There are many different types of stucco out there and choosing one for your home can be a bit confusing at first.


This article has been written to help you understand the different types of stucco well enough to be able to make an informed decision from there.


What is Stucco?

Stucco is a cement based plaster that has been used as a building material for thousands of years and is still in use today. It has been used in some form or another in all of the different regions of the world and is a very common building material in the United States as well.


Many people think that stucco is just one type of material but it’s actually a broad term that covers many different materials that are based on the same building principles.


The image to the left shows a basic three coat stucco system that is in use in the US today. The two grey colored materials are the base coats which are the “hard coats” in the system.


Stucco is made by mixing Portland cement, sand and water and is applied to a wall or other surface to provide a hard outer shell for the home. It is applied by spraying or troweling onto the substrate you are working with and is designed to protect the building from the elements and keep the building insulation in place.


Portland cement is the most common “hard coat” base that is used in stucco systems and is what gives stucco it’s “hard coat” name. This is the most common “hard coat” that is used in stucco systems and is what gives stucco its “hard coat” name. Portland cement stucco is commonly used in the US.


EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System) – This is a stucco finish that is used as an exterior cladding material. EIFS, or Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems, were first developed in the 1960s and 70s as a retrofit to masonry walls after WWII. It gained popularity in the 70s because it was widely used to conserve heating and cooling energy.


What is EIFS?

Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems, or EIFS, is a synthetic stucco system that is used to finish a home’s exterior. The system is popular in Europe and has been used in North America since the late 1970s. The EIFS system is a synthetic stucco and reinforced with layers. There are two major types of EIFS, the one-coat and the three-coat. The one-coat is a single layer without a base or finish coat and is most often polyurethane based. The three-coat is the more traditional stucco system and includes a base, a scratch coat, and a brown coat.


A water-resistive barrier is placed on the exterior of the home. The water-resistive barrier is usually made of a synthetic material. If the water-resistive barrier is properly installed, it will create a vapor barrier that will prevent moisture from getting into the home.


The EIFS system is an energy efficient option when compared to traditional stucco. It is a cost-effective alternative to copper, aluminum, wood, and vinyl. The synthetic stucco is also a good choice for areas that are prone to high winds and extreme weather. It is not susceptible to the elements as traditional stucco is.


EIFS is a non-combustible material and it is fire-resistant. The fire-resistant properties make EIFS a good material to use in homes where fire resistance is important.


EIFS Advantages

EIFS is a very energy efficient product and it comes with several other advantages. First, because it can be installed quickly, it is a cost-effective alternative to traditional stucco. Also, it is an ideal choice for areas that are prone to wind and rain. For instance, EIFS works well in coastal areas. Because it is less permeable to water than traditional stucco, EIFS is a good choice for areas that are prone to heavy rain. Also, the material is resistant to freezing and thawing.


EIFS is a durable product that can last up to 50 years. It can stand up to harsh weather conditions and several types of exterior elements including rain, hail, snow and sun. In fact, in some cases, EIFS can help to insulate a home from the heat of the sun. It stays durable because it is resistant to the elements. The product is also fire-resistant.


EIFS can also be painted over and pressure-washed for easy maintenance.