OMG, I can see ever piece of Foam on the wall

OMG, I can see ever piece of Foam on the wall

If you can see every piece of foam on the wall the applicator has missed a crucial step

The other day a came across an EIFS house that I could see every piece of foam on. I have seen some EIFS applications where in the right sunlight you could see a few pieces of foam, but this was the worst you could literally see every piece of foam. The home owner naturally asked me how this could have happened. Apparently the contractor told him that is just how it looks. I can tell you that, that is not true. There is a few reasons that could have happened and in this case it was probably all of the above. If the foam is not rasped or rasped correctly you will be able to see the foam pieces after the job is done. Also, the adhesive used to adhere the foam to the wall can get in between the pieces, and cause gaps. The gaps will dry at a different rate due to moisture and heat flow, and that will cause them to be seen. I have purchased foam that was not all exactly the same thickness, which if not rasped down will cause the pieces to be seen, but this is very rare I have only seen this a couple times in my 23 years in the industry.

In the case I just seen I am sure they did not rasp the foam at all, and when sticking the foam they did not make sure the pieces where applied tightly together, which caused the finished product to look like that. To fix the wall it now needs to coated with two layers of base coat. The first layer to fill in all the seams to even them out. The second layer is a complete coat over the entire wall to blend everything together. This process to repair the wall takes a highly skilled plasterer. Short of that you would have to re-stick the entire wall, essentially redoing the wall over the existing EIFS.

EIFS – EIFS Repair – Synthetic Stucco

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OMG, I can see ever piece of Foam on the wall

Using simple EIFS practices to create dynamic effects

EIFS Tip Of The Day

Using simple EIFS practices to create dynamic effects

Some of the more basic techniques in the EIFS industry can have the best results. One of the industry specifications is a control joint every 15 feet or so. What you can do is incorporate this into a design. We call these control joints v-grooves. The v-grooves can be placed in an ascetically pleasing pattern with very little effort and the results can be amazing. The foam can also be used to create some fabulous detail. The foam can be cutEIFS Detail | Exterior Insulation and Finish System into any shape or size and stuck to the wall before the fiberglass based cement is applied. A simple but effective way to get a good look is to cut foam pieces on a table saw  that are maybe 12 inches and the cut 8 inch pieces and stick them on top of each other to create a stair step. Many times we will do a 12′ and an 8″ over that and then a 4″ over that to give a 3 stair step at the roof line of a building.

EIFS | Exterior Insulation and Finish System | Synthetic Stucco

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Expanded polystyrene (EPS) | EIFS

EIFS Repair Tip Of The Day for 3-14-2011

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) Foam

The Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is used in the EIFS process because it is a good insulator and is easy to work with. The EPS foam can be sanded easily which makes it a perfect fit for the EIFS industry. High spots in an EPS foam wall can be sanded down to level the entire wall. The R-value of the EPS foam is about R3 per inch.

EIFS Repair | Exterior Insulation and Finish System | Synthetic Stucco

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EIFS foam cutting | Hot Knife / Groover

EIFS Repair Tip Of The Day for 3-10-2011

Cutting Foam with a Hot Groover

A Hot Groover or Hot Knife is an essential tool for every EIFS guy. When it comes time to cut the expansions in the EPS foam a Hot Groover is the only way to go. A quick layout of the lines with caulk EIFS | Hot Groover / Hot Knifelines and you are ready to go. Simply set a level on the caulk line and run the Hot Groover along the level and, voila, a perfect groove every time. No more hand cutting or messy routers.

 

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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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