Traditional building methods have evolved slowly over many centuries in response to the strengths and weaknesses of available materials. During the past hundred years, building techniques have evolved with increasing rapidity in response to the creation of new technology, development of new materials, changes to model building codes, and higher expectations for building comfort and performance.
Newer cladding materials like vinyl siding, aluminum siding, and EIFS promised high performance and lower construction costs. These new materials did not have the same development history as traditional materials. Designers specifying and detailing new systems did not fully examine and address the weaknesses of those new systems. Often, they failed to avoid chemical incompatibilities between different materials used in new envelope systems. Workmen installing new systems were not trained to understand their new requirements. They frequently applied the same techniques they had used for more traditional cladding systems and installed the new materials incorrectly.