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The Plague of EIFS

thedeepend

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from my perspective, the use of EIFS is reaching crisis proportions in the city. i think we are approaching critical mass, where this blight is starting to seriously impact the architectural integrity and heritage of the city.


while it is depressing to see any building coated with this garbage--one is now seeing an increasing number of architecturally notable buildings being destroyed in this way--from the Victorian posted here, to hundreds of lovely Edwardian homes, 20s-30s apartment buildings, 50s-60s modernist office buildings, apts and shops, the whole gamut. it's like an invasive species or a virus, gobbling up perfectly fine buildings, replacing them with characterless, lifeless, dead shadows of themselves. and sadly, it is also the blight of the future.

i keep waiting for it to abate, for another solution to emerge-but it just seems to get worse and worse.

the most chilling thing about it that the EIFS industry is a formidable enemy.

whoever is selling this system to owners is not only preying on their architectural ignorance, but they are also incredibly effective and aggressive at getting people signed up. these salesmen seem to be spreading tentacles out over the entire city, gobbling up one neighbourhood after another. and it is a total racket, because any owner that acquiesces is actually decreasing the value of their property.

i'm curious as to who exactly is promoting and selling this system. is it a few big companies? a whole bunch of mom and pops? are there trade associations and trade publications involved in pushing it? is it word of mouth among similarly budget conscious, architecturally illiterate, building owners?

solution wise, i've often wondered about the efficacy of mounting a public awareness campaign that seeks to both educate property owners and call out the industry for selling what amounts to a weapon of mass historical destruction.

one wonders whether a few high-profile articles, social media campaigns, #eifsblight, etc. might be enough to at least get a conversation going in the City of Toronto about this very troubling phenomenon. it might start to make owners at least stop and think for a minute, before the pull the trigger on murdering their own property.







Carried over from the thread on the destruction of 376 Dundas Street East.
http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthread.php/19442-Motel-6-(376-Dundas-East-Ontario-St-3s)?p=736056#post736056
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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It's probably the cheapest and fastest option, in comparison to actually repairing the brickwork.

The application of EIFS on heritage buildings should be banned, period - and any application under the guise of "facade improvement programs" should also be prohibited.

AoD
 

Eug

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While I can understand banning EIFS on heritage buildings without permission, the claim that EIFS use in general is a crisis and should be heavily discouraged via media campaigns etc. is just both ludicrous and obnoxious. The amount of hysterics in the first post is really quite unfortunate.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Eug:

I do think it should be discouraged with exceptions for principal facades - in general it just isn't a material that weather and ages well at all. I can't think of any other common material that turns dowdy as quickly as EIFS.

AoD
 

Register123

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What does EIFS stand for and can you post and example for those of use who have had the fortune to not have seen it.
 

Blovertis

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While I can understand banning EIFS on heritage buildings without permission, the claim that EIFS use in general is a crisis and should be heavily discouraged via media campaigns etc. is just both ludicrous and obnoxious. The amount of hysterics in the first post is really quite unfortunate.
Using EIFS on heritage buildings is all theDeepend was talking about. From my perspective, suburbanites can use it on new construction all they want because their neighbourhoods are for the most part lost causes to begin with.

Your use of the inflammatory words "obnoxious", "ludicrous" and "hysterics" in response to a sincere first post is really quite unfortunate.
 

Eug

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Eug:

I do think it should be discouraged with exceptions for principal facades - in general it just isn't a material that weather and ages well at all. I can't think of any other common material that turns dowdy as quickly as EIFS.
Well, by that logic maybe you should support vinyl siding then. EIFS, if properly installed, will usually look just fine after 20 years. Given the choice, I'd choose EIFS over vinyl siding any day.

My house's exterior is (painted) cedar mostly. I suspect its lifespan is about the same as EIFS, except EIFS is a heluvalot cheaper. I prefer the look of cedar, but EIFS can look good if done well. I personally don't give a chit if it doesn't maintain the outer brick look from the 1950s. Some of those 1950s buildings look absolutely awful, and an EIFS treatment would be a big step up. Not surprisingly, in most instances neighbours do not complain about EIFS, precisely because it can look very good. A nice reno with EIFS will tend to increase property values in an established neighbourhood.

Using EIFS on heritage buildings is all theDeepend was talking about. From my perspective, suburbanites can use it on new construction all they want because their neighbourhoods are for the most part lost causes to begin with.
Just because a home is from the 60s doesn't make it a heritage home. Many of the Toronto 50 - 60s homes would benefit greatly from a refreshed face, and EIFS is a reasonable way to do it.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Eug:

EIFS, if properly installed, will usually look just fine after 20 years.
But isn't that the point - that oftentimes it is not properly installed, and it doesn't look fine after 5 years, much less 20. And this exception is why I also said the use of EIFS should be discouraged with exceptions.

AoD
 

Dilla

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the aesthetic rape of the building at Dundas and Ontario is pretty much complete now. It's the same beige color it always is, too. They better at least paint it something else. I didn't have time for pics, but I'll get some tomorrow.

Sucks.
 

thedeepend

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I personally don't give a chit if it doesn't maintain the outer brick look from the 1950s.
of course you don't.

Some of those 1950s buildings look absolutely awful, and an EIFS treatment would be a big step up.
in what way do they look awful? please describe. in what way is EIFS "a big step up"?

Just because a home is from the 60s doesn't make it a heritage home.
what homes from the 1960s are heritage homes then, according to you?

Most of the 50 - 60s homes would benefit greatly from a refreshed face, and EIFS is a reasonable way to do it.
in what ways does EIFS "refresh" a home from the 1950-60s?
 

someMidTowner

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TrickyRicky

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I share the hatred of EIFS but I wanted to make a few comments:

Painted brick is almost as bad and potentially just as destructive.

I think part of the blame comes from the fact that the building trades are dominated by people with continental European backgrounds. EIFS mimics the look of stucco and other building finishings you would see in Europe. Also, in East Asia exposed brick is considered trashy and cheap. The problem for us is that EIFS buildings tend to disintegrate in less than 10 years while the plastered finishings in Europe last much longer.

Then again red brick buildings may just be a particular cultural quirk of Northern European sensibilities.
 

Eug

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I share the hatred of EIFS but I wanted to make a few comments:

Painted brick is almost as bad and potentially just as destructive.
I absolutely hate most painted brick. I think it looks horrible in the vast majority of cases, and much worse than a well-done EIFS face.

And no, I'm not a brick-hater. My townhouse was brick, and I very much liked the look.

I think part of the blame comes from the fact that the building trades are dominated by people with continental European backgrounds. EIFS mimics the look of stucco and other building finishings you would see in Europe. Also, in East Asia exposed brick is considered trashy and cheap. The problem for us is that EIFS buildings tend to disintegrate in less than 10 years while the plastered finishings in Europe last much longer.
That's not true, if properly installed. EIFS is not freely available to DIYers for a reason. However, it seems some contractors have cut corners in the past, leading to bad EIFS installs. OTOH, properly installed EIFS will last a couple of decades, which is in the same ballpark of how long my painted cedar is supposed to last. Or do people here complain about painted cedar too? The exterior siding of my house looks kind of like this one.



However, if you incorrectly install cedar siding, I'm told it can need replacing in less than 15 years too depending on the situation.

BTW, when I was house shopping, one house I looked at had a stone face. It was absolutely hideous. The work quality may have been OK, and maybe it would have lasted 50 years, but the choice of stone and the design were terrible. I remember calling the real estate agent and during the conversation casually mentioning that I didn't like the look, and he said he'd be willing the drop the price $30000 right off the bat so compensate for the cost of refacing the house. He must have had several different prospective buyers say the same thing to be so forthcoming with the price drop for that specific reason.

in what way do they look awful? please describe. in what way is EIFS "a big step up"?
Do you love painted brick, for example? Do you love brick faces which have outlines of prior structures? Do you love all deteriorated brick?

what homes from the 1960s are heritage homes then, according to you?
So, are you really trying to say that all 50s and 60s homes are heritage homes? Every run down war time bungalow in the city, for example? That's just bizarre.

In that case you'll hate me (or at least the previous owner), because my 50s brick home was covered in cedar siding, as mentioned.

in what ways does EIFS "refresh" a home from the 1950-60s?
See above.
 
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thedeepend

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properly installed EIFS will last a couple of decades, which is in the same ballpark of how long my painted cedar is supposed to last. Or do people here complain about painted cedar too? The exterior siding of my house looks kind of like this one:
we're not talking about painted cedar. we're talking about clay brick which lasts at least 5x longer than the material you're defending.

“The National Institute for Standards and Technology gives brick masonry a 100 year life, and there are countless examples of brick buildings, many of which are much more than a century old, still in use today.â€

“Brick is one of the few materials that the building codes actually allow to be reused in a building application when they meet the ASTM standard for clay brick. Salvaged bricks are in high demand and represent a vibrant market.â€
 

Eug

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we're not talking about painted cedar. we're talking about clay brick which lasts at least 5x longer than the material you're defending.

“The National Institute for Standards and Technology gives brick masonry a 100 year life, and there are countless examples of brick buildings, many of which are much more than a century old, still in use today.”

“Brick is one of the few materials that the building codes actually allow to be reused in a building application when they meet the ASTM standard for clay brick. Salvaged bricks are in high demand and represent a vibrant market.”
I guess you missed the discussion in your own thread. The point was made that EIFS doesn't last as long as brick and should not recommended for this reason. I countered with the statement that neither does my painted cedar, yet nobody complains about painted cedar, and EIFS - if properly installed - lasts roughly as long as painted cedar. On the flip side, vinyl siding lasts even longer, but I don't see many people advocating using vinyl siding.
 

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