The Many Layers of EIFS

EIFS, which stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish System, is a method of cladding exterior walls that offers several benefits to structures, including drainage and temperature regulation indoors. The system consists of several layers of materials that provide insulation and drainage, as well as reinforcing layers and exterior finishes. These layers can vary depending on the manufacturer, which may have their own proprietary system, but generally follow the following schema.

The Many Layers of EIFS

Substrate – The most interior layer, which may be covered by a water-resistant barrier.

Adhesive – The adhesive joins the substrate and the insulation board, and also provides a drainage plane to move moisture down and out of the structure.

Insulation board – The insulation board provides temperature regulation for the structure’s indoors. Usually made from expanded polystyrene.

Base Coat/Mesh – The base coat rests on top of the insulation, and is water resistant to act as a weather barrier. It is also reinforced with a glass-fiber mesh that is embedded in this layer.

Finish Coat – The final coat of the EIFS system, the finish is what is visible on the building’s exterior. “A finish coat typically uses colorfast and crack-resistant acrylic co-polymer technology.


According to the EIFS Industry Members association, choosing EIFS confers several advantages on a structure. EIFS offers excellent thermal and moisture control, which translates into energy savings and a longer lifespan for the cladding and the structure. EIFS also offers improved indoor air quality and continuous insulation. Color and style options for EIFS are numerous, which makes them great for cladding any structure.


About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.



This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 at 9:18 pm.