By: John Myers, Sales Representative – Architectural Products
While the design community began to shy away from Exterior Insulation Finish Systems or EIFS a few years ago in favor of other cladding choices, EIFS manufacturers have done a great job responding to the market. As partners with these manufacturers, new opportunities exist to grow this segment of our market. EIFS is no longer the stucco or sand finish product of the 80s and 90s.
The options have grown to imitate brick, metal finishes, unlimited architectural details, and a wide variety of colorfast finishes. The design community now has a varied and interesting pallet from which to choose. This is one of the factors leading the resurgence of EIFS finishes. But beyond the pretty face, changes in energy codes have also bolstered the practicality and benefits of EIFS. The outboard continuous insulation requirements make EIFS a smart choice.
There are no fasteners in the system to penetrate the air/vapor barriers. The system allows for back drainage of any moisture that might find its way into the system. There are no sealant joints between different components of the cladding, greatly reducing the opportunity for moisture intrusion. In addition, the system can be designed to move the dew point to the outer edge, where moisture can escape to the exterior, preventing mold issues within the wall cavity. These designs contribute to the increase of WSG thickness and increased sales for each job. Four inch WSG is becoming more commonplace with the advanced EIFS systems. Finally, as to code NFPA 285—concerning fire resistance—many EIFS systems comply with NFPA 285, while other cladding systems have been slower to respond, as the costs and requirements can be restrictive.
Partnering with the Exterior Insulation Finish System industry will provide growth for ACH as the need for higher insulation values continues to grow, and the implementation of continuous outboard insulation drives the designers to consider the broad pallet of aesthetic choices modern EIFS brings to the market.