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Be Cautious About Faux Stone Exteriors

Home Inspection

Be Cautious About Faux Stone Exteriors!

When I work with buyers and sellers as they go through the processes of a real estate transaction I work hard to provide them with important information along the way to ease stress, educate, and primary avoid any surprises. Lately, the topic of home inspections and repairs has been coming up a lot.

I am constantly reading, doing research on anything real estate related and came across some interesting information regarding faux stone exteriors.

The latest trend in home exteriors has been the manufactured stone products that may or may not contain real stone. The appeal of this newer product with builders and homeowners alike is understandable. Fabricated stone or stone veneer exteriors are lighter weight and less expensive than natural stone. They come in a wide variety of colors and styles.

In my research, I found it interesting that manufacturers of the faux stone products have experienced double-digit sales in recent years!

As I dug a little deeper into the topic, I discovered a concern among home inspectors. Many home inspectors are sounding off big alarm bells reporting water  damage due to poor installation techniques. This is becoming a widespread problem across the country!

What is occurring is water seepage behind siding that is leading to rotting walls and mold problems. The last thing we need in Florida is anything that contributes to mold problems, right!

A major concern here is that oftentimes, evidence that there is a problem doesn’t become apparent for years after the installation.

We Can Prevent History from Repeating

This situation isn’t the first time the housing industry suffered from unexpected occurrences using artificial exterior products. In the 1990’s when synthetic stucco (also known as exterior insulation finish systems or EIFS) generated a lot of public attention.

Like artificial stone, EIFS was touted as being more affordable, versatile, and more crack-resistant than traditional stucco. As time passed, homeowners discovered water penetrating small openings around windows and doors leading to costly repairs.

Homeowners filed class-action lawsuits by eventually becoming so fed-up with losses, and generous payouts occurred.

It would be wise, in light of what is occurring with the faux stone exteriors, to find a home inspector that who is trained and aware of this potential problem. Home inspectors nationwide are on the alert and aware of these concerns. The American Society of Home Inspectors is urging members to become familiar with manufactured stone siding and advising the inspectors to inspect vigilantly for budding problems. The association has even offered seminars and training to address these concerns.

Installing the faux stone properly is the key to avoiding problems. The faux stone products offer many benefits to the consumer; therefore, taking extra steps to ensure everything is done correctly is well worth it.

Protect Yourself from Future Headaches

  • Look for visible signs around windows and doors of moisture. Also, check trim boards inside the home, check for separation and discoloration. Check for discoloration on hardwood flooring.
  • Tap on the stone to see if anything feels loose. If there is water, behind the stone, the glue starts to come off and this will cause movement.
  • Look for water damage around siding.
  • If the home inspector suspects potential problems, he may use a moisture meter or an infrared camera to detect hidden problems.

The faux stone product has many benefits and homeowners across the country have been satisfied with the product. With the vast selection of colors and textures, lower costs, the product remains a favorite among homeowners!

I hope you found this information helpful! As always, I’m here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your real estate needs. Give me a call today.

Sincerely,

Michael

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