EIFS Glossary

Services for Real Estate Pros with Modern Wall Systems 07240-47

Aesthetic Joint

  • Term phased out and replaced with “Aesthetic Reveal.”
  • Function is cosmetic and/or to provide a starting or stopping point for finish coat application.

Back Wrapping

  • Also called Wrap, Detail Wrap

Base Coat

  • Initial wet set material, either factory or field mixed, used to encapsulate reinforcing mesh or to fasten insulation board to substrate. You got that? Well to put in laymen’s terms. It’s mud.

Class PB – Polymer Based System

  • Lamina over EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) insulation board.
  • Base coat 1/16” to ¼” dry thickness.
  • Depending on number of nonmetallic reinforcing mesh layers encapsulated in the base coat.
  • Finish coat of various thickness then installed in variety of colors and textures.
  • Primarily over substrate.

Class PI – Polyisocyanurate System

  • Can be open framing or solid substrate.
  • Base coat 1/16” to ¼”.
  • Always mechanically fastened.

Class PM – Polymer Modified System

  • Uses extruded polystyrene (EP).
  • Popular systems:
  • Ultralation – Dryvit .
  • IC Gold.
  • Synerthick – Synergy.

Cold Joint

  • This is basically a cannabis cigarette that has been stored in the cooler. Whew, tough crowd .
  • Actually it is a visible junction in the finish coat caused by several things but mostly by lack of experience.
  • Scaffold lines.
  • Failure to maintain a wet edge.


  • Result of forces concentrating at a particular location which exceed the strength of the material.
  • Absence of a structural separation to allow independent movement without damage.


  • Chemical process of wet state material to develop ultimate properties.
  • Example – Cementitious base coat curing.

Control Joint

  • Formed, sawed, or assembled joint acting to regulate the location of cracking, separation, and distress resulting from dimensional or positional change.

DEFS- Direct Applied Exterior Finish System

  • System applied over dimensionally stable substances (Densglass Gold or fiber cement board) is attached to open framing with non-metallic reinforcing mesh over the entire surface.
  • Base coat 1/16” to ¼” then covered with finish coat of various thickness’ and textures.
  • No insulation board.


  • Evaporation of volatile ingredients to develop ultimate properties.
  • Example – Drying of finish coat.

EIFS – (Exterior Insulation & Finish System)
  • Non-load bearing, exterior wall cladding system that consists of insulation board, attached either adhesively or mechanically, or both to the substrate, an integrally reinforced base coat, and a textured finished coat.

Expansion Joint

  • Structural separation between building elements that allows independent movement without damage to the assembly.
  • Thermal.
  • Wind.
  • Live loads.
  • Earthquake.
  • Should be designed for 4 times anticipated movement

Factory Mix

  • Prepared at point of manufacture, ready to use without other materials except possibly water to adjust consistency.
  • Non cementitious base or finish coat.

Flash Set (Quick Set)
  • Early hardening or stiffness in working characteristics of Portland Cement paste, mortar, or concrete usually with evolution of considerable heat.
  • Stiffness cannot be dispelled nor the plasticity regained by further mixing without addition of water; (also know as Quick Set).

Field Mix

  • Material mixed in the field with other components and/ or water.
  • Cementitious base coats.

Initial Grab

  • Ability of wet state material to remain in place after it has been applied.

Initial Set

  • Time related set caused by hydration process.
  • Cementitious material.

Joint Design

  • Minimum perimeter sealant joint width is ½” or 4 times anticipated movement, whichever is greater. Minimum expansion sealant joint width is ¾” or 4 times anticipated movement, whichever is greater.


  • Base coat.
  • Reinforcement.
  • Finish coat.

Non Metallic Reinforcing Mesh

  • Encapsulated in base coat and available in various weights to achieve different levels of impact resistance.

Pot Life

  • This is a magazine intended for the serious cannabis user. No, I couldn’t help myself.
  • It is the duration of time that the wet state material remains workable after it has been mixed.


  • Improve adhesion of EIFS to substrate or of finish to base coat.
  • Sometimes applied to improve water resistance of cementitious base coats.

Shop Drawing

  • Drawings, diagrams, schedules and other data specially prepared for the work by the Contractor, Subcontractor, Manufacturer, Supplier, or Distributor to illustrate some portion of work in order to implement the Architects design.
  • Per A201, Article 3.12 – Not part of contract documents.


  • Gypsum sheathing.
  • Concrete.
  • Unit masonry.
  • Plywood.

Surface Sealer

  • Material used to enhance weather resistance.


  • Bring to workable state by adding water.

Thermal Insulation Board

  • Reduce heat flow.
  • Surface to receive base coat.
  • EPS – Expanded Polystyrene.
  • PI – Polyisocyanurates.

Wet State Materials

  • Adhesive, base coat, and finish coat components applied in liquid or semi – liquid state.


  • To protect exposed edges of thermal.
  • Doesn’t necessarily have to be extended behind EPS board but it won’t hurt.
  • Depends on manufacturer.
  • Key is edge of board is encapsulated.
  • Edge is protected for:
  • Fire resistance.
  • Ability to seal for waterproofing at joint.

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