Learn About the EIFS Installer Job Description, Salary, and Requirements.
EIFS Installer Job Description & Definition
What is EIFS?
EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems and is pronounced around the construction industry as “eefs” and rhymes with “briefs.” According to the definitions of the International building Code and ASTM International, an Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) is a non-load bearing, exterior wall cladding system that consists of an insulation board attached either adhesively or mechanically, or both, to the substrate; an integrally reinforced base coat; and a textured protective finish coat. EIFS offer continuous insulation by design, allowing architects the design flexibility and aesthetics they require, while helping to meet new energy codes. EIFS can be applied to replicate brick, concrete, stucco, stone, metal panel, and even wood grain. It can be matched to virtually any color as well. It can be applied to the exterior of commercial and residential buildings. EIFS can reduce air infiltration by as much as 55% compared to standard brick or wood construction. And since walls are one of the greatest areas of heat and air conditioning loss, improvement in the wall insulation can be very meaningful in terms of energy conservation.
Unlike wood, stucco and other siding materials, EIFS rarely need painting. Most EIFS systems are specially formulated with 100% acrylic binder, which gives EIFS superior resistance to fading, chalking, and yellowing. As a result, the systems tend to maintain their original appearance over time. EIFS are sustainable, durable, and resilient. Highly impact resistant EIFS are easily achievable using industry standard application practices and products that are very effective and economical. Recent research, conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and supported by the Department of Energy, has validated that EIFS are the “best performing cladding” in relation to thermal and moisture control when compared to brick, stucco, and cementitious fiberboard (commonly known as fiber cement) siding. EIFS have passed the major fire resistance tests that are required by the building codes.
What Does an EIFS Installer Do?
EIFS Installers, sometimes referred to as “craftsmen,” “mechanics” or “applicators” are trained individuals who develop a variety of skill sets including but not limited to plastering or troweling, weather proofing, scaffold erection and dismantle, blueprint reading, safety requirements, carpentry, etc. The role of craftsman should not be underestimated. These individuals are a part of every step from the substrate out. They initially begin by preparing or cleaning the wall for different layers, they also mix and prepare the different coats/layers for application. As they add the required layers or components to complete the system, they finish by troweling on the appropriate designs and textures. Sometimes cornices or decorative pieces are installed and will require pieces of foam to be cut, rasped, installed, and the layers applied. The main tool an EIFS craftsman is likely to use is a hawk, trowel, rasp, and float. The ‘trowel trades’ are among the oldest and most respected trades on the North American continent. Specialized craftsman in the arts of installation and finishing put their talents to use in creating stunning artisan-like results. EIFS craftsman need to coordinate with other trade professionals on site such as drywallers, equipment operators, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters.
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- Spraying or rolling on air/water barriers.
- Mixing basecoat/adhesive material.
- Rasping (sanding) foam board (EPS or XPS).
- Applying fiberglass mesh.
- Troweling on finish coat.
While there is not typically an educational requirement, generally some look for a high school diploma or G.E.D. Onsite job experience is the most common form of training craftsman receive to start their careers.
- Intermediate to advanced math skills.
- Ability to read and follow plans/blueprints.
- Measuring and planning.
- Knowledge of products, specifications, how to apply each product and their limitations.
- Ability to work at heights using ladders, scaffold, swing stages, or aerial lifts.
- Basic knowledge of the construction industry including products, tools, equipment, and terminology.
- Previous experience or knowledge of a troweled trade, such as plaster, is a plus.
- Physical strength, organizational skills, problem solving, attention to detail, ability to follow directions, manual dexterity, and visualization skills are all valuable traits to have.
Unless you have previous experience installing EIFS, craftsmen begin as laborers, working as an assistant to the craftsman and learning the EIFS systems. In most cases it can take anywhere from 2-4 years to become well versed in the application of EIFS, including knowledge of products, specifications, how to apply each product and their limitations, safety policies and procedures, etc. During this training period you will most likely be asked to complete courses, either online or instructor led, to obtain certifications in EIFS and safety.
EIFS Installer Salary
How Much Does an EIFS Installer Make?
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EIFS Installer Career Paths
Where Can You Go From Here?
If you’re looking for a rewarding career in the building trades, consider becoming an EIFS Craftsman. EIFS Craftsmen are highly specialized in the art of installation and finishing of EIFS (exterior insulation and finish systems). The ‘trowel trades’ are among the oldest and most respected trades on the North American continent. These trades can be adapted to meet a number of construction needs. Specialized craftsmen in the arts of installation and finishing put their talents to use in creating stunning artisan-like results. To learn more about the building trades, where to get training, and where to find employment in this thriving industry, please see the below list of resources. Additionally, a list of EIFS Applicators that may be looking for employees can be found here: http://www.eima.com/directory/contractor.
This career page is sponsored by:
Founded in 1981, the EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA) is a national non-profit technical trade association comprised of leading suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors, architects, related products manufacturers and suppliers, and other interested parties involved in the exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) industry.
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- EIMA EIFS Industry Members Association – https://www.eima.com/