Jul 282011

EIFS manufacturers typically have color chart that lists a couple dozen of their standard/common colors ranging from earthy beiges to vibrant blues. Most manufacturers will have the ability to custom match an existing color, whether it be a paint sample from the hardware store or the blue of your favorite car. This makes the choices for coloring your home literally limitless.

When matching a specific color, the best practice is to get an 8″x8″ (or similar) size sample made up from the manufacturer to ensure that it is what you are looking for. The texture of EIFS finish coats will slightly change the perceived color because of the miniscule shadows cast by the finish coat aggregates.

To make EIFS more resistant to impact damage, most EIFS manufacturers supply a thicker mesh referred to as “Heavy-Duty Mesh” or “High-Impact Mesh”. This is a 20-oz mesh that is installed in addition to the standard 4-oz mesh used over the insulation in EIFS to make it more durable and requires an additional layer of basecoat. 2 layers of 20-oz mesh can be added to maximize the impact resistance. Testing with such installation methods has shown that it is effective in preventing damage from a sledge hammer, screwdriver and even projectiles.

The following video from BASF demonstrates some testing using 2 layers of 20-oz mesh.

Heavy duty mesh is only required where there is a higher chance that something large or heavy can damage the wall, or where vandalism is a concern. Typically this is the first 6 feet in height of a wall, with a focus around areas of high traffic requiring durability such as sidewalks, loading docks and doors. This will minimize the investment required, compared to doing a full height of 20 feet, while still providing the coverage needed.

To make EIFS more resistant to impact damage, most EIFS manufacturers supply a thicker mesh referred to as “Heavy-Duty Mesh” or “High-Impact Mesh”. This is a 20-oz mesh that is installed in addition to the standard 4-oz mesh used over the insulation in EIFS to make it more durable and requires an additional layer of basecoat. 2 layers of 20-oz mesh can be added to maximize the impact resistance. Testing with such installation methods has shown that it is effective in preventing damage from a sledge hammer, screwdriver and even projectiles.

The following video from BASF demonstrates some testing using 2 layers of 20-oz mesh.

Heavy duty mesh is only required where there is a higher chance that something large or heavy can damage the wall, or where vandalism is a concern. Typically this is the first 6 feet in height of a wall, with a focus around areas of high traffic requiring durability such as sidewalks, loading docks and doors. This will minimize the investment required, compared to doing a full height of 20 feet, while still providing the coverage needed.

EIFS are in the International Building Code (IBC) as of the 2009 edition, and are in the International Residential Code (IRC). They are approved for use in Canada per CCMC (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) reports. The ECC (EIFS Council of Canada) is currently in the process of incorporating it into the new version of the National Building Code of Canada (NBC).

What is EIFS?

EIFS Comments Off
Feb 182011

EIFS is an acronym that stands for “Exterior Insulation Finish Systems”, and is sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Stucco”. It is a multi-layer building cladding (exterior wall) that has the ability to reduce a home’s heating or cooling requirements. It is by far one of the fastest growing wall claddings on the market, due to it’s pleasing appearance, design flexibility, insulating ability, competitive cost and superior moisture management capabilities.

Who is the Site For?

ExteriorInsulationFinishSystems.com is a collection of organizations, contractors, manufacturers and code writers dedicated to bringing the truth about Exterior Insulation Finish Systems (EIFS) to the general population. We are here to educate home owners, contractors, architects, engineers and other building professionals and bring them up-to-date on the latest developments.

EIFS Failures

There are tens of thousands of improperly installed EIFS applications throughout the USA. The problem became so pervasive that many countys outright banned EIFS. While outright avoidance is cowardly and ignorant. Take a look at a look through some improperly installed EIFS that have failed and the story behind them.

There are hundreds, even thousands of articles around the internet from so-called “building experts” who are saying things like “EIFS is 3 layers” or “EIFS traps moisture”. What most fail to realize is that they are just demonstrating the degree to which they are not an expert by spouting-off outdated, inaccurate information. Would you trust an accountant who last received updates and training in 1999? Rather than adressing these inaccuracies individually, we’ll provide you with the correct information and resources to back it up.

Drainage Modern EIF systems incorporate the use of essentially 2 forms of drainage – grooved insulation (referred to as geometrically defined insulation) and vertical channels of adhesive.

Weather Resistive Barriers I have not come across an EIFS specification by a manufacturer in the past 5 years that does not require some sort of weather resistive barrier between the insulation and the substrate. Typically this takes the form of a trowel-applied weather barrier specific to each manufacturer. These weather barriers have varying ratings as far as classifications (moisture barrier vs vapour barrier) and the specific requirements of the project, or system being installed, will dictate which product is used.

Water Management EIFS has tested favourably against brick, stucco, concrete block and fiber-cement sidings in tests performed by the ORNL (Oak Ridges National Laboratory).
Those interested in viewing the study can view it at: http://www.eima.com/pdfs/EIMA%20ORNL%20ExecSum%20Final.pdf

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