EIFS (Synthetic Stucco)
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What are EIFS (Synthetic Stucco)?
Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS) are a form of non-load bearing synthetic stucco cladding for exterior walls. Instead of being plastered directly onto the exterior walls of a building like traditional stucco, EIFS are panels which are typically attached to a wall using adhesive or mechanical fixings. This minimizes the impact on the walls while at the same time creating an extra layer of insulation between the exterior wall and the stucco.
As opposed to traditional stucco finishes that use lathes and natural materials, EIFS are composed of a number of additional synthetic materials such as fiberglass and polystyrene. These materials give EIFS some significant advantages over traditional stucco, including being less prone to cracking, fading or yellowing. They also function as an effective layer of insulation.
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Benefits of Synthetic Stucco Siding
Although EIFS are generally more expensive than traditional stucco systems, they are increasingly being chosen by the owners of both residential and commercial buildings. To understand why this is, it is useful to break down the various advantages compared with traditional stucco systems.
The insulating synthetic materials and extra wall cavity that feature in EIFS give them the edge over traditional stucco when it comes to energy efficiency. Savings in energy usage and bills are a big reason more and more people are choosing EIFS over other siding materials.
Because of the lightweight synthetic materials that EIFS are made from, they can be up to 80 percent lighter than traditional stucco. This significantly reduces the stress imposed on load-bearing walls. Because of this, homeowners and property owners alike can expect a longer-lasting product that is easier on the building’s membrane.
Less Crumbling & Cracking
EIFS are significantly more flexible than traditional stucco. This increased flexibility decreases the likelihood that EIFS will crack or crumble due to the effects of thermal expansion or shifting foundations. This can be especially important in Nevada.
Doesn’t Fade or Yellow
Most EIFS are today built to incorporate a 100-percent acrylic binder which ensures that they are resistant to fading, yellowing and chalking over time. This can be a great relief to homeowners as it also means, EIFS won’t require as much maintenance or touch-ups over time.
Things to Consider About EIFS
Although EIFS are better in many ways than traditional stucco systems, there are a few disadvantages that come with the territory.
Due to the extra price per square foot and the increased installation time and costs, EIFS can be slightly more expensive than traditional stucco. Although the upfront cost may be more, over the lifespan of an EIFS, the overall expense will be less than traditional stucco due to less maintenance and upkeep.
Requires Specialized Installation
A skilled D.I.Y enthusiast may be able to install a traditional stucco system. In contrast, the complexity of the EIFS installation process almost always requires an experienced stucco contractor or professional. It’s important to leave installation to a trusted stucco contractor that offers a strong guarantee.
Benefits of Traditional Stucco Siding
Despite the benefits of EIFS, there are still many people who prefer the rustic, down-to-earth look and feel of traditional stucco systems. Made of Portland cement and lime, there is something quite special about the natural feel of traditional stucco, and there are actually a few ways in which it makes a better choice
Performs Better in Wet Weather
Due to its high impermeability, traditional stucco does not absorb as much water as EIFS tend to, putting it at a decreased risk of water damage. Depending on the region one lives in, this could be a deciding factor. However, because of Nevada’s desert climate, this isn’t a major plus.
Comes in Endless Textures
One of the main reasons that people prefer traditional stucco is the limitless range of fully customizable textures that you get when compared with EIFS. From smooth and modern finishes to slurry, Southwestern style patterns, virtually anything is possible with traditional stucco.
Durable Against Dings
Traditional stucco is also more effective at resisting the inevitable dings that result from general wear and tear as well as that from hailstorm and natural threats like woodpeckers. Of course, repair is always an option if damage from hits and dings occurs. However, traditional stucco does resist slightly better.
Slightly More Affordable
Due to its simpler composition and ease of installation, traditional stucco tends to be slightly more affordable than the more premium EIFS option. However, the look of traditional stucco gives it a luxurious flair, which can increase your home’s value and make neighbors envious!
What to Consider With Traditional Stucco
Minimal Color Variation
Traditional stucco is not available in the same broad variety of shades or colors that are afforded by the acrylic finish of EIFS. Although you won’t be able to match the bright, vibrant colors of EIFS stucco, the endless amount of finishes and textures make up for that.
Heavier Than Synthetic Stucco Siding
As mentioned previously, traditional stucco systems are around 80 percent heavier than EIFS. This increases the load borne by the structure of the building. Depending on the construction of the home (wood frame, concrete block, metal frame, etc.), this may be a deciding factor.
Hear what our customers have to say about our stucco services:
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“We hired Las Vegas Stucco Solutions to install brand new EIF stucco at our home. We’ve had traditional vinyl board siding for decades, but weren’t happy with the look and durability. LVSS clearly explained our options with stucco and even helped file our insurance claim to start the process. To have the team work on our behalf to get the best coverage possible, we were able to afford the siding we truly wanted. The team did a great job with the installation, and were able to finish the job on time! Our house got a completely fresh look and we couldn’t be happier with the end result!”
What siding should you choose for your home or property?
EIFS come in bright colors and repel water, crack less and reduce the burden of weight on load-bearing walls. On the other hand, the increased number of textures available with traditional stucco gives a more rustic feel. It also performs better in wetter climates and is sturdy enough to resist dings.
At Las Vegas Stucco Solutions, we know that the type of stucco you choose will mostly depend on the overall look that you are looking to achieve and the climate in the region where your property is situated. Your decision-making process should take into account all of the advantages and disadvantages listed above to ensure that your stucco finish works well with your building specifications
Want to learn more about EIFS for your home or business?
Simply give us a call, schedule an on-site inspection with us, and we’ll get the process started.