EPHIS proplem or not?

First scan on an EPHIS house. Found a hot area on the side of the house where the house and garage meet. Picture was taken on the west side of the house about 1.5 hrs after sundown. Temp in the day was about 10C and it is now 1C. 7kph wind (but no wind in this corner). 20% moisture all the way up and 14% on the rest of the house. Tested with surveymaster meter, no probing. House is 7 years old.

Your comments Please.


Lawrence Olsen

Hi Lawerence,

I think I can help you with this one. I’m EDI certified in EIFS systems and also infrared trained.

I’m assuming this is a barrier system rather than a drainage system. It appears to be also a soft coat. There are specific details that are required for the system to function as a water barrier system. The ones that I can see in your photo should include a kick out flashing where the lower gutter intersects the wall. I don’t see one there. If you are getting moisture readings below that gutter area (the heated area of your infared image) then the water is getting behind the EIFS system ( a problem) . If moisture probe readings are above 20% then destructive testing is required that involve removing the EIFS system.

The infared image is showing a warmer surface which is likely due the heated water since the wall faces west. If you are not EIFS certified I would be careful about getting to involved with this home and would defer to an expert or EIFS restoration company. A simple matter of leaving out a kickout flashing would mean there may be other shortcuts in the installation.

Hope that helps.

Phil Henderson, CMI

Certified Master Inspector
EDI Certified EIFS Inspector
ICC Certified Code Inspector
Infrared Certified

A couple more things… the survey master meter only goes about 3/4 inch below the surface and will not give a complete reading on the wall system condition. A Tramex Wet Wall detector is standard EIFS equipment for non destructive test results and can show results to 3-4 inches. The only way to know for sure is to use an EIFS probe to determing the true level of moisture all the way back to the substrate. Again, moisture reading above the 20% level on a probe test will determine the level of destructive testing and repair work.

Another method is the use of an SRT (Structuaral Resistance Tester) which will show the level of damage to the substrate by impact testing and more clearly define the damage area.

If that may be water penetration, then what did the IR image look like from the inside of this same wall?

You should have detected something if moisture existed.

True. If you have infrared you should always check every angle . It may not show up on the interior wall because the substrate (usually OSB) is not allowing the water to fully penetrate the framing and insulation. I’ve scanned many EIFS systems from the inside and only detected damage with the IR if it is heavily water damaged or totally saturated.


A second look at your IR image shows visible wall framing. If this is a true EIFS system the insulation board would not allow a thermal transfer from the framing to the wall surface. The best way to determine is to tap the wall …if a hollow sound It’s EIFS …if a hard sound it’s traditional stucco.

Good point…

Not true in every instance. I’ve had severly damaged or absent substrate (WDI or rot) on stucco, sound exactly like EIFS or the the EIFS trim on stucco jobs. 2-3-4 other inspectors had misidentified the exterior cladding.

Removal of coverplate(s), light fixture(s), foundation termination examination and lack of expansion or control joints is a more conclusive way to identify EIFS.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat :wink:

The stucco and EIFS should never be done without the kickout diverters in place.

No cladding should be without kickouts!

With that being said it is the roofers job to install that flashing. They are the ones who leave them out.

For those who have not seen the best kickout on the market! imo


Lawrence, you need to give us more information when you post these pictures.

What’s on the inside of the garage and on the inside of the house?
From the looks of this scan it does not look like moisture. Even though the hot spot originates/terminates at the eve, the pattern is too symmetrical within the stud bays.

If you use a different palette, we would likely see the studs vary in temperature as you move away from the corner.
Do you thermally tune your camera or manipulate the scan with your software? You need to focus on the anomaly not the entire picture frame. Running your software or camera in the automatic mode does not focus on the source. You may miss something by doing this.

You have a high temperature gradient in the corner at the top of the garage wall at the ceiling. What’s this heat source? It does not look like solar loading.

I think that I actually see some reflection from the house wall onto the garage wall. Moisture doesn’t usually reflect this much.

What’s the minimum and maximum weather conditions on record for that day?

[size=2]Your scan is showing 15°C, 1 1/2 hours after sundown (the temperature was also transitional prior to sundown) with a 7 km air flow. You’re not likely to retain this much heat from moisture.

I would be looking elsewhere.

Although we are having some fun trying to help him with limited information he needs to know the only true way to determine if this is actually a moisture problem in the EIFS system is to use a moisture meter with an EIFS probe. You can buy one for the Protimeter for about $100 . Our infrared cameras are great for surveys of large surfaces but are not moisture conclusive. The non -invasive moisture meter he is using is limited in depth reading ability. The meter can also be affected by any wire mesh in the system if it’s traditional stucco and give false readings. Either way you go…the different technologies can converge to give you a broader picture of the problem. EIFS and other sidings are challenging when moisture is involved…and good inspectors come from challenging circumstances.

Yup! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help. I am away from high speed internet and the dial up is driving me nuts. I will be back in the office on Sunday night and will answer more questions then because all my info is there.

It does look like I should find a EPHIS guy here to look at it and tag along to learn.

I did not find anything on the inside of the house to indicate a problem.


Your info is always appreciated.

Unless I missed something north of the border the product is commonly referred to as EIFS
Exterior Insulation Finishing System](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exterior_Insulation_Finishing_System)

Word usually used to call someone an idiot
When he made a stupid statement his older cousin called him an ephis

I’d hate to see this used in a report :shock: may discredit any comments you may have about the walls or product.

Hope this helps

One other quick comment. With the high liability on EIFS - if you’re not trained and certified by someone like EDI or AWCI in EIFS, you really need to identify the product and refer it to a qualified EIFS specialist.

Maybe you’re just doing the test for your own benefit, but anyone thats not EIFS qualified trying to give advice to customers on whats wrong or right in an EIFS system is a walking / talking lawsuit waiting to happen.

Good post. Thus the word ephis! :shock: :mrgreen:

Hi temps could be due to a combo of fha duct, hot water piping, hot conductors and missing/damaged insulation void in same wall cavity.
Or, likely, but not probable, :roll: an insulation disconnect at corners where wall studs meet, no insulation present, which can allow heat to escape.


Thanks for the correction. I wrote this in a hurry and screwed up.

Everybody else

Thanks for all your info but like I said in my last post I will try to find somebody to look at it that has more experience in this area and try to tag along.


PS David what info would make diagnosing easier?


The temp shows 15C and the outside temp is 10C. This will happen when the sun hits the surface for an extended period of time.

The two spots are 10C (outside) and 14C (corner).

The only other thought I have for the hot corners is no insulation in the corners. I would not see this inside either.

Another picture shows a pattern of water look at it close. Just like under the furnace exhaust.


Looks like moisture???


It appears that you have multiple issues going on which may or may not be related to one another. There is obviously something going on the requires a formal inspection of the siding.

I can see apparent moisture patterns occurring at the eve, below the HVAC flue pipes and at the foundation or the siding is below grade.
Still, there are a lot of things that are geometrical.

There is a probability that moisture has infiltrated the wall at the eve causing excessive moisture in the stud bays which has deteriorated. The deterioration may be excessive in the corner in the installation as well as framing allowing hot air to flow throughout the affected stud bays giving us the geometrical look.

You can see where the interior floor is, both visual and thermal. There is no reason for the moisture to stop here if it is on the backside of the siding.

The area where the siding is below grade, appears to be wicking moisture from the soil. However the concrete foundation is also saturated beyond that of the siding. There may be more complicated issues here as well.

The HVAC flue pipe wall penetration appears to be leaking from the exterior penetration. [size=2]High-efficiency furnace flues have a slope back towards the furnace. If the exterior flue pipe is still sloping upwards, surface water tension will cause it to flow back to the pipe penetration and possibly infiltrate the wall if not properly sealed. [size=2]This could also just be air leakage from the interior. The moisture stain may just be from the upsloped flue pipe.
You should be able to see the framed wall from the crawlspace/basement, no? What did you see here?

The thermal pattern below the eave (which appears to be moisture) does not connect at the junction of the eve/siding. This area should have the greatest amount of thermal capacitance due to moisture.

The situation we are observing may be a condition in transformation. A leaking interior wall may be drying the moisture anomaly which may have occurred sometime ago. [size=2]Further thermal testing is required.

You ask about what other information is needed, detailed weather records as far back as the last substantial precipitation occurrence is necessary. It is not always necessary just to know the temperature and humidity at the time of inspection, but the weather pattern that occurred prior to as well. I cut and paste the database from the National Weather Service into my report files.
Orientation of the building is critical.

Were you unable to get any thermal scans from the interior? If there is moisture damage in there we should be seeing something.

[size=2]I think this situation requires a follow-up inspection under different conditions (or controlled timing under the right conditions). This is what infrared inspections is about.

You have no baseline. You have nothing to compare this with. Everything is just “apparent”.

Does this condition warrant further expenditure of funds on the part of your client? Due to the size of the anomaly I would say yes.