EIFS Samples

The Making of the EIFS Samples

These samples will be used in the research experiment

We will be making 3 samples for the experiment. One sample using an old version of the barrier system. One using a cloth barrier and mechanical fasteners with a drainage system. And a sample with a liquid moisture barrier with a drainage system. This post will focus on the actual creation of the three samples. We will go in depth on the materials used and exactly how they were made. Each sample will be made on a piece of OSB. The object of this research is to determine the affects on the OSB from the system once we introduce moisture behind the system. The experiment will be designed to allow water behind the EIFS much like a failing area on a home. For example a missing kick out flashing that is allowing roof run of water to infiltrate the Synthetic Stucco. Now that we have a little background it’s time to explain how each sample will be made.

  1. Old Barrier System – You would see this being done in the 80’s mostly. With this sample we are going to adhere the foam to the OSB with the Exterior Insulation and Finish System cement (back in the 80’s we were using a glue, which has been discontinued). For the purposes of this experiment the cement will work fine and was used a lot in the 80’s. There will be no barrier between the OSB and the foam at all. Then the foam will be sanded and a coat of Alpha Base-coat will be applied with reinforced fiberglass mesh embedded. Once that drys a coat of finish will be applied. 
  2. Cloth Barrier and Mechanical Fasteners with Drainage – With this system the OSB will be covered with a cloth barrier that is ribbed for drainage. A track will be installed at the bottom and the cloth barrier will be dropped in the track. Then the foam will be attached to the OSB with the mechanical fasteners. The foam will be sanded and the Alpha Basecoat will be applied over the fasteners and then over the entire area with the embedded fiberglass mesh. Again at this point a coat of finish will be applied.
  3. Liquid Moisture Barrier with drainage – The surface of the OSB will be painted with a liquid moisture barrier (two coats). The the track will be attached at the bottom and the liquid moisture barrier will extend down over the track using a fiberglass grid tape pr cloth. The foam will be adhered to the substrate with the Alpha Base Coat making sure all ribs are vertical to create channels for moisture to drain. Again the foam is sanded and the Base Coat is applied with the mesh embedded. After it drys the finish coat is applied.  

The first system is not a drainage system and that is why it does not have the track installed. The other two systems are drainage systems and the idea is that if moisture finds it’s way behind the system it will run down the barrier into the track and out the weep holes in the track and not affect the OSB. We are about to put them to the test and see how well they fare.


Old Barrier SystemCloth Barrier & Mechanical FastenersLiquid Moisture Barrier
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Research EIFS Samples by Corey Turcotte




The Making of the EIFS Samples

Attaching things to EIFS

Attaching things to EIFS

Attaching things to EIFS is not rocket science but you need to know what to do

I had a lady call me the other day wanting to know the correct way to fasten her hose holder to the outside of her EIFS home. She could not get it to stay on the wall. This is actually a very good question, because there is a very specific way to install things to the outside of this cladding (Exterior Insulation and Finish System also known as Dryvit ® or synthetic stucco) whether it is a hose holder or a down spout for a gutter. First of all you are going to have to use a screw long enough to go through the system. Typically you will have between 1 1/2 inches to 4 inches to go through. You can tell how thick the material is by checking the bottom. The Synthetic Stucco will stick out from the wall and you can measure it there. Use a 3 or 4 inch screw and a 3/8 inch piece of PCV pipe. Drill a hole with a 3/8’s drill bit into the cladding where you want the screw to go. Stick the PCV pipe in the hole and make a mark where it is flush with the wall. Remove the PCV pipe, and cut it on the inside of the line as not to have the pipe stick out past the wall, but remain flush with the Synthetic Stucco finish. Apply adhesive (PL-Premium®, found at your local hardware store) to the outside of the PCV pipe and insert it in the hole you just drilled. The PCV pipe should sit all the way back to the substrate (OSB), and come out flush with the stucco surface. It is very important that the pipe is a tight fit, and the adhesive should be around the end that is outward at the Exterior Insulation and Finish System surface to make a good seal. Wipe any excess adhesive away with a damp cloth before it drys. Now, fill the pipe about half way with silicone caulk, and screw your hose to the wall using the holes you just made. When you screw the screw into the pipe excess caulk will come out the PVC pipe again use your damp cloth to remove any excess caulk that gets on the stucco’s finish coat or top coat. That is the old school way of doing it, and of course nowadays you have a fancy new way of doing it, and that would be a Corrosion Resistant Fastener and Sleeve Set. Myself I still use the PVC pipe and it works great, and like I always say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If I was doing a large house or building that had down spouts I would however use the Corrosion Resistant Fastener and Sleeve Set’s just to save a ton of time.

Well, there you go, that is the correct way of attaching things to your Synthetic Stucco cladding.

The last thing you want to do is just run screws into your this cladding system, as it will create penetrations that water can enter the system and cause problems down the road.

Have a Project? We can come out and take a look at it.

DIY EIFS – Do It Yourself EIFS Repairs

Attaching things to EIFS




Attaching things to EIFS / Dryvit ® / Synthetic Stucco

General Contractor and Homeowners with EIFS projects

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 industry so they know what they want. The Next Generation EIFS is a much improved system, and you should demand your 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 Synthetic Stucco.

The second thing that is a must with new construction is to get the 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 stucco guy down there before hand to treat the windows, then 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 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 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 Exterior Insulation and Finish System progress, and make sure no corners are being cut. One of the main things that the contractors will not do is take the base coat all the way back to the substrate around the window and door expansion joints. On an Synthetic Stucco project the windows and doors will have a 3/8″ to 5/8″ expansion around the windows and doors. Typically the 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 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 system. 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.

Have a project in Southeast Michigan?  We can come out and take a look at it. (Free Estimate)

EIFS Training

General Contractor and Home Owners with EIFS projects




General Contractor and Homeowners with EIFS projects

EIFS caulking and sealants

EIFS Caulking and Sealants

When it comes to EIFS caulking and sealants it is something you really have to take seriously

According to Dryvit, Tremco Commercial Sealants and Waterproofing’s Spectrem® 1, Spectrem® 3, and Spectrem® 4-TS are all approved sealants.

Here are the individual product descriptions from Tremco Commercial Sealants and Waterproofing

Product Description:
Spectrem® 1
is an ultra low modulus, high performance, one-part, moisture curing silicone joint sealant.

Spectrem® 2 is a medium modulus, one part, high performance, neutral cure silicone sealant ideal for a variety of caulking and glazing applications.

Spectrem® 4-TS is a multi-component, neutral-curing, low-modulus silicone sealant specially formulated for use in dynamically moving building joints with + / – 50% movement.

EIFS Caulking and Sealants

Using the proper sealant on an EIFS project is very important. If you use the the wrong type of sealant it may fail prematurely or even worst it may actually eat away at the foam.  If you use Tremco sealants on your Dryvit project you can get a two year extension on your warranty. That of course, is only on a Dryvit warranty, it does not apply to all EIFS manufacturers.

EIFS caulking and sealants

The Next Generation of EIFS

The Next Generation of EIFS

As it happens the next generation of EIFS has learned a lot from the last generation

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

  • Thermal bridging virtually eliminated
  • Improved IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)
  • Improved overall energy performance of a building
  • Helps keep structural members at a consistent temperature, which extends life expectancy
  • The constant temperature helps structure member movement and stress from temperature swings that lead to cracking in concrete and stucco walls.
  • Dewpoint is eliminated
  • Vapor diffusion from condensation is minimized
  • Deterioration of batt insulation from condensation is minimized
  •  Mold growth due to condensation is virtually eliminated
  • Rusting of metal fasteners and framing from condensation is minimized
  • It has low levels of volatile organic compounds as know as VOC’s
  • It’s carbon footprint is 5 times smaller than brick
  • It saves money in construction costs
  • It’s is more energy efficient
  • ASHRAE (American Association of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers) Standard provides minimum requirements for energy efficient design of buildings – the product meets these requirements
  • According to ASHRAE 90.1 2001 – 2 inches of E.I.F.S. offers the equivalent energy efficiency performance of 8 inches of fiberglass insulation in a wall cavity.
  • This product puts the continuous insulation on the outside of the building where insulation works best.
  • EIFS is in the International Building Code and the International Residential Code
  • It provides the continuous insulation (CI) described in ASHRAE 90.1, which is required by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • It can also contribute to LEED certification
  • It’s the only cladding that has an air-barrier, insulation and aesthetics all in one system, which is installed by a single contractor, with a single warranty
  • The product has a very low Global Warming impact, where brick has a very high Global Warming Impact

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.

EIFS installation process




Related topics: Buying a EIFS Home, Testing, Training

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 Next Generation of EIFS


Dryvit ®

The Dryvit System

Dryvit is one of the largest EIFS manufacturers in the world and they did an excellent job of marketing the EIFS product. In fact they did such a good job that the entire industry was know as Dryvit until recent years. Dryvit did much like Rollerblade®  did with inline skates. We now, for the most part, refer to the industry as the EIFS industry, and there are a few manufacturers of the EIFS product, Dryvit being one of them. Each manufacturer of EIFS has there own terminology of the products, so it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basic Dryvit lingo. Read more Dryvit

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

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

EIFS Commercial vs Residential

EIFS Commercial vs Residential

Commercial and Residential applications are two different animals – EIFS Commercial vs Residential 

Applying EIFS to a Commercial building is totally different than applying EIFS to a house. One of the big differences between a building, and a house, when it comes to applying EIFS, is the roof. The roof of a house is completely different from a building. A residential roof line is much more complicated than a flat roof of a typical building. It is common for a roof to terminate right into the side of a wall, which creates a problem for water drainage. Normally the water from the roof runs down the flashing and off the roof into the gutter. This is a good system, until a layer of 1 1/2″ foam is applied to the substrate (OSB) of the house. With the EIFS on the house the water runs down the flashing, and right behind the foam creating major issues. This problem is cured by installing a kick out flashing, which kicks the water past the EIFS, and into the gutter. The roof is probably the most obvious difference, but also the windows and doors are different. Another major difference from a commercial project to a residential project it the contractor. Large corporations build commercial buildings and have a team of architects and engineers that spec and design the project, where as, in a residential project this is usually done on a much smaller scale. Residential projects are open to design, and construction short comings due to the lack of specific industry expertise. This issue travels down to the applicator as well. A large commercial builder has a host of EIFS applicators to choose from that have proven track records, where a local residential builder may not see EIFS often and do not have the access to quality applicators.


Make sure when you hire a contractor to build your EIFS home that they have a proven track record of building and designing with EIFS, and that the applicators that he uses are certified.

EIFS Commercial vs Residential
© eifsrepair.info 2011 - Plagiarism Warning

EIFS – Exterior Insulation and Finish System – Synthetic Stucco

EIFS Commercial vs Residential

Air and Water Barrier

Air and Water Barrier

EIFS supplies an air and water barrier

In most cases I will not promote or talk about any one particular product, but when it comes to an Air and Water Barrier I am vary familiar with EIFS industries Air and Water Barriers that BASF produces. Pretty much every manufacturer has a version of a Fluid Air and Water Barrier, and I have used these products for years, and you have to love them. They are easy to apply, and cost are effective. You really get the most bang for your buck when you use this air/water barrier.   This air/water resitive barrier is a one-component fluid-applied vapor permeable product.  It can be troweled, painted, brushed or sprayed on to an approved substrate. It meets ICC-ES AC212 water-resistive barrier tests, meets requirements of ICC-ES AC 148, Meets ASTM D 1970 Nail Sealability Requirements. The EIFS Air and Water Barrier is a liquid applied, continuously bonded membrane that eliminates seams, lap joints and staples. It’s low Volatile organic compounds or VOCs make it safe for workers, and the environment.  It is also Nonflammable as applied. In most situations it can be applied in a single pass. It provides excellent secondary moisture protection behind most wall claddings including EIFS.


EIFS – Exterior Insulation and Finish System – Synthetic Stucco – Dryvit ™ – Senergy ™ – Sto ™

Note: The EIFS Air and Water Barrier system talked about here is based on BASF’s Air and Water Barrier product. All major manufacturers of EIFS have a similar product. This website is in no way promoting or endorsed by any one of these companies and there names, and trade marks are property of their respected companies.

Air and Water Barrier
© eifsrepair.info 2011 - Plagiarism Warning

Here are some high points of the EIFS Repair website, Including the EIFS Repair Forum, The EIFS Repair Tip of the Day, EIFS Repair Training.

Air and Water Barrier

EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System)


EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System)

I have wood siding on my house and it is in very bad shape, so I am looking for something that I can put on my house that is more stable. I have been asking everyone I can think of if I should do the EIFS product.

Well, good news! I researched it on the Internet, and this is what I found out about EIFS.

The Oak Ridge Laboratory found that, EIFS will out-perform other exterior sidings including brick, stucco, concrete block and cementitious fiber board siding.

Key Points of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory NET Facilities Research Project include: the Hydrothermal Performance of Exterior Wall Systems.

I was not sure what all of this information about EIFS meant so I continued to investigate. I found that the primary study goals were:

• To validate the moisture and thermal performance of EIFS wall systems

• To quantify the performance of EIFS over other types of exterior claddings

• To develop and calibrate a hygrothermal (moisture and temperature) computer model with the unique features of EIFS that will validate the computer model for all climatic regions

The Study Location of this study: Charleston, SC and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

The approach to this Study was: keeping with the DOE’s strategy of promoting a whole-building approach to maintenance, building design, and operation. The project’s research considered the building envelope in its entirety, instead of studying component systems and studying isolated materials. Summarized below is the research approach:


• To characterize the moisture, and the thermal performance properties of critical construction materials and sub-systems that are used in exterior wall systems

•To confirm the predictions of a computer model by comparing them to the actual field results

• To conduct a field testing on a variety of exterior wall systems to determine their thermal, air leakage and moisture control performance in some severe-environmental conditions and real world with average environmental conditions, during the course of one year

•To employ hygrothermal modeling to simulate field tested exterior wall systems and determine if it is possible to improve critical cladding system elements, with the goal of optimizing it’s performance

• To design and develop methodology that will permit engineers and architects to optimize energy efficiency while still controlling the air and moisture transport that prevents potential fungal contamination and material deterioration of the indoor environment Facility Design. A special building was designed and constructed near Charleston, South Carolina to achieve these goals.

There were 15 exterior cladding configurations to be evaluated and integrated into one side of the building (southern exposure). All of the exterior claddings would be exposed to similar weather conditions. Placement of the exterior wall test panels and building orientation were determined after reliable study of historical weather patterns, and included the prevailing direction of precipitation.

I was very happy with this information, but I decided to go on and see if any other groups did studys on EIFS. Here is what I found.

EIFS Testing by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

A 50 year complete life cycle analysis of EIFS by NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology)

The NIST tested 5 life cycle stages

1. Material Extraction

2. Manufacturing

3. Transportation

4. Use and Construction

5. Re-use

EIFS takes about 1 quarter the resources to extract and manufacture than it does brick.

Material Extraction – To transport-EIFS is 16 times less costly. With EIFS it takes only two trucks to transport the same amount of material as 32 semi trucks to transport 50,000 sq. ft. of material.

Construction and Use – EIFS has a Continuous Insulation (CI) value which saves construction and energy cost.

Re-use – EIFS components are chemically inert. They will not harm the environment when placed in a landfill. EIFS can be recoated, repaired, and refinished, so there is little need for a remove and replace.

The NIST study shows that the life cycle of a building over 50 years, the carbon footprint of EIFS is

3 X smaller than Stucco

5 X smaller than brick

Source: NIST, BEES v 4.0 Analysis 2007

Grams of CO2/Unit

Brick = 8303

Aluminum = 4973

Stucco = 4906

Vinyl = 4501

Cedar = 3997

EIFS = 1771

Source: NIST, BEES v 4.0 Analysis 2007

In Conclusion:

EIFS is greener, saves money in construction costs, has energy efficient operation, and is most environmentally responsible

EIFS is in all phases of building construction, the superior cladding as proven by

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

This product is just what I am looking for. I am so pleased that I found out about this on the Internet. Not only will it be pleasing to the eye it is environmentally safe and cost efficient. Apparently EIFS is the best exterior finish and I believe I will be extremely happy with this system on my home. I have gone to some of the homes that had this product put on them. I live fairly near Pete’s Restaurant and I was amazed at how nice it looked. It even won an award after the EIFS was installed.

Hope you have as much luck as I did with your search in the EIFS industry.

© eifsrepair.info 2011 - Plagiarism Warning
Sources: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Oak Ridge National Laboratory

EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish System) – Synthetic Stucco