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Exterior Insulation and Finishing System

EIFS is a type of building exterior wall cladding system that provides exterior walls with an insulated finished surface and waterproofing in an integrated composite material system.Although often called “synthetic stucco”, EIFS is not stucco. Traditional stucco is a centuries-old material which consists of aggregate, a binder, and water, and is a hard, dense, thick, non-insulating material. EIFS is a lightweight synthetic wall cladding that includes foam plastic insulation and thin synthetic coatings.EIFS has more advantages in addition to the traditional stucco, such as:

  • more resistant to water and cracking
  • has increased color consistency due to faster drying time
  • provides energy savings
  • available in wider variety of texturesEIFS consists of 3 layers:EIFS Exterior Insulating and Finishing System
  • a layer of foam plastic insulation (usually Expanded Polystyrene)
  • a reinforcing fiberglass mesh layer that is applied onto the face of the insulation with a trowel embedded in a cementitious adhesive
  • and a final finish, which is a colored, textured paint-like material

A wide range of colors and textures are available as well as custom colors. Available textures include smooth surfaces, rough “stucco-like” textures, embedded stone chips, multi-color (granite-like mixtures,) and even brick-like treatments. This layer is called the finish.EIFS with Drainage (water-managed EIFS) has a water resistive barrier installed over the substrate. The moisture barrier is applied to the entire wall surface with a mesh tape over joints and a liquid-applied membrane or a protective wrap like Tyvek. Then a drainage cavity is created. Then the other 3 layers, described above, are added. This type of EIFS is required by many building codes areas on wood frame construction, and is intended to provide a path for incidental water that may get behind the EIFS with a safe route back to the outside. The purpose is to preclude water from damaging the supporting wall.

Styrofoam (Expanded polystyrene) and Rainscreen cladding

Insulated siding is permeable or “breathable,” allowing water vapor to escape, which can protect against rot, mold and mildew, and help maintain healthy indoor air quality. Insulated siding on your exterior walls can reduce the cost of your air conditioning bill, as well as increase the worth of your property.Rainscreen cladding is the attachment of an outer skin of rear-ventilated cladding to a new or existing building.

This is a double-wall construction that uses an outer layer to keep out the rain and an inner layer to provide thermal insulation, prevent excessive air leakage and carry wind loading. The outer layer breathes like a skin while the inner layer reduces energy losses. The structural frame of the building is kept absolutely dry, as water never reaches it or the thermal insulation. Evaporation and drainage in the cavity removes water that penetrates between panel joints. Water droplets are not driven through the panel joints or openings because the rainscreen principle means that wind pressure acting on the outer face of the panel is equalized in the cavity.

Therefore, there is no significant pressure differential to drive the rain through joints. During extreme weather, a minimal amount of water may penetrate the outer cladding. This, however, will run as droplets down the back of the cladding sheets and be dissipated through evaporation and drainage.Styrofoam also offers acoustical buffering, making it a great choice for rooms where low noise levels are desired. A well-built home using styrofoam will have a tighter building envelope and the walls will have higher insulating properties, which leads to fewer drafts and a decrease in operating costs.

Traditional Stucco

As a building material, stucco is a durable, attractive, and weather-resistant wall covering. It was traditionally used as both an interior and exterior finish applied in one or two thin layers directly over a solid masonry, brick or stone surface. The traditional application of stucco and lath occurs in three coats — the scratch coat, the brown coat and the finish coat. The two base coats of plaster are either hand-applied or machine sprayed. The finish coat can be troweled smooth, hand-textured, floated to a sand finish or sprayed.

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In exterior wall applications, the lath is installed over a weather-resistant asphalt-impregnated felt or paper sheet that protects the framing from the moisture that can pass through the porous stucco. Stucco is valued as a siding material for its attractiveness and durability and is a low-maintenance exterior finish. It can be directly applied to brick and concrete, or applied to a lath (paper or wire mesh) over a wood frame or other material.There are many reasons why stucco might be the first choice for your exterior wall cladding:

  • unlimited variety of shapes
  • weather resistant
  • fire resistant
  • insect proof
  • highly durable
  • low maintenance costs
  • aesthetically pleasing
  • provides some sound insulation

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Natural Stone

Let our experienced stone experts beautify with your residential or commercial building exteriors. We also do block fences. Manufactured-stone, cultured stone, veneers, marbles, and natural stones are commonly used siding materials. Most types of stones don’t require painting and so can provide a structure without the maintenance costs. This types of siding has increased resistance to fire in comparison to vinyl and wood sidings. Imitation brick or stone (asphalt siding) is also available as a maintenance free option that provides a similar look to natural stone.

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Wood siding

Wood siding is usually preferred for its natural look. It requires more maintenance than other popular solutions, requiring treatment every four to nine years depending on the severity of the elements to which it is exposed. Wood is a moderately renewable resource and is biodegradable. Wood siding can provide some minor insulation and structural properties as compared to thinner cladding materials. Plastic imitations of wood siding also exists for easy maintenance.

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Vinyl siding

Vinyl siding comes in unlimited color choices. Wood clapboard is often imitated with plastic materials too. Newer vinyl options resist damage and wear better than before. Although it might be a good choice because of it’s low prices, vinyl siding does not provide additional insulation for the building, unless an insulation material (e.g., foam) has been added to the cladding.

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