EIFS systems are generally affixed to the outside surface of exterior walling using adhesive materials or mechanical fasteners. Adhesives are typically made of cement-like or acrylic based products and used to attach the EIFS to gypsum/cement boards or concrete substances. Mechanical fasteners are used to attach the EIFS when it is anchored to sheet-good weather barriers (i.e. wood sheathings). The system includes several layers that are installed in a specific order. The basic system is comprised of three layers, applied respectively:
1. The first EIFS layer is composed of a foam, plastic insulating material that is provided in 2’x4’ sheets. If an adhesive compound is used to affix the insulation, it is applied first to the foam with the aid of a trowel. The common insulation type used in EIFS is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). The standard thickness range for EIFS insulation products is between ¾” and 4”. Some pieces that are thicker – called foam shapes – may be used as decorative accents.
2. The second EIFS layer is a reinforcement applied to the face of the insulation called the Base Coat. A trowel is utilized to incorporate the material. The reinforced layer is composed of a fiberglass, reinforcing mesh that is embedded within a cement-like adhesive. This mesh layer is offered in a wide range of weights that are selected based on the damage resistance level needed of the surface. The standard mesh weight used is 4 ounces, whereas the high-impact meshing weight is between 15 and 20 ounces.
3. The final EIFS layer is the top-coat or finish that is achieved by floating. This layer is a colored and textured product that resembles paint. In general, the top-coat is applied with a trowel but may also be applied by spraying. Manufacturers offer a great variety of colors and textures. Custom finishes may also be produced upon request. EIFS textures include smooth surface textures and rough textures similar to those of stucco. Other finishes may also include embedded stones, multi-colored compounds that resemble granite and treatments that are similar to brick finishes.
Contact our EIFS Installation, Stucco Experts at (917) 657- 3346