4specs.com    4specs.com Home Page

EIFS Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

4specs Discussion Forum » Archive - Product Discussions » EIFS « Previous Next »

Author Message
Weston Ogan
New member
Username: mcs

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 06:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have been doing a great deal of research on EIFS and am uncertain if I want to get involved. I have a very large commercial job, and EIFS seems to be the best way to go. I found a number of good and bad things. I am curious if anyone has any experience and if so which side should I choose.
Steven Hauk
Senior Member
Username: sh1net

Post Number: 8
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2005 - 11:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When you say, "which side should I choose", what's the other side (besides EIFS)?
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 08:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Do you need to say anything more than the national Class Action Law suit against EIFS (was it Sto or Dryvit)?
Jerome J. Lazar, RA, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: lazarcitec

Post Number: 90
Registered: 05-2003
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 09:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Most materials will fail if they are improperly installed. EIFS if installed properly is as good as stucco, I will admit however that we typically shy away from specifying EIFS due to our concern with the mentality and the experience of the installer in our neck of the woods - Florida. With a large project, contact Dryvit or STO and get them involved with the selection of the system from day one. Both manufacturers have been around long enough to understand the problems and promote the proper application. If the installer is approved by the manufacturer, follows the installation instructions, and uses the right materials, why not specify EIFS. Suggest going to the http://www.eima.com/ association site for good information.
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 82
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 01:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I only specified it once and that job went well. since then I have decided that I will never specify it in the "direct against the sheathing" version. If an architect wanted to use it in the true rain screen version I might be more inclined, but in general ...NOT WITH A TEN FOOT POLE... and when suggested for "budget conscious" multi-family structures or (God forbid) condos I run screaming for door as you should.
Steven Hauk
Senior Member
Username: sh1net

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 06:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

When a product has as large a place in the market as does EIFS, it is probably better to find a way to deal with it prudently than to walk away from work because of it. If we walked away from all of the EIFS projects in our office, we might need to lay off some people.
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 85
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 06:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There is a lot of EIFS in the "5 storys of wood over 1 story of concrete with below grade parking - multifamily housing" market.

I have not been in that market so I have not had the work or no $ problem. I have noticed that on my way home from downtown Seattle to Ballard (5 miles thru the City) that every year there is another EIFS building (and some other sidings as well) wrapped in a tent getting an entirely NEW exterior skin because of massive failure of the exterior envelope. (This is not an exageration EVERY YEAR for the past 6 or 7 years.)
Exterior consultants/Lawyers are having a field day with the failures of EIFS and discontinuities in the weather/water protection envelope in general.
STO as a company is pushing a system that includes the sealants and air barrier etc. and they will warrant the entire thing against leaks.
I'd look at their product (and warranty) seriously for a large project. Also look at third party CONTINUOUS inspection (and plan review) as a good way of CYA and building a better product. There in nothing wrong with EIFS in theory. In practice is another story.
Anne Whitacre, CCS CSI
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 166
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 06:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

what climate are you in? It does seem to work reasonably well in the DRY southwest, but I'm not sure I would use it anywhere else in the country ... no matter what. in the wet climates, it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 41
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 06:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The office in which I am currently working has done a great deal of commercial work with EIFS over the last 10 - 15 years. The principals cannot recall when they have had a problem with EIFS. On the other hand, most of the problems I hear about have to do with the residential market, and I am inclined to conclude that "name brand" manufacturers whose product is applied by "approved" or "certified" installers will provide good installations.

However, we have run into some problems with companies who sell A/Es professional liability insurance and companies who sell general contractors liability insurance. Sometime in 2002, these companies began to quietly withdraw their coverage of EIFS projects. I was told that this was negotiable, but at least one contractor we worked with was surprised to learn that he was not covered when he checked with his carrier. We currently only use the EIFS mouldings (decorative trim shapes) unless a client specifically instructs us to consider EIFS.

Pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations, provide good details, but make sure that there are general contractors around who are willing and able to carry their part of the liability.
Anne Whitacre, CCS CSI
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 168
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 07:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The issues with EIFS are these:
there has to be a way to drain the material down the back and out the building. No matter how often the sealant is stripped out, water will get behind the face of the material. Some systems have drainable boards and weeps that allow for this.
The second big issue is that EIFS is often used because its very light weight and requires not as much structure behind it; however, the more flexible structure means that the seams and joints get pulled apart more often. Most of the manufacturers require restraint (usually heavier mesh) of some sort at building corners and at penetrations. Those details must be followed.
There is a myth that EIFS means "no joints"; you must follow recommendations to break up the area much as you would for plaster: offset doors and windows, any changes in plane, that sort of thing.
There is often a compatibility problem between the coating and the joint sealant. This has to be done perfectly, and there should be pre-installation testing.
A good EIFS installation will be as costly as some other things -- like brick veneer -- so often the installation is "dumbed down" and that's where the failures occur. Vancouver British Columbia has a billion dollar lawsuit about these products and some jurisdiction on the west coast no longer allow them. work carefully with the manufacturer for best results.
Steven T. Lawrey, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: lawrey

Post Number: 17
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 01:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We have not experienced any problems with EIFS here in the northest (knock wood!). However, I feel strongly that I should specify third party inspections but haven't been able to get good information from a couple local EIFS representatives. Any ideas about qualifications?

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration