EIFS Repair, Prefab Panels
Lee G. Jones / April 2015
Q: We have discovered damage of varying types, ranging from minor cracks to medium-size holes, on an EIFS-clad building. We do not know what brand of EIFS was installed, but we need to perform these repairs as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the structure. What can we do?
A: Several of the major EIFS producers have downloadable documents offering step-by-step procedures for cleaning and repairing their systems. And though each manufacturer offers several systems, the recommended repair methods seem to be fairly uniform. I have attended AWCI’s EIFS—Doing It Right® program, which also outlines these steps in a non-proprietary format. That presentation includes the following highlights:
Q: We are considering installing prefabricated panels as an option for the exterior of an upcoming project and may decide to build our own panels. What are some of the pros and cons to this approach?
A: In a recent installment of AWCI’s Project Manager Development Series, Mark Nabity, president and CEO of Grayhawk, LLC (a commercial wall and ceiling contractor that also manufactures and erects prefabricated exterior wall panels), presented a training module on panelization. Nabity’s presentation included the following benefits of building with prefabricated panels:
Prefabrication provides highly engineered panels and connections
Panels are prefabricated offsite in a controlled environment and are consequently unaffected by inclement weather.
Panel construction can proceed without the variable of uncontrollable delays.
Good manufacturing environments coupled with increased supervision and quality control provides high levels of quality and productivity at lower costs.
Prefabrication provides improved safety performance. Workers’ compensation rates in a prefabrication shop are often up to 50 percent less than field “stick built” rates.
Panel prefabrication occurs while foundation and structural systems are being constructed onsite.
Construction schedules can be compressed due to the parallel in activities and speed of panel installation.
Onsite erection of prefabricated panels is among the most efficient construction methods in terms of square footage erected per man.
Scaffolding systems and jobsite clutter are eliminated or greatly reduced, allowing increased project access to other trades and safer jobsite conditions.
Cold formed steel framed panels can accept a variety of exterior cladding systems including exterior sheathing, exterior sheathing with weather barrier, EIFS, thin brick, metal panels, ceramic tile, stone, etc.
Lee G. Jones is AWCI’s director of technical services.