By Allen Norwood
Posted: Thursday, Feb. 05, 2015


Two decades ago, horror stories about synthetic stucco dominated housing headlines. Mansions were rotting, stories said. Lawsuits were flying, while stucco manufacturers and builders hunkered down.

EIFS stands for exterior insulated finish system. Water that got behind the synthetic surface could get trapped there, and cause wood framing inside the walls to rot.

In 1997, I watched as McClure and others peeled the synthetic stucco from a house in Providence Country Club. It was easy to see where water was getting in. The worst damage was caused by improper flashing and by a leak in a window. Not around a window, but through the sill.

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Allen Norwood writes on Home design, do-it-yourself and real estate for The Charlotte Observer. His column appears each Saturday.