A lot happened during Fall 2017! Check out the projects we worked on and the fun we had.
The purpose of this article is to try to simplify something that confuses many people: EIFS.
EIFS is an acronym for “Exterior Insulation and Finish System.” Many people refer to it as “Dryvit” or mistakenly as “stucco.” Dryvit Systems, Inc. is a manufacturer of EIFS products. This is a generic trademark descriptor, similar to Kleenex (a manufacturer of tissues.) Often times, these terms become synonymous. However, there are many other quality EIFS manufacturers, such as StoCorp, BASF, and Parex.
Unlike traditional stucco, which consists of lime, sand, and Portland cement or other binders, EIFS is comprised of several layers of materials. When combined, these layers form a continuous insulation system with a hard and durable finish surface.
The photograph to the right shows a sample piece of the most basic layers in an EIFS wall:
- The substrate (fiberglass mat gypsum sheathing in this example)
- The water-resistive barrier
- The insulation board
- The water-resistant base coat with embedded reinforcing mesh
- The textured finish coat
When installed, EIFS will usually appear like a piece of foam board with a hard textured surface on one side. However, it is much more complex than that.
In the past, many architects and installers viewed EIFS as a barrier system, meaning they were not designed to allow water to enter. Therefore, no cavity drainage or moisture management mechanisms were installed within the system, and if they were – they were often done poorly or incorrectly. This led to failures in many systems. Today, the industry acknowledges that moisture will inevitably enter an EIFS wall and most manufacturers have installation details that allow the evacuation of water from behind the system.
The old systems? Most need attention. Unfortunately, many people have a negative opinion of EIFS, and it’s simply because they don’t understand it. This misunderstanding tends to lead people down the path of removal and replacement rather than restoration and rejuvenation.
Many of the manufacturers have restoration programs for dealing with existing and aging EIFS-clad buildings in a much more cost-effective manner than replacement. Restoring or rejuvenating an existing system can dramatically increase the service life of the system as well as the structure, while providing the opportunity to change the appearance.
If you have a structure clad with EIFS and want to understand it better, please contact our sister company, Trisco Construction Services. Their EIFS experts can conduct a simple walk around to identify weaknesses and items for you to monitor to keep your EIFS system performing as it should.
Our Restore You Wellness Team recently held an event where employees were asked to bring a healthy snack to work and share the recipe. It had to be something home-made. The response was great, and we all enjoyed trying each other’s dishes. It’s funny – I was literally eating powdered mini-donuts in my office when I realized we had healthy snacks in the kitchen. I guess that means this was a good idea! Now, we want to share the recipes with you.
1. Cheesy Quinoa Bites
Original author: Laura Fuentes
Serves: 12-15 bites
1 ½ cups cooked Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa
1 cup grated monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, whisked
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease or spray a mini muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, grated cheese, and grated parmesan cheese.
3. Add seasonings and combine.
4. Add the whisked egg and using a fork, mix well until all ingredients are incorporated.
5. Transfer quinoa mixture into the muffin tin pan and bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow bites to cool down before removing and serving with marinara sauce for dipping.
2. Frozen Yogurt Bark with Berries
2 cups nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup agave (honey or maple syrup are also OK)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
chopped pecans, for garnish
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine yogurt, agave, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt; whisk until thoroughly combined.
3. Transfer yogurt mixture to previously prepared baking sheet and spread it around to an even thickness.
4. Top with berries.
5. Garnish with nuts (optional)
6. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
7. Cut into pieces and serve. Keep in the freezer.
3. Reduced Fat Apple Dip
1 8 oz. package of low fat cream cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Stir together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Dip apples and enjoy!
4. Texas Sheet Cake
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, divided
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, divided
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup fat-free milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. Coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray, and dust with 2 teaspoons flour.
3. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
4. Combine 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
5. Add cocoa mixture to flour mixture. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended.
6. Add buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs; beat well.
7. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.
8. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, fat-free milk, and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
9. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. Spread over hot cake. Sprinkle cake with pecans. Cool completely on wire rack.
5. “No Tuna” Salad Wraps
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
¼ cup diced red onion
¼ cup diced celery (or water chesnuts)
¼ cup diced pickle
1 teaspoon capers, drained and loosely chopped
Healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)
1.Place the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, leaving only a few beans whole.
2. Add tahini, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, celery, pickle, capers, salt and pepper, and sunflower seeds (if using) to mixing bowl. Mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
4. Scoop a healthy amount of the chickpea mixture (about ½ cup) onto one slice of bread or a wrap. Add desired toppings.
Note: Mixture will keep covered in refrigerator for 4-5 days, making it great for quick, weekday lunches.
6. Crockpot Italian Meatball Soup
1 pound frozen low-fat turkey meatballs
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 cans (14-15 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
1 cup peeled chopped potato
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)
1. In a slow cooker, stir together the meatballs, broth, tomatoes, mushrooms, potato, onion, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, until the vegetables are tender.
3. Turn the slow cooker to HIGH and add the frozen mixed vegetables.
4. Cover and cook for one additional hour, or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste.
5. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
7. Homemade Zucchini and Carrot Bars
1 cup grated zucchini
½ cup grated carrot
2 shallots finely chopped
3 eggs, lightly whisked
⅓ cup of grated cheese
2 tbs finely chopped parsley*optional
1 tbs almond flour (or all purpose flour)
1. Heat a little olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. A tablespoon is enough.
2. Add the zucchini, carrot, and shallots, and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
4. Combine the vegetables with the eggs, cheese, parsley (*optional) and flour in a large bowl and mix all the ingredients well.
5. Put the mixture into a baking square pan (lightly spread some butter or ghee before) and smooth the surface.
6. Bake in oven for about 12 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Take them out of the pan cutting into bars.
Our “Restore You” Health & Wellness team decided to repurpose a wooden crate and make it into a raised company garden. It was constructed by our warehouse personnel and set up in the storage lot, near the rear exit of our building.
The Wellness Committee kept it a secret from employees, so they could introduce the Wellness Garden with the first fresh pick of the season. The first day of planting was June 21. Twenty two days later, we had radishes ready!
The garden has four types of pepper plants, two tomato plants, four rows of green beans, four rows of radishes, four rows of beets, two sweet potato plants, and a carrot patch, followed up with two cucumber vines. All employees have access to the garden, and the idea is to promote a collective effort to have fresh food available for all to enjoy! What a fantastic way to provide fresh, healthy snacks at work.
Check out some of the projects we worked on in Spring 2017!
Culver Academies is a college preparatory boarding school located in Culver, Indiana. The Culver Memorial Chapel, sitting in the center of campus, is constructed of brick and decorative limestone elements. The interior is all limestone with intricate features, stained glass, and historically significant elements. Unfortunately the effects of time, weather, antiquated heating systems, etc. had taken its toll on the exterior and interior of the chapel.
Numerous projects were undertaken to correct these deficiencies. This included exterior masonry restoration, roof repairs, HVAC upgrades, and window improvements. Only after this process was Trisco able to address the restoration of the interior limestone.
Years of neglect and persistent moisture issues caused severe erosion and staining of the limestone, as well as extreme deterioration of the mortar. Trisco was retained to correct these damaged areas with operations such as tuckpointing, sealant replacement, stone patching, and stone replacement. The unsightly presence of mineral staining, efflorescence, and calcium deposit build-up required a gentle, non-chemical cleaning process that would not affect the beautiful woodwork and other interior features.
The cleaning process consisted of safe and effective micro-abrasive media combined with air and a very small amount of water. This combination was finely tuned to allow the removal of contaminants without damage to the stone surfaces.
In the weeks leading up to a holiday or vacation, many of us set internal goals to get our projects completed before we leave. This can cause undue stress on ourselves and others. In the seasonal business of construction, we experience this rush around Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
In more than one instance, a customer has told us: “I need to have all bids by the Friday before the 4th of July. Then, after turning in our proposal, we follow up with a phone call only to find out that they are out of the office that day. When the customer returns from the holiday, they’re faced with a pile of tasks – and no time to look at our bid. (We all know the pressure on the first day back from vacation).
So what happens? Two or three weeks go by before the customer finds time to spend on it, even though it was absolutely critical that they have it before the holiday. The bidders could have been given extra time to create a more thorough and detailed bid. Instead, they were rushed and stressed to meet a deadline, which takes a tremendous toll on them and their families. Employees spend late nights in the office and miss family activities, in hopes of hitting the deadline.
This philosophy doesn’t just apply to bids; it’s true in life. We hurry to get everything done and “off our desk” before we leave for the weekend or vacation. But what does this do? Often, it just puts more work on someone else. When we stress ourselves out, we stress others out. When we rush and get frustrated, others rush and get frustrated. You’ve heard of the Domino Effect, right? Once the first one falls, it takes the others down with it.
The next time you set goals or schedule projects and tasks, ask yourself: “What if we don’t get it done before the holiday? Will there be major repercussions? Will anybody else be adversely affected by this? Would I want somebody to do this to me?” Properly balancing the workload will allow the right amount of time for tasks to be completed, which will ensure you can do the best job while minimizing the risk of mistakes. This will help prevent undue stress, which will benefit you and the overall wellness of those around you, not only at work but also at home.
If you haven’t noticed, Trisco has been posting a lot more blogs lately (two per month, to be exact). You can find all the blogs right here on our website. You can also request a hard copy, and we’ll be glad to print or send you a document.
What is a blog?
A blog is simply an article written and published by professionals at Trisco. You might also know it as a “white paper.” Trisco’s blogs always stem from research or experience with a topic related to our business. For example, our recent blogs have covered The Building Assessment Process, The Challenges of Estimating Vertical Concrete Structures, and Terra Cotta Replacement.
What do we write about?
Sometimes our blogs are technical, and other times they are based on our company’s values and perspectives. Most of the time, our blogs are professional and in third person – from a general voice and an unbiased point of view. We also use blogs to share exciting company news and updates on our wellness program, “Restore You.”
Why do we post them?
We publish these articles to educate our customers and help them make informed decisions when it comes to their buildings and structures. We also use blogs to connect with our peers and partners online.
Every time we post a blog, our intention is to assist someone. Our goal – as we stated above – is to educate our audience. We have years of experience and insight, and we aim to share what we’ve learned with anyone who reads the blog. Being honest and transparent is also one of our company values, and blogging helps us achieve that.
If you have a blog topic you’d like to see covered, let us know! We are always looking for ideas and questions about our industry.
One way that walls talk to us is through the accumulation of biological growth on surfaces of buildings. Moss, vines, grass, trees, mildew, and mold are all natural organisms. However, they are not supposed to live on or in your walls.
If there is sustained biological growth (of any kind), the wall is telling you that it’s holding moisture, which is sustaining this growth.
The moisture’s presence can be from a myriad of sources, and the bottom-line is that moisture can cause deterioration – especially when combined with freeze-thaw cycles. If you have biological growth on your building, you should know this is an indicator that something is going on within your wall. It could be an overflowing gutter, an open void or crack, displacement, or other sources of moisture intrusion requiring further evaluation.
There are numerous steps to take in order to rid the surface of these contaminates. First, it might take cleaning or physical removal. Then, you must kill any growing or living contaminates. If the actual spore or root system is not killed, then removal may only be temporary. Lastly, once you remove the biological growth, you need to make sure that you have eliminated the source of the moisture presence so that it does not return.
If your wall is telling you something, please contact Trisco Systems at 419-339-3906 for an evaluation.
Here’s a glimpse into our projects and activities during Winter 2017!