General Contractor and Homeowners with EIFS projects
Do do list for general contractors and homeowners with EIFS projects
First thing for a general contractor or a homeowner to do is to educate themselves on the EIFS process and the new advancements in the EIFS industry so they know what they want. The Next Generation EIFS is a much improved EIFS, and you should demand your EIFS contractor comply with its new standards. An air/water barrier is a must for all wood framed construction now, whether or not, you are using EIFS.
The second thing that is a must with new construction EIFS is to get the EIFS contractor in on the job site before the windows go in so they can treat the window frames before they go in. If this is not done the entire system has a chance of failure before it even begins. Lets face it even the best windows can leak, and most times you did not buy the best, so it is a safe beat that sooner or later the windows will leak. If the window frame is now treated this is a recipe for disaster down the road. Even if you do not want or cannot get the EIFS guy down there before hand to treat the windows do it yourself. Simply apply flashing tape around the window frame. It has to cover the entire window jam, and come out on the face about 4 inches. Make sure the corners are cover well, and that there are no wrinkles in the tape. Of course, the EIFS manufacturers (Dryvit, Senergy, Sto) all carry a brand of the flashing tape, but in a pinch you can buy flashing tape at the local hardware store if it is going to be the difference between having all your windows protected or not. You may want to contact the EIFS manufacturer you are using for the project, and find out if not using the flashing tape, or not using the correct flashing tape is going to void your material warranty.
The third thing to do is keep a close eye on the EIFS progress, and make sure no corners are being cut. One of the main things that EIFS contractors will not do is take the EIFS base coat all the way back to the substrate around the window and door expansion joints. On an EIFS project the windows and doors will have a 3/8″ to 5/8″ expansion around the windows and doors. Typically the EIFS contractor will run the base coat on the face of the foam, but not turn it into the expansion joint. This is tedious and time consuming work to use a margin trowel around every window and door to make sure the EIFS base coat is applied all the way back to the substrate, but it is a necessary one. If the base coat is not applied in the expansion joint you have exposed foam. The expansion joint is caulked, and when the caulk fails over time it creates a place for water to get behind the EIFS. The caulk will fail quick as it does not stick well to the exposed foam like it does the base coat. your caulk should be low modulus, high performance, one-part, moisture curing silicone joint sealant. A closed cell backer rod should be used when caulking as well. The closed cell backer rod will not absorb water.
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