Far away from any major city, the nine-story, 239-unit, high-rise Silver Creek Resort in Snowshoe, West Virginia, has undergone a complete claddings renovation. The resort’s exterior was a panelized exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) that had been experiencing water leaks since its 1985 installation. Incorrect installation and maintenance was the cause of the leaks, according to Sam Collins, general manager.
Exterior insulation and finish systems provide a number of features and benefits when compared to other claddings. Offering an air barrier, continuous insulation, and a decorative finish in one seamless assembly, EIFS is both versatile and lightweight. This article takes a look at the assemblies in terms of not only air barrier applications, but also panelization, specialty finishes, and testing.
In early iterations of exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS), issues occurred when board stock rigid insulation was layered against other rigid insulation or exterior sheathing, or when decking traps moisture between the layers of material. That industry has taken steps to eliminate such problems, but what broader lessons can be learned of the importance of preventing your insulation from getting wet?