How many years does EIFS last?

EIFS is one of the most common building materials in the world. It’s used on homes and commercial buildings alike for external cladding.

Compared to its predecessors like stucco or masonry, EIFS seems comparatively fragile, with its lighter layers. But is it? When you have new EIFS installed, how long should you expect it to last?

The trouble with EIFS

EIFS has a bad rap with some builders because of the 1990s crises with its residential applications, primarily along the east coast. The material was trapping water and keeping it from escaping, causing horrible rot problems behind the exterior cladding.

A rash of class action lawsuits prompted adjustments in how the material was applied and documented. EIFS has been used without issue on many commercial buildings over the years. Proper installation is key; it takes more planning and documentation than other exterior cladding materials.

When installed correctly, EIFS consists of a layer of insulation placed on the outside of a building, covered in a protective layer that resembles stucco. Barrier EIFS is applied directly to the outside of a building, while wall drainage EIFS is installed with a gap where water can be wicked away.

How long should EIFS last?

A proper EIFS installation should last the life of the building. The system was invented in the 1960s, and some installations have been around since then. For it to last for that length of time, you need proper installation and regular checks.

Drainage is a crucial concern with any EIFS system. If water gets into the system, it will cause rot. Check your structure for standing water periodically. Do walk-arounds looking for any places where the outer envelope has been punctured, which could allow water to make its way into the system.

Correctly installed, EIFS is lightweight, low-cost, and thermally efficient. It’s an effective and well-made building material, and it should work well for your building—if you keep up with it. Assess the health of your structure. JKI does this sort of service all the time. Contact us today, and we can help.