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With new construction EIFS it is imperative 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.
What happens when the windows are already in?
What should happen is that the windows come out, and the windows are treated with flashing tape. If the windows are not done correctly there is a good chance you are voiding the warranty. The specifications from the material manufacturer are very clear on the application of flashing tape around the windows.
How do you apply the Flashing Tape?
You start at the bottom of the window sil. The Flashing tape should go all the back to the inside edge of the sil jam, and down four inches onto the face of the wall. The tape should be cut six inches longer than the window opening to allow the tape to go up the window frame on each side by at least three inches. Use your knife to cut along three inch vertical and lay the tape down on to the face of the wall. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the tape. Apply a small piece of tape in the corner that goes all the way to the edge of the sil jam out and onto the face of the wall at least four inches. The apply the two verticals the same way and finally the top of the window is applied.
What qualifies as Flashing Tape when it comes to EIFS?
When it comes to EIFS there are very trick rules, and variations of products is to be done very carefully as not to void your warranty. I will use Dryvit® and its particular material line to address these products used for window treatments. There are several products you can use to treat the windows with. Dryvit’s AquaFlash® being one of the best.
This post actually started from another post, and I wanted to expand on it as it is such an important topic.
From 1969 to about the year 2000 was the first generation of the product where the Synthetic Stucco foam was installed directly to the substrate of a house. Where the system’s exterior itself was the weather barrier. Before the year 2000 building codes did not require a secondary moisture barrier. The IRC (International Residential Code) in 2000 required this secondary moisture barrier on all sidings used over wood framed construction. The problem with the system itself being the water barrier is that when any moisture infiltrated the system there was nowhere for it to escape. A properly installed first generation system application that has been maintained has a very good chance of not having any problems. The product can be installed right, and the caulk and sealants maintained over the years, and still a window or roof leak can cause major damage over time on a first generation Synthetic Stucco home. However, you can still have a first generation home inspected, and after passing the inspection get a warranty on the home through The Moisture Warranty Corporation.
The Next Generation of EIFS has grown and learned from the past along with the entire building industry. The unprecedented testing done has helped many industries, and has had an impact on the building codes. With the addition of a Air/Water barrier to the Exterior Insulation and Finish System process has made significant improvements to the overall performance of the product, and is now mandatory on all wood framed construction whether you are using Exterior Insulation and Finish System or not. The next generation of EIFS has been proven to drain water effectively. This overcomes the major issue with first generation system.
The Next Generation of EIFS is a superior material, and out preformed all other exterior wall claddings (including brick, stucco, concrete block, and cementitous fiber board siding) in the Hygrothermal Performance testing by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which was funded by The US Department of Energy and EIMA. A study by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shows that over a 50 year life cycle of a building, the carbon footprint of Exterior Insulation and Finish System is 1770 compared to brick at 8303. We are talking some huge numbers here, as Dryvit, one of the leading manufacturers, boast ‘over 2 billion square feet of Synthetic Stucco applied’ you can begin to imagine what a positive impact having such a smaller carbon footprint has had on the environment.
Benefits of The Next Generation of EIFS – Superior Cladding
It may not be faster than a speeding bullet and it can not leap tall buildings, but The Next Generation of Exterior Insulation and Finish system is a Super Cladding when compared to the other leading Cladding’s.
Have a Project have someone come out and take a look at it. We have been doing Dryvit Synthetic Stucco repairs in Southeast Michigan for over 26 years.
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
There are a couple ways you can remove the layer of finish from the area around the repair. A steel brush can be an effective tool for removing the finish, or a grinder can be used. If a grinder is used it is very important to only remove the layer of finish. It is easy to lose control and grind away the cement base coat and the fiberglass mesh. Removing the finish coat allows the base coat to transition evenly to the existing material around the damaged area. The process of removing the finish coat only takes a few minutes, and makes a huge difference in the look of the EIFS Repair. Using this technique can be the difference from a professional looking patch, and a unsightly lump of EIFS on a wall.
Back to EIFS Repair Tip Of The Day
When buying an EIFS home you can real hit a home run if you know what you are looking for. I don’t think it is any secret that the EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System) industry has an applicator problem, and that cannot be good. I think most professionals, if not all, would agree that the Exterior Insulation and Finish System product is a very good one, and when applied correctly is an excellent product (The Department of Energy’s testing by Oak Ridge National Laboratory concluded that Exterior insulation and Finish System out preforms brick, stucco, concrete block and cementitious fiber board siding). The question is how can you tell, when buying a Synthetic Stucco home, that the cladding was done correctly. Actually, for the trained eye it is a pretty simple process. There are a few basic things to look for. One of the most important things to look for is kick out flashing. If the house has kick out flashing that is a real good sign. The second thing to look for is the termination at the grade. The Exterior Insulation and Finish System should be at least 6 inches above grade. If the bottom of the Synthetic Stucco has a weep track then you know the home has a Water Management System. These two things are key to a good job, and when buying a Synthetic Stucco home they are the most important things to look for. The third thing to look for will really tell you that you have a winner, and that is around the windows and doors. The windows and doors should have an expansion joint around them, and the joint should be caulked. That caulk will fail one day, and has to be maintained, but we know that, and that is not really what we are looking for, what we are looking for, is if the Base Coat material goes back to the substrate in the expansion joint. If the material goes back all the way to the substrate, then when that caulk fails, there will not be exposed foam for water to soak into. You can be pretty confident when buying a EIFS home that you have a winner if the windows and doors are done this way.
One of the major things you want to make sure of is that the home has a moisture barrier like tyvek, tar paper, or a painted on barrier. Without a moisture barrier if the system fails it will rot the substrate. This can be very devastating if the substrate is wood. Unfortunately, the only way to know if there is a moisture barrier behind the system is to cut a hole in the system, and take a look. The reason this is so important is that if there is a moisture barrier the only damage will be to the Synthetic Stucco, and not to the substrate, so you will know what you are getting into for repairs, and not have major surprises trying to replace the substrate, and even the structure itself.
In closing, with an educated buyer the product can be a very attractive investment. If you can find an Exterior Insulation and Finish System home that was built by a high quality contractor that knew what they were doing, and did not cut any corners, you can buy a really great home for a steal of a deal. The problems in the residential Synthetic Stucco industry have lowered the prices of these homes, and for the ones that were done correctly they are very much worth the investment.
Exterior Insulation and Finish System also known as Synthetic Stucco or Dryvit ®
All your EIFS Repairs can be handled by our trained EIFS professionals in Ohio. Our EIFS Repair Ohio area covers the cities of Akron, Chesapeake, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Middlefield, Sharonville, Springboro, Toledo, Youngstown and their surrounding areas. There is a vast area in Ohio that has our trained EIFS applicators. If you are within 100 miles of any one of these cities you are likely in our Ohio coverage area, and if not, we still might be able to get our EIFS professionals to you; so do not hesitate to call us.
If you are in our EIFS Repair Ohio coverage area and would like someone to come out and take a look at your EIFS repairs please fill out our EIFS Repair Form and include a date that will work best for you to have someone come out and go over everything with you regarding your EIFS repairs.
If you are a ‘do it yourself’ type, and are in our Ohio coverage area you can purchase our EIFS Repair Kit and fix your EIFS repairs yourself.
If you would like to talk to someone in person please call 586-489-7932 and ask for Corey.
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