We’re all familiar with the power that comes from teamwork, including the teamwork involved in constructing buildings. Whether its design, systems, skilled labor or the products used in construction – all the pieces need to fit together to form a cohesive structure. Like all teams, there is always a member that helps strengthen the group and allows contributors to perform better. For EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) that critical impact player, providing additional team support, comes in the form of reinforcing mesh.
EIFS are typically made up of several different layers, and reinforcing mesh is one of the strongest components enhancing the performance, durability and aesthetics of the system. Mesh works a bit like a bulletproof vest: the network of fibers in the vest works together to redistribute and absorb the impact of a bullet. Mesh helps redistribute stresses on a wall surface more evenly, thus providing additional strength.
Mesh forms the center of the EIFS defense in a fire or a Category 5 hurricane, assuming it is mesh that has passed a barrage of third-party EIFS testing — from NFPA 285 (fire performance testing) to Miami-Dade County Hurricane testing. It is incumbent on EIFS manufacturers to test and qualify all components of their systems to ensure the safety compliance and performance resilience of a building. And it’s just as important for EIFS installers to be a part of the team, to only use tested, proven mesh products and to follow instructions for proper installation of the mesh.