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EIFS, dry-vit, whatever you call it, it's mostly crap

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
http://www.eifsalliance.com/gallery.html

maybe i need to be around it more to get used to it, but it just looks like painted styrofoam, it dents, it chips, it breaks, it gets very very dirty looking in only a few short years.

is there anything redeeming to this 'wonder material'?
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
31
It is painted styrofoam. My city hall is covered with the crap. No ventilation to remove moisture. There are cracks at every window/door opening. And a moderate hail storm beats it all to hell.

Anything redeeming? Architects love it, and it is real pretty for the first three years.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
I agree in northern or damp climates its crap. We havent banned it yet, but only permit it as an accent material, typically on a gabled entrance, but not much else.

Edit - Gurnee: We actually had an architect stand up in front of our Plan Commission and "sell" it as "a fifty year product". The laughter was deafening.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Like any material, its quality and the quality with which it is installed can have a great impact on how it looks and lasts. The same arguments you make against drivit can be made against metal, vynyl, wood, cultured stone, etc. Architects "love" the material because it is less costly than masonry and allows them to create a more substantial appearance without the cost. Economics do not always permit the use of expensive finishes. Many of the applications in which it is used - shopping malls, for instance - are meant to undergo extensive remodeling every 10-15 years, making other materials less suitable. Aesthetically, a building sided in dryvit is not necessarily any better or worse looking than one covered in another material.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
I prefer adobe. ;)

I personally do not like this material "drivit" it looks so fake and sterile and commercial. Sure it is cheap, but it looks and acts cheap. I strongly believe in the old saying, you get what you pay for.

why are we (as a society) building disposable buildings anyway? I dont like what this is saying about our culture at all.

:(
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Michael Stumpf said:
Many of the applications in which it is used - shopping malls, for instance - are meant to undergo extensive remodeling every 10-15 years, making other materials less suitable.
In theory thats great. The unfortunate reality is many of these centers whither on the vine and go 20+ without exterior alteration.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Well, when we want "traditional" architecture without paying for traditional craftsmanship and materials, what other choice do we have.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
good use for dryvit

actually this weekend on HGTV they showed an architects home that was completly clad in dryvit. it looked appropriate. It was a very modern structure with modern lines. The modern material of EIFS complimented it well.


i guess I would allow the use of dryvit more if architects would stop leaning on the figgin keystone feature above every window on EVERY strcutre that has dryvit.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
You know. I was thinking more of architectural foam trim peices. THAT is what I hate.
 

ecofem

Cyburbian
Messages
206
Points
9
I've got lawyer-friends who are defense attorneys who spend an awful lot of time on product defect/faulty installation cases with this stuff.

My opinion: yucko!

Unfortunately, a lot of new developers use this stuff here in Florida.
 

Nemesis

Member
Messages
51
Points
4
I believe Dateline, 60 minutes or some news magazine did a show on it based in DC/Northern Virginia new housing. Bad installation created water, mold, rot and cracks etc. I have been a part of Mall renovations where it was used and yes it is cost effective short term, but I truly believe it should only be used in the south and proper installation is critical. I would never use it on anthing I owned or had say in.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Good EIFS? These buildings are in a redeveloped part of Madison, and use a combination of brick and EIFS. The EIFS is well done, and the EIFS allowed a more interesting architecture than typically found with a glass box.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Michael Stumpf said:
The EIFS is well done, and the EIFS allowed a more interesting architecture than typically found with a glass box.
The best thing about that picture is the massive conifer hiding all that EFIS! :)
 

EIFS 101

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
When will people realize that EIFS works great if done correctly. The stigma associated with EIFS is really the fault of all the lawyers trying to make a buck by scaring the hell out of homeowners and implying that all stucco/eifs mechanics are incompetent. The hysteria is also made worse by these so-called "Third Party EIFS Inspection Companies" that clearly have their bottom line in mind and not yours. EIFS today can be seen going up everywhere in commercial projects but not so in residential. Perhaps it's because commercial general contractors take their quality control very seriously.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
EIFS 101 said:
When will people realize that EIFS works great if done correctly. The stigma associated with EIFS is really the fault of all the lawyers trying to make a buck by scaring the hell out of homeowners and implying that all stucco/eifs mechanics are incompetent. The hysteria is also made worse by these so-called "Third Party EIFS Inspection Companies" that clearly have their bottom line in mind and not yours. EIFS today can be seen going up everywhere in commercial projects but not so in residential. Perhaps it's because commercial general contractors take their quality control very seriously.
You must be in the industry, especially to dig up such an old post. For what it is worth, I agree. It is no better or worse than most other siding materials in use today.
 

RSW

Member
Messages
77
Points
4
mike gurnee said:
It is painted styrofoam. My city hall is covered with the crap. No ventilation to remove moisture. There are cracks at every window/door opening. And a moderate hail storm beats it all to hell.

Anything redeeming? Architects love it, and it is real pretty for the first three years.
I've never met an architect that "loves" EIFS, though perhaps such an animal does exist. Any architect seeming to love or defend it unreasonably is most likely doing so on the basis that he or she knows it is the only product the client can afford or it is the only product the construction manager will allow.

That being said, EIFS (particularly the moisture drainage system type with a secondary barrier versus the face-sealed type which has only one barrier) isn't necessarily worse than many of the claddings out there. If, for some reason, you want something that looks like stucco, a proper application of EIFS can be a very good match, and it works almost as well as precast for use in accenting. Certainly EIFS, if the installation is good (proper detailing of joints, proper color, etc.), and if it is maintained, will last as well as most other non-masonry claddings used in cavity or curtain wall (i.e. non-traditional) construction. And most likely the EIFS will last as long as the purpose of the building is still valid (which at the pace of today's world averages something like 15 to 30 years, far less when dealing with internet-related companies).

I don't necessarily love the stuff but if you are building a big dumb box (95% of buildings) out of cmu or metal studs (which is all anyone can afford), who cares if the outermost portion is bare concrete, bare cmu blocks, EIFS, vinyl siding, metal panels, etc.? Personally I like the look of bare concrete or flat metal panels but that is tougher to sell to the public than EIFS.

Rob
 

permaplanjuneau

Cyburbian
Messages
151
Points
7
a place for everything

Long ago (ok, it was about 9 years ago), I worked as a laborer on a rebuild of the exterior of a building with a dryvit exterior. The biggest problem is that this building is in Alaska, and the facade we were replacing faces into all of our fall/winter storms, so it had weathered significantly since installation (to say the least).

To make matters worse, the building was a high school, where teenage kids (aka vandals) tend to congregate. Dryvit is so weak, and the concrete layer over it so thin, that dozens, if not hundreds, of students had stuck pens/pencils through the concrete and the foam backing. This essentially turned the entire facade into a matrix of waterlogged swiss cheese on steel studs--which rusted out entirely.

Of course, we were hired to tear out the existing dryvit, the trashed styrofoam backing, and the steel studs, and then to replace them with exactly the same thing we had just removed.

My foreman said it best: "I wouldn't use this stuff on my ex-wife's mother's house."

It may work in the south, and it may work where kids aren't poking sharp objects into it every day of every year, but it sure didn't work for a high school in Alaska. Vinyl may be ugly, but at least it will stand up to a teenager with a #2 pencil.
 
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