Cultured Stone Failures

Cultured Stone

Cultured Stone Failures Video

Cultured Stone THE TRUTH


Cultured Stone and other fabricated stone products are resulting in major deterioration and mold problems all over America. These fabricated products are absorbent and act as small sponges stuck together  to the exterior of many  homes. If you are going to build a home with sponges, they must be able to dry or drain. Unfortunately, and within  the last twenty-five years, hundreds of thousands of homes  that have these fabricated cladding systems have the potential to be  now  deteriorating.  Many of the installation contractors who installed these cladding system swere not properly trained, educated, or certified. Many of these  homes  lack the proper and necessary drainage systems. All homes must properly drain the rain. In many cases, this absorbent fabricated stone cladding material was simply stuck directly to the house wrap, wire mesh or to the wood sheathing without a  proper drainage space such as firing strips or a manufactured rain screen product.  These systems were also installed without a proper drainage plane such as properly installed tarpaper or  properly installed house wrap. Many  homes did have the house wrap installed, except  it may now be  defective and may no longer  properly function as intended due to it  being exposed to sunlight for too long of a period during construction, or not property taped at house wrap joints, or had too many nails holes penetrations.  These man made cladding systems absorb water and get wet from;  normal rain, overflow of dirty gutters,  overflow  of gutters with leaf contraptions bought at home garden shows, sprinkler heads being too close to the home that permit wetting of the siding, or poor foundation grading conditions which permit poor drainage of water.  These man made manufactured products absorb water and transfer  moisture to the home’s interior walls where the wood structure deteriorates, permits mold growth and attracts wood boring insects.

It is truly amazing that the builders did not learn from their past similar installations mistakes  with the  EIFS (Exterior Insulted Finish Systems) or synthetic Stucco failure crises, which untimely resulted in class action lawsuits and cost hundreds of millions  of dollars’ worth of damage to our homes.  So how can history  repeat itself.  When a child becomes burned by a stove, the child learns that it is painful and the child stays away from the stove. It seems that many builders keep touching the stove and keep being burned and we the homeowners have to continue suffer for the builders mistakes.

Many of these moisture and mold problems are not visible. In addition, when these moisture problems become visible, the builder is nowhere to be found or the builders warranty has expired. Finally, your general homeowners insured usually will not cover this type of moisture event because it is not sudden such as a tornado or hailstorm  and considered by insurance companies to be a long-term moisture intrusion defect cause by poor initial poor installation.

Sometimes there are signs that the home has active deterioration from this type of  moisture intrusion. The home may experience musty odors from mold, rotting floors, leaking windows, and leaking doors. Additionally, you may notice ant frass from carpenter ants, actual carpenter ants, termites mud tunnels, actual termites or other insects.  Finally, you may see rotted structural joists, band joints or sill plates  in the joist pocket above the basement drop ceilings. 

Due to this new emerging man made cladding problem, many of the EIFS moisture experts are turning into Expert Cultured Stone Moisture Investigators. Tom GABA, who is one of areas Leading EIFS moisture investigator states that new Cultured Stone complaints are slowly replacing the 90’s EIFS  sythtice stucco complaints.  When inspectors perform Culture Stone Cladding inspection they have probe and test the interior of the walls with surface and probe type calibrated moisture meters. Do not rely on the dog and pony show cheaper thermal imaging inspections. Many times, house conditions are not optimal and thermal imaging results can be inconclusive.  I have on numerous occupations used my own thermal imaging camera and have missed inner wall deterioration areas because thermal imaging conditions were not optimal. The old fashion method of drilling, puncturing, and moisture testing works best and provides valuable results.

If you are building a home or are, thinking about using of one of these man made products,  make sure your contractor, builder, developer or installer is educated, knowledgeable and certified.  Before you hire them, make sure your installer understands how to properly install  Cultured Stone or other man made product.

If you have this product and you suspect deterioration may be lingering, you should consider having it inspected and tested by moisture expert. In most cases, full removal and replacement may be required.

Culture Stone, Cladding,  veneer, faux, cladding,  EIFS, home, house, black mold rot, deterioration, man made, rain screen, Tyvek, leaks, moisture, inspection, investigation, siding Inspector, Marko Vovk, ClevelandMarko, ClevelandMold, odor, musty, drainage

Marko Vovk 216-924-8378