What is EIFS?

Blog submitted by Moreno Stucco & Wire Ltd. in Edmonton

When done correctly by experienced stucco contractors in Edmonton, it’s one of the best siding choices.

EIFS stands for “exterior insulation and finish system” and is often referred to as synthetic stucco. It can look like traditional stucco from the outside, and its main benefit versus cement stucco is the continuous insulation value it adds to your home.

Insulating your home from the outside is more efficient than doing it from the inside due to all the wood studs that cannot be insulated, resulting in gaps for hot/cold air to travel (known as thermal bridges).

Therefore, the insulation inside the home provides less R-value than specified, as well as a lower real R-value, which could vary depending on the design, frame, and workmanship of the build.

Below is a picture of a home renovated from siding to EIFS.


Why EIFS Problems Occur

EIFS are vulnerable to damage due to the combination of improper mixing and application of materials. The main components that seal, adhere and finish the system need to be mixed and applied according to manufacturer specifications. It is very easy to manipulate and mix these materials incorrectly, and it greatly reduces the performance of the product.

Another issue is improper sealing around windows, penetrations, and installation of flashings. Some of the reasons for this problem are the significant cost of materials and the consistent rise in their pricing. In addition, many contractors underbid jobs, sacrificing the quality of materials or workmanship to make a profit. Moreover, some lack the knowledge and experience to know the harm it causes to the home/building. And believe it or not, some just don’t care. I’m amazed by the attitude of contractors that just want to get paid and let someone else deal with future issues knowingly!

Up until recently, there would be many issues with mould on oriented strand board (OSB) from moisture getting trapped between foam and sheathing, but thankfully the EIFS insulation boards are now designed with drainage, so the risk of getting mould between foam and sheathing is less likely (not impossible).

There is more to say about the subject, but these are the key components of the problem…

Problems are Becoming More Common

Every year we get increasingly more calls about EIFS issues, especially after structures experience non-stop rainy days or when homeowners want to buy or sell a home and their property is looked at more carefully by home inspectors, which can lead to a major EIFS stucco repair in Edmonton.

Those rainy days also left behind multiple failed condo buildings that had their entire EIFS removed. Then, they had them redone under proper contractors and supervision. Since EIFS has just started to become more popular in residential homes, we expect to see more repairs and complete tear-offs.

Below is a picture of a crack on EIFS Stucco, which is a good indication of bad workmanship. The following picture shows what it could look like underneath when moisture gets trapped. As you can see, it turns black and starts to rot the wood sheathing.

Get a trusted Professional from the start, or at least for the repairs.

There are many professional plasters, but not all with the same qualifications and care. Many with years in the industry cannot still do proper repairs or a new system simply because of carelessness. Repairs require more knowledge and experience. Expertise is required because you must find and address the main cause of failure behind the surface and not merely make it look repaired from the outside.

No one is perfect, but fortunately for us, we’ve had the opportunity to learn. We’ve done this by opening up and repairing so many stucco walls and incorporating our lessons learned from experience to improve.

You need to have experience and be in the industry long enough to see the failures in making certain applications incorrectly. Many times, applicators are unaware of the harm they are causing by doing certain things they think are inconsequential. Unfortunately, that’s how they learned their craft.  Years in the industry may not make everyone better or is essential to do a proper professional job; neither is it to merely be a professional plasterer because it was a professional who made the mistakes in all these failed jobs and continues to do so. But it is essential to prove your work can be trusted and stand the test of time.

You need a real, trusted, reputable, caring professional. Our team consists of members having over 30 years of experience. And, most importantly, believe in our company’s standard of professionalism.

We have been in business for 17 years. We are always striving to learn and improve in every area of our industry.

Call us if you have any stucco needs. We will do our best to help.


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