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EIFS - INTRODUCTION

About EIFS

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) are multi-layered exterior wall systems that are used on both commercial buildings and homes. They provide superior energy efficiency and offer much greater design flexibility than other cladding products.

Developed in Europe in the 1950s, EIFS were introduced in the U.S. almost 40 years ago. They were first used on commercial buildings, and later, on homes. Today, EIFS account for nearly 30% of the U.S. commercial exterior wall market. EIFS typically consist of the following components:

  • insulation board, made of polystyrene or polyisocyanurate foam, which is secured to the exterior wall surface with a specially formulated adhesive and/or mechanical attachment
  • a durable, water-resistant base coat, which is applied on top of the insulation and reinforced with fiber glass mesh for added strength
  • an attractive and durable finish coat -- typically using acrylic co-polymer technology -- which is both colorfast and crack-resistant

Expansion Joints and Sealants

Do EIFS require expansion joints?

Expansion joints in EIFS are required at the following locations:

  • where they exist in the substrate or supporting construction
  • where the EIFS adjoins dissimilar construction or materials
  • at changes in building height or other areas of anticipated building movement
  • at floor lines in multi-level wood frame construction
  • where prefabricated panels abut one another
  • where the substrate changes

How wide should expansion joints be when installed with the EIFS?

This issue is the responsibility of the design professional.

Can a "V" groove reveal be considered a control joint? A "V" groove reveal are aesthetic and cannot be considered a control joint since a true joint is a "built-in" break in the system where cracking is anticipated. Reveals in EIFS are strictly aesthetic joints and are used to provide convenient stopping points for finish application in large wall areas. If movement relief is necessary

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EIFS is an acronym that stands for Exterior Insulation & Finish Systems. It is a non-load bearing, composite cladding system that consists of a weat her resistant barrier (air and/or vapour barrier); an insulation board attached either adhesively, mechanically, or both, to the substrate; an integrally reinforced base coat; and a textured protective finish coat.

EIFS is not 'stucco' (Portland cement plaster). In fact, they are quite different materials despite the terms often being used interchangeably. Stucco is a traditional cladding composed of Portland cement, lime, sand, and water. EIFS on the other hand, is a proprietary cladding system that includes an insulation board and a much thinner, more flexible basecoat. Exterior Insulation & Finish Systems do not use interchangeable generic components like stucco does. Rather, EIFS components have been designed and tested by the manufacturer for the specific use and compatibility within their systems.

Restoration Systems

  1. The base coat and mesh
    combination serves several functions. It helps to smooth the surface and correct imperfections. In addition, the cement base and mesh embedded form a solid and resistant shell which solidifies the wall surface
  2. The finishes are the visible part of the system. They come in a wide range of 300 colours and are available in 12 different textures

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Is it necessary to install sealants?

Yes. Sealants are always required around windows, doors, all wall penetrations, and at the juncture of dissimilar materials. This is true for every type of wall cladding. Sealants are not a part of an EIFS; however, their use in conjunction with the system is a necessity. Moisture damage caused by failure to properly apply sealants at those points just named is not covered by manufacturers' warranties.

Are there alternatives to sealant joints around my window?

No. The sealant joints around the perimeter of your windows, and the sealant around doors, dryer vents, hose bibs, and every other penetration serve a critical function; they help keep your home tight and help in keeping water out of your walls. If the sealant is properly installed as specified by the sealant manufacturer, these can give you many years of protection.

 

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