Everything to Know about Exterior Finishing and Insulation Systems

Exterior insulation is most likely something you’ve seen before. EIFS are widely utilized in the United States and are frequently confused with stucco or concrete. They can be found in houses, apartments, condos, hotels, grocery stores, shopping malls, business parks, mixed-use complexes, and even government buildings.

EIFS makes use of rigid insulation boards with a plaster-like outer coating. Imagine: Ordinary insulation is equivalent to wearing thermal underwear on the inside to keep you warm and dry, whereas external insulation is analogous to wearing an extra shirt on top of your apparel.

Some EIFS have an exterior barrier to prevent water infiltration, while others have a drainage plane beneath the insulation. Despite these changes, EIFS is still made of lightweight synthetics. Insulation is done with base-coated polystyrene foam. Following the reinforcing of panels with glass fiber mesh, a topcoat is applied. The coatings and mesh are 14 inches thick.

Understanding EIFS and ETICS

External Wall Insulation Systems (EIFS) is a type of cladding that insulates and waterproofs exterior walls. It is also known as External Thermal Insulation Control Systems (ETICS). 

ETICS are energy-efficient thermal wrapping or facade insulation applied to a building’s outer surfaces, then finished with a durable, decorative, and protective wall coating that may be applied to any type of structure.

In the construction industry, various types of EIFS/ETICS are used. Barrier EIFS (or conventional or traditional EIFS) is used on solid walls (brickwork, blockwork, precast panels, and the like). An EIFS/ETICS barrier with drainage is an EIFS/ETICS barrier with drainage. The vast majority of wood constructions have been treated.

EIFS/ETICS and Stucco: The Basics

EIFS/ETICS is a stucco-like wall cladding system with different installation requirements and components. ETICS has different maintenance and care requirements than normal EIFS.

EIFS/ETICS must be structurally planned and implemented by qualified applicators in order to function properly.

EIFS and ETICS constituents

EIFS or ETICS is a stucco-like multilayered wall system (or rendered plaster). They are made up of the following:

  1. Adhesive: Used to adhere insulation boards to exterior walls.
  2. Insulation Board: Polystyrene or mineral wool insulation boards attached to the outer walls.
  3. Mechanical Fasteners: Used to secure the insulation board to the outer walls.
  4. Base Coat: A layer of insulation that is enhanced with EIFS glass fiber mesh.
  5. Finish Coat: The decorative, crack-resistant finish is put over the prepared base coat.

The Advantages of Using EIFS

EIFS is more expensive at first, but it pays for itself over time. In fact, it saves energy when properly installed. EIFS could reduce energy costs by 20 to 30% in the long run.

Aesthetic and creative benefits are also provided. Carved or molded expanded polystyrene (EPS) can be used to create sculptures, arches, columns, and window elements. It can be used in architectural designs, such as facades and soffits.

Outside insulation may be less expensive than other options. It has no effect on the interior square footage because it is on the outside. This can be a huge incentive for limited-space developments on valuable real estate or historical places.

EIFS is adaptable in terms of architecture and implementation. In both cold and hot conditions, the glue on foam boards is ineffective. Putting EIFS panels in warehouses allows adhesive to cure. This can be utilized in areas where construction would be too hot or too cold.


Indeed, it could be a great thing to discover more information regarding the construction industry and the materials they use. Through this, you will be more knowledgeable about what goes into the structures of your homes and offices. As you build your dream spaces and structures, you can be confident in choosing the right team and the right materials.

Are you interested in exterior insulated finish systems (EIFS)? Forza Construction Services is here to offer you professional services and decades of experience. Give us a call today to learn more about our team!