What is EIFS?
EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish System and is referred to as "synthetic stucco" or sometimes "Dryvit" (after the well known manufacturer). It is a system consisting of four basic components: expanded polystyrene foam board glued or screwed to the substrate, base coat, reinforcing mesh and finish coat.
There are two basic types of EIFS currently in use: barrier and water managed (commonly known as Drainable). Barrier EIFS is designed to divert all water from the exterior surface whereas water managed EIFS anticipates that some water will penetrate the surface and is designed so that any water breaching the system will quickly exit.
EIFS accounts for approximately 21% of the commercial market and approximately 3.5% of the residential market.
An example of EIFS
Water does not usually enter through the EIFS system itself, but through penetrations in the EIFS. The most common areas of moisture intrusion are around windows and doors, at intersections between the EIFS and the roof and areas where the EIFS has been penetrated by attachments such as shutters, decorative molding, vents, etc. Moisture intrusion also may occur if the EIFS is cracked or damaged.
An EIFS inspection is intended to identify areas of high moisture content in the sheathing and framing and identify areas where the substrate has already been damaged by water.
An EIFS inspection can also point out areas that have the "potential" for moisture intrusion as well. It is not uncommon to find other areas of concern while performing an EIFS inspection. Our inspectors have located roof leaks and leaks from shower enclosures during an EIFS inspection. The importance of the inspection is to find any areas that should be addressed - to prevent potential or further damage.