The difference between EIFS and Stucco

The difference between EIFS and Stucco

Let’s see what EIFS is –

Exterior Insulation and Finish System – is a system providing exterior building walls a surface made of a composite material system, water-resistant and isolating. Stucco is a plaster used to coating walls surface.

About Stucco

Stucco is made of cement, water and sand. Lime is added to make stucco more workable and permeable. To use stucco in an artistic manner, professionals add glass fibers and acrylics. I’m a professional contractor and I often recommend the pigments used, to have a great effect on the walls or ceilings, in new or old buildings.


is a great building material, attractive, water-resistant, protected against porosity. Some wires previously galvanized are making stucco resistant to corrosion, adaptable to exterior walls. Ornaments made of stucco embellish with
ornaments old and new buildings.

About EIFS

This system, used for exterior walls on mansions, or commercial buildings, appropriate for wood frames constructions is new. These building often had water infiltration problems; a drainage plane is recommended to make water drain down. EIFS is usually named “synthetic stucco,” but it is not stucco. read more about synthetic stucco at

The difference between EIFS and Stucco

Differences between EIFS and stucco


is a material used for centuries, dense, non-isolating, hard. It is an old decoration technique originated in ancient Rome antiquity. The appearance of the stucco is an uneven surface, brilliant, similar to the bottle. A spatula is
an essential tool in the preparation of stucco. In our century, specialists recommend new versions of stucco, with unique qualities, such as increase maneuverability and new pigmentation.


is a new system, using expanded polystyrene. The system includes a drainage plane. EIFS system consists of a water-restive barrier, glass-fiber reinforcements and a topcoat that uses crack and color resistant acrylic co-polymer technology. Unfortunately, EIFS needs a high-qualified specialist to finish the walls couverture using an EIFS system. Otherwise, the building will be exposed to drainage and insulation problems. A specialist can find solutions
to solve this kind of problems.

My experience tells that is better to avoid the issues from the beginning. The building has plans and construction details; this allows to study every detail and make a perfect insulation system.

Recently, drainable EIFS systems are not subject to these problems. Many technology improvements are making the use of EIFS systems secure and robust system, more comfortable to use than it was before.

Traditional “old” stucco is successful, simple solution for rain control. My experience shows that using a vapor permeable paint. When applied over the stucco, the color securely absorbs water; the exterior will be dray in seconds.
Sometimes rains water passes through stucco insulation, in small qualities. It is harmless. The water is stored in the wall exterior or interior and will dry in seconds. Stucco partisans, like myself, recognize a problem: stucco cracks.
Traditional stucco also leaks. Stucco system can solve the problem. Specialists recommend assemblies made of water-resistant materials (masonry) and high drying substances, flashing systems and draining planes.


can’t hide an undeniable fact: it is not possible to have perfect materials or a labor without mistakes. There are limitations with consequences on the building insulation and water-resistance. Nobody is perfect, but a specialist
can solve this problems in no time.

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