E.I.F.S And Traditional Stucco

So what is Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems or E.I.F.S.?

EIFS is a non-bearing wall system which was first developed in Germany right after World War II to resurface masonry buildings that had been devastated after the war. Subsequently, EIFS was introduced to the United States in 1969 and ever since then it has become a popular choice for many builders and architects mainly in the construction of commercial buildings. However, EIFS can also be used in residential construction.E.I.F.S.

Also called “synthetic stucco”, EIFS consists of a multi-layer exterior barrier-type system designed to prevent moisture intrusion into exterior walls. The system consists of four main components:

  1. Panels of expanded polystyrene foam insulation board (material similar to foam coffee cups) which are installed with adhesive or mechanically fastened to the substrate which is usually plywood, oriented strandboard or exterior-type gypsum board.
  2. A polymer-cement base coat that is troweled over the foam insulation panels.
  3. A glass fiber reinforcing mesh is laid over the polystyrene insulation panels and fully embedded in the base coat.
  4. A 100% acrylic color-integral finish coat is then troweled over the base coat and reinforcing mesh.

EIFS systems are usually about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.

One of the main advantages of EIFS is that it acts as a great insulator. It literally wraps the exterior in an energy-efficient thermal envelope. This insulation outside buildings decreases air infiltration, stabilize the interior environment and reduces energy consumption.

EIFS also provides a rich, more color-uniform appearance than regular color stucco. At the same time, it s a more flexible material making it less prone to cracking than traditional stucco. EIFS are also among the most water resistant exterior surfaces you can put on a house. But as with all wall systems, EIFS must be correctly installed according to its manufacturer`s recommendations and by an “EIFS Certified” installer. Otherwise if the system is not installed properly, moisture can get behind EIFS and cause damage. This is very important since EIFS, unlike traditional stucco, is not a breathable material. This means that all flashings around windows and doors and roof elements and penetrations need to be properly sealed to prevent water intrusion. Cracks in the EIFS system need to be addressed promptly also to prevent any water damage.

Furthermore, EIFS manufacturers have now come up with new drainable EIFS systems that will further prevent water from getting and staying behind the stucco.

Here at Old Pueblo Stucco, L.L.C., we are EIFS Certified applicators and our team with over 20 years of experience working with EIFS systems will insure that we install an EIFS system on your house or commercial building according to the EIFS manufacturer`s specifications and with the highest standards of workmanship so that we can deliver for you a finish product of the highest quality. Please call us at 520-304-7037 to get a free estimate.

Traditional Stucco

Portland cement plaster ( “stucco” ) is a hard, durable, time-tested exterior finish. It consists of Portland cement-based materials and sand mixed with water to form a workable plaster.

Just like Portland cement strengthens structures such as highways, bridges and skyscrapers it also provides strength, high impact resistance and durability to stucco.

Portland cement plaster has been used over frame construction in the united states since more than a century ago. Currently, there are two ways in which stucco is applied over wood frame construction: one is through a method called “One-Coat Stucco”.

In which wire fabric lath (“stucco netting”) is attached to a layer of expanded polystyrene foam board insulation and two layers of grade “D” building paper attached to the wood sheathing. Stucco is then applied in a two coat system: One fiber-reinforced base coat and one texture finish coat.

The other method is called the “traditional three-coat stucco” system, in which only paper-backed metal lath is attached directly to the wood sheathing without the foam board insulation. Stucco is then applied in three layers: a scratch coat, Brown coat and a texture finish coat. In both of these systems a 100% acrylic color finish coat or “synthetic finish” could be used as the final coat in lieu of the regular cementitious finish coat.

Old Pueblo Stucco, L.L.C. is proficient, experienced and knowledgeable about the different installations of stucco, whether it be over block, concrete, wood or metal framing, Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) or Aerated Autoclaved Concrete blocks (AAC), we will do the job right the first time.

Don’t Let Stucco Crack Down on You