EIFS (exterior insulated finish systems) have the potential for more aesthetic appeal than any other siding with the addition of architectural moldings and decor, but if improperly installed can cause health problems for yourself and your home. One of the more common problems is the improper installation of wood trim around doors and windows, leaving cracks for water and moisture to penetrate through that cause mold growth and deterioration in your wood sheathing and framing. The unfortunate truth about these situations is that most homeowners are not aware that there may be a situation until someone in their family starts getting sick and sees a doctor or rot has appeared. In worst case scenarios, EIFS will entirely cover the problem until pieces of the home start to fall apart. In the end, you risk spending tens of thousands of dollars spent on having the old substrate removed, replaced, and possibly an entire replacement of the siding.
New materials have arisen on the scene specifically for EIFS which not only avoid the problem of having cracks for which water to penetrate, but go a step further to divert water entirely from your windows and doors. Architectural moldings use the same materials the EIFS system itself is made of, which are organically inert and therefore do not support mold growth. They are applied directly on top of the EIFS siding, leaving no path to the substrate for moisture. In addition, due to the way they are manufactured, they can be designed with a much more appealing profile and actually kick water away from the wall, similar to flashing.
These architectural moldings use a styrofoam core which is cut to the design you want to use on your home, followed by fibreglass mesh for added flexibility and finally 1 or 2 coats of a cementitious basecoat. This often leaves the moldings stronger than the EIFS wall itself and finished in such a way that they can be painted using any exterior-grade masonry paint.
The end result in opting to use architectural moldings over traditional wood trim is a more countinuous siding which will better protect what is holding up the roof over your head. These mouldings have greater aesthetic appeal and more often than not are price competitive, and when it comes time to sell your house you can settle some of your buyers’ fears.
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