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Useful Information

EIFS (Synthetic Stucco)

What is EIFS?

  • EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems. The product is also called synthetic stucco, and refers to a multi-layered exterior finish that has the look of traditional stucco. EIFS consists of an inner layer, a middle layer, and an exterior. The inner layer is an insulation board secured to the exterior wall surface with a specially formulated adhesive and/or mechanical attachment. The middle layer is a durable, water-resistant base coat, which is applied on top of the insulation and reinforced with fiber glass mesh for added strength. The exterior layer is an attractive and durable finish coat, typically using acrylic co-polymer technology. EIFS layers bond to form a covering that doesn't breathe. That's fine when no moisture is present behind the covering, but if moisture seeps in it can become trapped behind the layers. With no place to go, constant exposure to moisture can lead to rot in wood and other vulnerable materials within the home. Newer EIFS systems include a drainage arrangement to help keep moisture from being trapped behind the covering.

    Synthetic Stucco vs. Traditional Stucco

  • Synthetic stucco is soft and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Traditional stucco is hard and brittle, and sounds solid when tapped.

    Maintaining EIFS

  • Any opening, such as door and window frames and the areas around flashings, must be sealed to prevent water from seeping behind the EIFS.
  • Gutters should be kept clean and positioned to drain away from the house.
  • Foam should not extend below grade.
  • Items that penetrate the stucco must be sealed.
  • In other words, no moisture should be able to seep behind the EIFS.

    Signs of EIFS Problems

  • Mold or mildew on the interior or exterior of the home.
  • Swollen wood around door and window frames.
  • Blistered or peeling paint.
  • Cracked EIFS or cracked sealant

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