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PDB Debrief: EIFS Types

November 2022

EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System) is a common material used in construction. It allows for cost effective incorporation of architectural and aesthetic design choices.

PB versus PM

PB (polymer-based) is by far the most common type. It is attached to the substrate, mesh is embedded into the base coat, and a finish coat is applied for finishing and applying colors and textures.

PM (polymer-modified) is fairly uncommon, with a mesh that is attached with screws and plates versus being embedded in the base coat layer.

4 Types of EIFS Systems

Direct Applied EIFS (DAFS): This is the original system created in Europe in the mid 20th century. This is not really used in the US.

Barrier EFIS (“Classic” EIFS): Basic EIFS, it has no back up system or redundancy for moisture penetration. This is the “original” EIFS that has gained a reputation for moisture issues.

Water-managed EIFS (“Drainable” EIFS): A water resistant barrier (WRB) is incorporated into the EIFS as a back up in case of cracking or leaking. This system will create a way for the moisture to drain out of the structure, rather then into the walls.

Rainscreen EIFS (EIFS with a Cavity Wall): A water-managed EIFS with a cavity behind it for secondary waterproofing to be installed. The most expensive option, but most robust moisture protection.

EIFS General Information:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions—improper installation can lead to moisture issues

  • Special inspections are required for EIFS systems

  • A cost effective way to incorporate aesthetic design elements

  • Provides an energy efficient insulation for reducing thermal loads

  • Codes and ordinances can vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction on the use of EIFS

  • Moisture intrusion is the biggest enemy of EIFS

  • Most EIFS systems are troweled on, but there are special finished (metallic, stone, etc.) that must be sprayed on under very strict weather and temperature conditions.

Further Reading:



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