Exterior insulated Finish System
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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