Terminating EIFS at the ground

It is not a good idea to have EIFS to close to the ground for several reasons. First and foremost, you do not want water to get in behind it so obviously you would not want it right down to the ground. But how high up does it have to be and what do you do with that area that is not done in EIFS down there? That is the question your customer will ask and what the always want to hear is that it will look the same as the rest of the wall. But, more often than not, the 4″ or 8″ that is not done in EIFS down there is just left by the EIFS contractor and the owner paints it the same color and it all flakes off in no time and looks bad.
I would suggest to put a direct apply on the area before sticking the foam and take it up past the 8″ mark and Mesh and brown like normal and then when you run finish you could just run it all and it would all look the same and there would be no foam down there any longer so the water would not get in behind to cause any damage. This way the entire wall looks complete and the EIFS will not fail from water getting in behind the foam.
Seems like a no brainer but I see a lot of buildings with that 8″ gap at the bottom that does not have EIFS or even worse the EIFS with the foam all the way to the ground.


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Embed fiber glass cloth in the Alpha Base Coat

Exterior Insulation and Finish System installation process

The Alpha Base Coat is troweled on to the foam by an approved EIFS applicator and a fiber glass mesh is embedded into the base coat. The base coat is applied 1/8 of an inch thick. The fiber glass cloth comes in 38 inch and 48 inch rolls and is overlapped 2 inches. There can not be any eps foam that is not covered with fiber glass mesh. Including all corners. The base coat should be troweled on smooth and a corner tool used on all corners for a nice sharp look.

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Exterior Insulation and Finish System | Synthetic Stucco | Dryvit

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What do we mean by prepping the EPS foam

Exterior Insulation and Finish System installation process

Prepping the eps foam is pretty straight forward. One of the beautiful things about EIFS is the ability to fix or change the appearance of an existing building or even do new and exciting things to a new construction project. In the prep stage the foam is rasped smooth, taking any highs or lows out of the surface. Chalk lines are popped to make all corners straight. Now for the fun stuff, the detail, which the sky is the limit here, from a simple ‘v’ groove to a ten foot two headed eagle coming out of the wall really anything is possible here. But more commonly, a nice crown molding and some columns.

Now that the foam has been prepped and the detail is on it is time for the base coat.

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Exterior Insulation and Finish System | Synthetic Stucco | Dryvit |

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Apply EPS foam to the substrate

Exterior Insulation and Finish System installation process

There are several ways to apply the eps foam to the substrate. But, before doing so, we need to take a few things into consideration. First, is the substrate itself. There are different applications for different substrates. Here is a list of the more common exterior insulation and finish system substrates.

  • OSB (oriented strand board)
  • T1-11
  • DensGlass / Glass Roc
  • Block Wall
  • Brick

Applying the eps foam over Block, Brick and DensGlass is very similar. The polystyrene insulation board is attached to the substratewith Alpha Base Coat.

The Base Coat is applied to the foam with a notch trowel in a vertical motion which allows for moisture  drainage. All windows and doors should be back wrapped and a 1/2 inch expansion around them. Note; if the block or brick are painted a primer must be used before applying the eps foam to the wall.

When applying eps foam over OSB or T1-11 the process is much different. First the wall is covered with a moisture barrier called stucco wrap. Then the foam is attached to the wall with mechanical fasteners. again, all windows and doors should be back wrapped and a 1/2 inch expansion around them.

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A quick overview of the EIFS installation process

EIFS installation process

An overview of the Exterior Insulation and Finish System or EIFS installation process

Exterior Insulation and Finish System / EIFS  installation process is as follows:

EIFS (Exterior insulation and Finish Systems) also known as synthetic stucco.

That was a quick overview of the EIFS process

Kick out flashing is a very important part of the EIFS install that seems to be over looked by contractors. We have an article explaining kick out flashing including what it is used for and how it should be installed.

Another important aspect of an EIFS installation is a water drainage system which we have covered in depth for you in a separate article as well. The Water Drainage System is very important to get right because if you don’t the substrate of the structure could be damaged if it is not used. We have taken the Water Management System on huge step further with our Water Prevention System.

EIFS installation process

Print an EIFS Quick Reference Guide

EIFS installation processEIFS Repair – Exterior Insulation and Finish System – Synthetic Stucco

Water Drainage System | EIFS

The EIFS Drainage System

The Exterior Insulation and Finish System has a particular process that should be used when applying to a residential project. The  Water Drainage System was designed to apply over OSB. The process is as follows. First if the home is new construction you will want to get your EIFS applicator in there before the windows go in. A fluid air/water barrier should be painted over the OSB with 4 inch sheathing fabric over the seams, or apply stucco wrap by stapling to the OSB  (A fluid air and water barrier is proven to be a better barrier). The windows should be trimmed with flashing tape. The flashing tape should come down over the Stucco wrap. Now the windows can go in. If the windows are already in then the flashing tape should but up to the window and overlap the stucco wrap. The next consideration is to find the grade and make sure to install the track 8 inches above grade. The stucco wrap should drop right into the track. This track is where your first row of foam will go. It is always a good practice to install your track above the windows at this time as well. Your next step is to find all areas that the roof dies into the wall. At these locations you will have to peel up the existing flashing and shingles for about 12 inches and slide a kick-out flashing up under there and fasten it to the wall. Make sure to put the kick-out flashing under the stucco wrap. Now you will want to back-wrap around the windows and doors and along the roof line. Make sure to stay 2 inches off the roof line. With all your prep work done you are ready to stick your foam. It is recommended to use the ribbed foam for the Water Drainage System.  When fastening the foam two inch plastic mechanical washers are used. The foam is applied horizontally as to keep the ribs facing the proper direction for water drainage.  The foam will be sanded and base coat and finish applied as normal from this point.


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Water Drainage System | EIFS

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EIFS Repair 1-888-407-2609

Welcome to EIFS Repair (1-888-407-2609). If you are interested in the EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System) industry you will find this site engaging and full of knowledge. We have an extensive background in Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems, and have no problem letting you know what we know; As, we feel, that it has been one of the short comings of the entire industry. Keeping the EIFS process a secret has not benefited any one, nor will it. We would rather, a home owner or contractor know the steps needed to complete a professional and successful EIFS project.

That is are aim here at Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems / EIFS Repair, to educate anyone that wants to know about the EIFS industry from general practices, to those little things to look for that Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems applicators just hate to do. Well, I guess it’s not really that they hate to do them, it is, that they are time consuming, and costly. And the little things are very hard to spot unless you really know what you are looking for. But those little things are what can cause havoc down the road.

Here are a few points of interest.

We will not only teach you how to properly do the EIFS application, and what to watch out for, but perhaps the most important part of the site is that we will be introducing new and improved ways of doing EIFS that your applicator may not even be aware of yet. We will do our best to give as detailed instructions and shop drawings of these new techniques our Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems Guru’s come up with here at EIFS repair.

We will also go over the material including specifications and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and the distributors Dyvit, Senergy and Sto.

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EIFS Repair – Exterior Insulation Process – Synthetic Stucco

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