation with ongoing maintenance should prevent future moisture intrusion. Upon completion of said repairs, a new water-managed Siding System should be installed. At all locations where damaged gypsum board sheathing and/or framing members are discovered, sheathing should be replaced with Georgia-Pacific DensGlass Gold® Exterior Sheathing. 
  • In areas of the structure where moisture readings are between 1.5% and 2.5% on the gypsum scale, some moisture penetration has occurred. However, it is believed that containment and isolation of moisture entry through remediation, particularly at windows, would allow the previous effects of moisture to dry, producing no negative impact to the structure.
  • Areas of the structure where moisture readings are below 1.5% on the gypsum scale are considered to be “acceptable”.

What is a weep screed?

A weep screed is a drainage accessory located at the bottom of framed walls (sometimes over masonry/foundation walls) between each level of a structure, above the foundation level. The weep screed accessory when installed with a proper Weather-Resistant Barrier (WRB) should terminate along the bottom of the wall system providing a weeping drainage channel. Without this weeping drainage channel, moisture may become trapped which could lead to damage within the wall cavity. Even masonry wall systems (full masonry units using metal wall anchors) should have weep holes with through wall flashings to allow for similar wall drainage.


According to all national and local building codes, Stucco and Thin Stone (Adhered Stone Veneer) are both considered to be plaster wall assemblies. Weep screeds have been required in plaster wall assemblies by every building code since 1986.


The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is the international standards organization that publishes the standards used in all building codes. ASTM C-926 is the standard specification for “Application of Portland Cement-Based Plaster”, first published in 1986. Section A.2.2.2 of this standard states, “At the bottom of exterior walls where the wall is supported by a floor or foundation, a drip screed and through-wall flashing or weep holes, or other effective means to drain away any water that may get behind the plaster should be provided”.

Based on this information, any home built after 1985 should have a weep screed or other means of drainage, otherwise, the stucco or stone installation on that home would be considered a non-conforming installation.
 

Contact Us

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Exterior Cladding Inspections & Consulting, LLC

5822 Royal Ridge Dr., Springfield, VA 22152

571 -599 -0002