Unlike wood, stucco and other siding materials, EIFS rarely need painting. Most EIFS systems are specially formulated with 100% acrylic binder, which gives EIFS superior resistance to fading, chalking and yellowing. As a result, the systems tend to maintain their original appearance over time. And since the color is integral to the finish coat, even if the surface is scratched, the same color appears beneath the abrasion.
EIFS also have excellent resistance to dirt, mildew and mold, which helps keep the building exterior looking clean and freshly painted. Should the surface ever become soiled, it can usually be cleaned by hosing it down.
The systems are designed to be very flexible, which makes them highly crack resistant. When walls expand or contract due to rising or falling temperatures, EIFS are resilient enough to "absorb" building movement and thus avoid the unsightly cracking problems that are so common with stucco, concrete and brick exteriors.
EIFS are among the most water resistant exterior surfaces you can put on a house. But as with all claddings, EIFS must be correctly installed and properly detailed if they are to perform properly. Otherwise, moisture can get behind the systems and cause damage, just as it can with wood siding, brick or any other exterior.
Water intrusion is seldom a problem on commercial structures with EIFS. Water intrusion damage to homes is uncommon, but when it does occur, the moisture typically affects only small areas which can be easily and inexpensively repaired.
In cases where homes have been damaged, the problems have been traced to the use of poor quality (even leaky and/or non code-compliant) windows and/or improper flashing and sealing. As a result, when building with EIFS, it is wise to use quality windows (such as those with AAMA certification) which are code-compliant, and to make sure there is proper flashing and sealing around windows, doors, roofs, deck-to-house attachments, and all other exterior wall penetrations.
Periodic maintenance should include thorough checking of the flashing and sealing to ensure that the building envelope remains watertight. Damaged or missing flashing should be repaired or replaced immediately; likewise, cracked or deteriorated sealants should immediately be repaired, or removed and replaced.
For more detailed maintenance information, please contact one of our manufacturer members. Their contact information can be found in our Directory of Members.