What is EIFS?
This is an EIFS repair recently completed in Columbus, Ohio by Utmost Renovations. EIFS, short for “exterior insulation and finish system”, is a type of wall seen less-commonly than others, but still often encountered in the restoration industry. It was first invented in Europe after World War II as an easy fix to damaged masonry walls. Often referred to as “synthetic stucco”, EIFS resembles stucco but is made of very different materials. The first layer of EIFS is an insulation board, which is topped with a fiberglass mesh and then finished with an acrylic coating. Due to the nature of these materials, restoring EIFS can be very difficult as opposed to stucco- which is mostly comprised of concrete, water and sand. There are many restoration companies that will not contract such work, but Utmost Renovations has a 20-year track record of successful EIFS repairs.
Commercial EIFS Restoration
Our scope here at Utmost Renovations is not limited to residential jobs, but large public commercial buildings as well. Paradigm Properties of Ohio is an example of a company that has trusted Utmost Renovations many times to do the repairs on their beautiful commercial buildings. Recently, three of the Paradigm’s buildings were experiencing leaks. When they received estimates for their repairs, they were told that the EIFS walls of their buildings needed completely stripped and refinished. This would cost them roughly a million dollars in repairs.
Paradigm contacted Utmost Renovations for a second opinion. Upon examination, Mark Huffer, owner of the Utmost, was certain the whole building did not need redone. He offered to do a “sample”, in which the EIFS was repaired only at the damaged parts of a badly-leaking wall. This sample repair turned out to be successful in fixing the leak and Utmost Renovations was in return hired to repair all three leaking buildings. Utmost Renovations saved Paradigm Properties approximately three quarters of a million dollars in unnecessary repairs because of our capability in spot-restoring the EIFS.
How to Repair EIFS
Doing repairs on EIFS walls requires a very well-rounded crew. The masons need to be able to repair the underlying foam of the EIFS and caulk the expansion joints where EIFS meets the aluminum frame of the curtain wall of the windows. Not only are special skills required to do these repairs, but these buildings are very large and have a unique architecture which require our masons to rappel down sloped walls. You can see this being done by one of our lead masons, Chris Fraley (pictured above), who has decades of experience in performing these dangerous but necessary tasks.
After repairing the walls, they are double-coated with Sherwin Williams Conflex Elastomeric paint, which guarantees a weather-seal for years. Paradigm Properties should not have to repair these buildings again for at least another decade. When they do, their accrued cost will still be much lower than the original estimate they received from another company.