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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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This is a great article that provides a concise overview of the different EIFS systems available. I found the information about the pros and cons of each system to be particularly helpful.

As a homeowner who is considering using EIFS for an upcoming renovation project, I'm especially interested in learning more about moisture problems that can arise with improper installation. The article mentions the importance of proper installation, but could you elaborate on some of the specific warning signs to look out for that might indicate moisture issues with an EIFS system? https://www.oklahomacitystucco.com/

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