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Utilization of Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) as exterior cladding for modern commercial buildings is increasing. Although adequate test methods exist for determining physical and material properties of individual components that make-up EIFS, there are presently only limited methods for evaluating the performance and structural integrity of EIFS cladding that has been in place for any period of time. This paper discusses the results of informal testing performed on several different types of buildings located in various parts of the country. The testing procedure was destructive and evaluated the resistance of existing assemblies to applied pressures on the vertical wall surface. Varying results were obtained since a number of the wall components had experienced deterioration related to past water leakage. Test results emphasize the need for formal tests of this nature to be developed and highlight the critical nature of protecting certain portions of the EIFS assembly from moisture damage.
Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems, EIFS, moisture damage, design wind pressures
President, French & Associates, Houston, Texas