Keeping up your EIFS

Your Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) can last you the life of your building, but like all things keeping up the maintenance is key to this lifespan.  Initial EIFS walls were installed in the late 1960’s and most are still in service as of today.


What type of maintenance is required for an EIFS?

Periodic cleaning is suggested to maintain the EIFS appearance. Sometime repair of impact damage or punctures of the EIFS are necessary to restore surface integrity. As with all claddings, abutting elements such as sealant and flashing should be periodically inspected and maintained.


How can you clean the finish coat?

EIFS manufacturers provide procedures for cleaning for specific systems. Periodically EIFS finishes may need to be cleaned to remove dirt, algae (usually green stains on the surface of the finish), or mildew (generally black stains that look like dirt) that can accumulate on the surface. Basically, mild cleaning detergents, and low water pressure cool water, and a soft bristle brush. DO NOT USE THE FOLLOWING: cleaner that is solvent based; high water pressure; hot water; or wire brushes.


What materials can I use to re-coat my EIFS?

For situations where you might wish to change the color of the building, or paint the building for some other reason, EIFS manufacturers produce several quality paint products (acrylic or elastomeric) to re-coat and enhance the existing coating. Other alternatives are to use a quality, high-grade 100% acrylic exterior grade paint. Before re-coating, appropriate repairs should be made and the surface should be cleaned to remove any surface contamination.


Whom do I contact if I need repairs?

EIFS manufacturers provide a “distributor locator” on their website to locate the distributor nearest you. The distributor can assist you in locating appropriate qualified contractors.

4 comments Write a comment

  1. I think you’re asking for trlbuoe. Try a different type of siding, not stucco. Some brands and types that are supposed to breathe, are found not to after several years. Even if it’s a so called good brand, if it’s not installed exactly right you’ll get tremendous mold on and in your walls. This is a risky product, especially in your climate. You will be using it under extreme conditions of dampness, testing its limits. Sort of like buying a car tested in Michigan and expecting it to start every morning in the arctic.

  2. The post is intended to show some basics to “keeping up” an EIFS project. EIFS and stucco are two different sidings, though EIFS can resemble stucco it can do the same with a brick, limestone, or metallic finish. In terms of mold, resulting from moisture that’s one of the main reasons for EIFS with drainage, which allows for a building to “sweat” and there is a channel for that moisture to exit. Interesting point with a car bought in two different areas but that argument could be used for anything, a winter coat sufficient for Miami certainly is not for a winter in Buffalo. To stay on topic though, research recently conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and supported by the Department of Energy, has validated that EIFS are the “best performing cladding” in relation to thermal and moisture control when compared to brick, stucco, and cementitious fiberboard siding.

    • We have a home in Carrollton, Va built in about 1993. The front part of the house around the dinnig room, the bedroom above it, the front door and the bathroom above it are all faced with dryvit. These areas are all letting moisture into the framing around the windows and the front door and causing a great deal of wood rot. We are aware that these fixtures need to be replaced but our big question is what to do about the defective Dryvit? Should we completly remove all of it or have it repaired? We did not build the house but do know that, other than this problem,the house is extremely well, and custom built. Any ideas and any recommendations of a contractor in our area who might be familiar with this and who is honest and good. Thank you!

      • The AWCI (Association of Wall and Ceiling Industry) has on their website a list of inspectors and contractors that might be helpful to you. Here is a link to the contractor section If you haven’t had the house inspected there is also a section on the website where you can find EIFS inspectors who completed the EIFS “Doing It Right” course. Hopefully this is helpful to you.


Leave a Reply