Often confused with stucco, and sometimes even referred to as EIFS stucco or synthetic stucco, EIFS is not the same as stucco. Exterior insulation & finishing systems, commonly known as EIFS, are proprietary, multi-layered exterior wall systems that provide an insulated, water-resistant, finished surface in an integrated composite material system. Because of the multiple benefits of EIFS, their popularity is growing with architects, builders, and homeowners.
This is the most cost effective of the many benefits of EIFS. Walls are the most common areas for heat and air conditioning loss, making wall insulation important when it comes to improving your home energy efficiency. Compared to standard brick or wood, EIFS can significantly reduce air infiltration, often up to 55 percent.
EIFS can also increase the “R-value” of your home or building. The “R-value” is the way the resistance to heat flow is measured. The higher the “R-Value” the better. EIFS typically use insulation board rated R-4 or R-5.6. This combined with standard wall insulation can increase your home or building’s wall insulation value from R-11 to R-16.
With new construction, the energy efficiency of EIFS may allow you to install a lower capacity HVAC system without sacrificing the interior comfort of your home.
When compared to brick, stucco, and fiber cement siding for thermal and moisture control, EIFS were validated as the “best performing cladding.” This was the result of research done by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and supported by the Department of Energy.
While they are among the most water resistant exterior surfaces available, EIFS, like all claddings, must be correctly installed and properly detailed for them to be effective. Improper installation can result in moisture getting behind the EIFS and causing damage, much like it can with wood, brick or any other exterior siding.
In addition to improper insulation, damaged or missing flashing, and poorly sealed windows have been cited in some cases of water or moisture damage with EIFS. Inspection and regular maintenance should include thorough checking of the flashing and sealing to ensure that the building remains watertight.
EIFS are not only water resistant but fire resistant as well. They have passed fire resistance, ignitability, intermediate multi-story, and full-scale multi-story corner tests; meeting the standards set forth with each test.
EIFS passed Fire Resistance (ASTM E 119) and showed no negative effect on the fire resistance of a rated wall assembly.
EIFS passed Intermediate Multi-Story Fire Test (NFPA 285 (UBC 26-9) which requires resisting the spread of a flame within combustible core/component of panels from one story to the next, as well as resisting the lateral spreading of flames from the origin of the compartment fire to adjacent spaces.
They also passed Ignitability (NFPA 268)with no ignition at 20 minutes of radiant heat exposure and Full-Scale Multi-Story, corner test (ANSI FM 4880) with NO height restrictions.
EIFS are extremely durable. The systems are crack resistant due to their flexible design, allowing them to tolerate expansion and contraction due to temperature change. This can be an issue with stucco, concrete and brick exteriors.
Typically formulated with a 100 percent acrylic binder that provides superior resistance to fading, chalking and yellowing, EIFS do not require regular painting the way wood, stucco and other siding materials do. As a result, they retain their original color and appearance longer. Also, because the color is integral to the finish coat, the color remains consistent even when scratched. The systems tend to maintain their original appearance over time.
With an excellent resistance to dirt, mildew and mold, the exterior of your home or building will be attractive and easy to keep clean, and EIFS can usually be cleaned by hosing them down.
Flexibility of Design
In addition to all the practical benefits of EIFS, they offer the aesthetic benefit of multiple design options.They may resemble stucco or stone but are much more versatile. The systems come in a wide variety of colors and textures. They can also be tailored by skilled EIFS technicians to create various architectural details, many of which would be more costly when executed with conventional construction. Arches, columns, and other decorative details are a few examples that can give your home or building an attractive and eye-catching appearance.
Still Curious About the Benefits of EIFS?
Royal State Construction, LLC is proudly recognized in the home remodeling industry and specializes in Stucco, Stone, and EIFS installation in New Jersey. You can learn more about EIFS and how they work on our website, or you can contact us for a consultation.