Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) is an exterior insulating system commonly used to clad commercial buildings. This creates a stucco-like appearance that is desirable, easy to clean, and long-lasting. Many newly constructed buildings are made with EIFS, but what about existing buildings? Can EIFS go over brick or brick veneer?
EIFS—What it is and what it isn’t
Before we explore if EIFS can be applied over brick, we need to explain what it actually is. EIFS is not stucco, and it is not designed to be installed in that manner. It is an all-inclusive insulating system that includes a water-resistant barrier, thick insulation, reinforcement mesh, and multiple top coats. It may look like a basic stucco application, but it is much more complex than that.
EIFS is an umbrella term that covers systems from multiple manufacturers. As a result of that, some EIFS materials and installation techniques work better than others. For example, most EIFS installed today includes an underlying drainage channel to direct water away from the building. Older EIFS installations had issues with trapped moisture, leading to long-term damage and complications.
When installed properly, EIFS can reduce energy bills, update the appearance of a building, and provide a durable outer surface for many property types.
EIFS installation over brick
The short answer is yes, you can install EIFS over brick. However, proper installation is critical for the effectiveness of the insulation.
First, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate any efflorescence that might be present. This is the white, chalk-like markings you may see on older bricks. If there are any damaged bricks on the exterior, those need to be repaired or replaced before applying the EIFS. A crumbling foundation is going to lead to a crumbling surface over time.
As long as the contractors take cautious steps for EIFS installation, you can update your brick building with EIFS.
Maintenance for EIFS over brick
After the EIFS is installed, it needs to be routinely inspected for damage. Holes or cracks in the EIFS could lead to water infiltration, and it could also impact the bricks below. Furthermore, shifts in the brick and mortar can impact the EIFS above. With regular inspections from a team like JK Industries, you’ll be able to preserve your building and enjoy the new look for years to come.