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.

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

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) Foam Shapes

EIFS Repair Tip Of The Day for 3-17-2011

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) Foam Shapes

Working with EPS foam has come a long way in the last 10 years or so. Now, a sophisticated machine uses CAD drawings to cut the foam into any shape you would like. Some of the more common shapes used for EIFS are; window and door trim, EIFS EPS Foam shapes columns and column bases, and crown molding. But, it does not stop there you can really get creative with it.  I have done store names, addresses, and logo’s engraved into the wall. And, to many shapes and fancy designs to list here. I guess that’s the beauty of EIFS, how you can do anything with it you like.

 

EIFS Repair | 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.

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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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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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