EIFS tape is a self-adhesive membrane that is made from a rubberized asphalt that has been laminated to a polyester fabric. The fabric helps to strengthen , providing a stronger, more crack-resistant bond with most exterior coatings to provide a self-sealing, waterproofing layer. It is primarily used around windows and doors, taping panel seams and other penetrations. The membrane (or “tape”) is meant to be covered by EIFS, stucco or some other type of siding and trim material. The product is highly adhesive, gripping firmly to nearly all dry, clean surfaces including plywood, OSB, insulation boards, housewrap, masonry, concrete and een metallic products like aluminum siding. The tape is usually about 30mm thick and can be applied in temperatures ranging from 5 degrees to 45 degrees. There are a number of roll thicknesses available, ranging from 36″ to 96″ and usually 100 feet in length.
As part of a warranted EIFS installation, the EIFS tape is absolutely required by most reputable manufacturers. EIFS tape is a key part of water proofing the substrate behind your stucco, which can costs tens of thousands of dollars if done improperly.
Sadly, many contractors will cut this product out of their installation process if pushed too hard to cut down on price by the home owner. While a sales rep from an EIFS manufacturer will be able to tell it’s missing, most home owners can’t identify one component of an EIFS installation from another. That leads to many contractors cutting out required components simply to make some money. Skipping the EIFS tape won’t make any noticeable difference aesthetically, leading home owners to believe they’re new siding was properly installed. Given a minor leak and a lack of EIFS tape however, and moisture begins to get into the wall cavity, become trapped and cause potentially thousands of dollars of damage in mould and rot.