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EIFS Synthetic Stucco System

Insulation & Finish System (EIFS) use synthetic materials to cover exterior home walls.

EIFS usually consists of three primary component layers. Before the synthetic system is applied, at least one layer of TYVEK or any other brand of insulation paper (water barrier) is installed directly onto the substrate. It is really important that the insulation paper is installed, otherwise it may cause huge moisture problems. The first layer fastened over the TYVEK is drained insulation board, usually made of a material such as polystyrene 1″ or 1 ½”.

The second layer is a base coat applied to a reinforcing fiberglass mesh. The third layer is a finish coat or colored coat (texture and color is selected by owner).

EIFS became popular with builders because it looks like real stucco, is easier to install and costs less than real stucco. EIFS also boasts better insulation characteristics than real stucco and other cladding materials, such as brick. However, EIFS can absorb and hold moisture much more readily than traditional stucco designs, especially when not installed properly or with uncertified materials.

That’s why it is really important to make sure the Contractor is using certified products and performs the installation according to Manufacture’s specifications.

The entire system is installed with weep screed panel located on the very bottom of the wall, elevated at least 8″ from the grade and paving.

Drip edges, flashings, window insulation tapes, TYVEK tapes, caulking, expansion joints, J channels and many other materials are being installed during the EIFS installation progress, according to the Manufacture’s specifications.


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Traditional Hard Coat Stucco System

Traditional Cement Stucco system is an assembly with continuous air and moisture barrier and moisture drainage. It combines the strength and durability of traditional stucco with moisture protection and high performance finishes. This system can be used in residential or commercial wall construction where superior aesthetics, and air and moisture control are essential in the climate extremes of North America. Maintaining stucco requires periodic cleaning to maintain appearance, repair of cracks and impact damage if they occur, re-coating to enhance appearance of weathered finish. Sealants and other façade components must be maintained to prevent water infiltration.
Application of Traditional hard coat stucco system:
1) Substrate: Glass mat gypsum sheathing in compliance with ASTM C 1177, building code compliant wood-based sheathing (plywood or OSB), concrete, or concrete masonry (CMU)
2) StoGuard Air and Moisture Barrier
3) Galvanized or PVC flashing and waterproofing components:
– weep screed starter track chanel,
– casing beads,
– controll joints,
– corner beads,
– head flashings (windows and doors),
– waterproof membranes around windows and doors,
– kick-out flashings,
4) Code compliant paper or felt 2-ply WRB
5) Code compliant miniumum 2.5 lb/yd2 (1.4 kg/m2) self-furred galvanized steel diamond mesh metal lath
6) Compliant stucco mortar mix first coat (scratch)
7) Compliant stucco mortar mix second coat (brown)
8) Base coat adhesive along with fiberglass reinforcing mesh
9) Primer (optional)
10) Textured Stucco Finish
11) Backer rod and caulk sealent.
Cracking can occur in portland cement stucco. Cracking is generally not caused by labor failure nor material defect in the stucco and can be minimized by following sound design and construction practices such as: proper installation of lath, proper incorporation of stress relief joints in the construction, proper sand gradation for field mixed stucco, proper proportioning of stucco mix ingredients, use of the minimum amount of water in the stucco mix for placement of stucco, avoiding the use of excess water, moist curing of the stucco after it has been applied, additional application of base coat adhesive cement along with fiberglass reinforcing mesh, and proper sequencing of construction to avoid stresses in the freshly placed stucco.
Efflorescence is a normal occurrence in portland cement based products and can affect final appearance of finish products installed over stucco. For use on vertical above grade walls only. Do not use below grade or on roofs or roof-like surfaces.

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