A home I purchased, which was built in 2005 located in the upper Minnesota/US (frigid winters, balmy summers) has the larger faces of the above-grade poured foundation covered in a strange insulation I cannot ascertain to the life of me what it is or where to get more of it; or how to fix it.

As you can see below, various parts are 'ripped'; I'm guessing partly due to a poor trimming job and also due to shrinkage from hot summer sun.

Insulation in question - view 1 Insulation in question - view 2 Insulation in question - view 3 Insulation in question - view 4 EIFS

  • Whats behind there, brick? concrete? Then tear it all off. Insulation belongs on the inside, in the basement. How is it supposed to breath with that on there? Even if that was breathable materiel it looks like it's been painted over. If none of that is a concern you could run some trim coil just under that drip edge. And do that corner in its entirety. Trim coil may be the best bet as that stuff could be there for a reason, IE. the basement used to get seepage.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 4:03
  • Harder-shell surface (the textured white as seen) is attached to the insulation. Behind that is the poured foundation; which I believe is coated in the black foundation waterproofing coating. If I pulled it off, my house would look like a half plucked chicken with the fiberglass insulation stuck to the underlying foundation treatment/tar-like-stuff.
    – thinice
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 4:09
  • You have the water proofing so I'd feel better about taking it all off. It could then be painted. It doesn't look "fixable". You can either hide it(trim coil), remove and paint it, or replace it with...uh, w\e that stuff is.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 4:23
  • How would I get trim coil to adhere to the unclean/mired foundation surface?
    – thinice
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 4:29
  • 1
    I would do about a foot wide strip (maybe less, cut some, shove it up there and see how it looks, perhaps 6in-8in exposure) just tucked under the existing drip edge and use construction adhesive on the lower edge. Run a putty knife under the drip edge to make sure it will slip in easy the whole way. Going the trim coil route, I'd leave everything there and go over it. Clean\prep where the adhesive will attach. Basically your extending the drip edge a few inches to cover that gap.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 4:45

1 Answer 1


It looks like EIFS, Exterior Insulation Finish System, placed over a pink sheet of fiberglass foundation drain board. EIFS is not made to go at or below grade. I am not a pro of this material, but I have never seen it applied over a fiberglass sheet. There was a post I answered sometime back, about how to repair EIFS that I did not format properly and still don't know how to, (moderators got on me about it) but if you do a search on EIFS and it's repair, it will tell you all about it.

In my opinion, this stuff should not be on there. it goes to grade and the fiberglass is a freeway for termites and other pests to get to your framing.

If you remove it and find an unsuitable surface under it, you can fasten a galvanized expanded metal lathe over the exposed surfaces and have 2 coats of type "S" masonry cement troweled over it. First coat is a scratch coat, the second is a finsh coat. EIFS can even be troweled on over all this as a finish too, but don't run it to grade, leave it a few inches up. It may not need wire lathe over it if the surface is clean masonry or cement, but I figure it has some type of bonding agent or waterproofing to get the fiberglass to stick to it before the EIFS went on...

  • To follow up on the foundation insulation. It would be wise to leave the insulation on the wall below grade. IF they used the right stuff it helps the water against the foundation wall get to the drain tile below, which reduces the hydraulic pressure on the wall, minimizing potential leaks into your basement. The right stuff is a denser fiberglass mat, much tighter fiber than wall or attic fiberglas about a uniform 1/2" thick. It comes with a filter cloth attached to one side already, or can be applied separately. Contrary to some beliefs to have a PROPER insulation above grade, is a good idea
    – Jack
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 16:41

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