An exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) is typically designed as a surface-sealed, barrier wall. Water leakage can occur through these wall systems at failed sealant joints and openings in the EIFS lamina, or from other components of the wall such as windows, HVAC through-wall units, etc. The reliability of a traditional EIFS wall can be improved by providing flashings to capture and control water that penetrates at vulnerable areas. Some recent EIFS innovations provide additional protection against water penetration by incorporating backup waterproofing membranes into the system. Proper flashing design becomes critical for these products to perform as intended by the manufacturer. This paper describes the basic considerations of flashing design for EIFS and concentrates on material selection, compatibility, durability, workmanship, and design. A workable flashing system requires a careful balance of these properties.
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