Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) are multi-layered exterior wall systems that are used on both commercial buildings and homes. They provide superior energy efficiency and offer much greater design flexibility than other cladding products. Developed in Europe in the 1950s, EIFS were introduced in the U.S. almost 40 years ago. They were first used on commercial buildings, and later, on homes. Today, EIFS account for nearly 30% of the U.S. commercial exterior wall market. EIFS typically consist of the following components:insulation board, made of polystyrene or polyisocyanurate foam, which is secured to the exterior wall surface with a specially formulated adhesive and/or mechanical attachment a durable, water-resistant base coat, which is applied on top of the insulation and reinforced with fiber glass mesh for added strength an attractive and durable finish coat -- typically using acrylic co-polymer technology -- which is both colorfast and crack-resistant.
Traditional Stucco: Traditional Portland cement plaster (stucco) is a time-tested exterior finish. It consists of Portland cement-based materials and sand, mixed with water to form a workable plaster. Portland cement, the same material that is the basis for the hardened properties of concrete used to build super-highways, bridges, and skyscrapers provides strength, durability, and toughness in Portland cement plaster. Portland cement plaster is applied either by hand to exterior and interior wall surfaces in two or three coats. It may be applied directly to a solid base such as masonry or concrete walls, or it can be applied to a metal lath attached to frame construction, solid masonry, or concrete construction. Applied directly to concrete masonry, Portland cement plaster provides a tough 1/2-inch thick facing that is integrally bonded with the masonry substrate. When applied to metal lath, three coats of plaster form a 7/8-inch total thickness. A vapor-permeable, water-resistant building paper separates the plaster and lath from water sensitive sheathing or framing. Portland cement plaster has high impact resistance, sheds water, but breaths, allowing water vapor to escape. It’s a proven system that works in all climates.