EIFS Inspection Guide


The International Standards of Practice for inspecting the Exterior is located at www.nachi.org/sop.


Exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) is a general class of non-load bearing building cladding systems that provides exterior walls with an insulated, water-resistant, finished surface in an integrated composite material system.

  • Hardcoat stucco is a cementicous product.
  • EIFS is an acrylic product.

EIFS must be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which may change from time to time, and… manufacturers may have several different products, each with different installation requirements.

Lots and lots of EIFS has been installed improperly across North America.

Confirming proper installation of EIFS requires extensive, specialized training.


  1. Improper conditions at window opening:
    1. No backer rod
    2. No caulking

Proper installation would require a ¼” gap be left between casing and the window. This gap then has caulk installed over foam backer rod. The finish coat then extends to the window, covering the caulking.

  2. No waterproof membrane (typically rolled on over the sheathing and behind the foam as a liquid that encapsulates a plastic mesh.
  3. No weep screed at lower grade/headwall terminations;
  4. No window head flashing (drip cap) installed;
  5. Dryer vent trapped;

Replacement due to damage or corrosion will require EIFS repair.



Evidence of patching.

Evidence of patched moisture damage at eave termination (due to lack of kickout) and under window (common area of leakage).

Inadequate clearance from shingles.

A minimum 1.5” gap should be left between EIFS and roof–covering materials.


No kickout flashing.