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Pros and Cons of Synthetic Stucco

By April 24, 2024Home Maintenance
Synthetic Stucco

Synthetic stucco is popular in the world of building finishes for combining aesthetics with functionality. It’s also known as Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (or EIFS) and as it grows in popularity, understanding the full spectrum of its pros and cons is helpful.

This article explores what makes synthetic stucco a preferred choice for many, while also highlighting the importance of proper installation and maintenance to avoid potential issues. Whether you’re renovating an old property or constructing a new one, the insights provided here will help you make the best decision.

What is Synthetic Stucco?

Synthetic stucco consists of several layers: a foam insulation board on the base, a middle layer of reinforced mesh, and a top coat that provides both texture and color.

This layered structure not only makes EIFS lighter than traditional stucco, which is typically a heavy mix of cement, sand, and lime, but also significantly more effective at insulating properties. Synthetic stucco’s integration of advanced polymers and fibers enhances its durability and flexibility, making it suitable for a variety of architectural designs.

The system is designed to wrap a building in an insulated blanket, reducing thermal bridging and enhancing energy efficiency.

Pros of Synthetic Stucco

  • Energy Efficiency: EIFS significantly improves thermal insulation, stabilizing interior temperatures and reducing reliance on heating and cooling systems. This can lead to substantial energy savings, making EIFS a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option.
  • Aesthetic Versatility: Synthetic stucco is available in a wide range of textures and colors. This allows for complete customization to match any architectural style or personal preference. This versatility makes it possible to emulate other materials or achieve a distinct, personalized look.
  • Durability: Designed to withstand the elements, synthetic stucco resists cracking, chipping, and fading. Its durability ensures the facade remains attractive over time, reducing the need for frequent maintenance.
  • Moisture Resistance: Proper installation of EIFS includes a comprehensive drainage system that prevents water accumulation, safeguarding against moisture-related damages such as mold and mildew.
Synthetic stucco provides various benefits from insulation to curb appeal.

Cons of Synthetic Stucco

  • Installation Sensitivity: Successful EIFS application requires precise, professional installation. Improper techniques can lead to moisture entrapment, resulting in mold growth and potential structural damage.
  • Repair Complexity: EIFS repairs demand specialized skills to match the existing finish accurately. This can be challenging and requires experienced professionals to maintain aesthetic and functional integrity.
  • Cost Consideration: The initial cost of installing synthetic stucco is higher than some traditional materials. However, the benefits of reduced maintenance and energy savings can offset the initial investment over time. Essentially, it’s a substantial but worthwhile upfront cost.
Person in the process of installing synthetic stucco.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Maintaining synthetic stucco extends beyond routine cleaning and inspections. It’s essential to ensure that all adjacent building features, such as gutters, downspouts, and flashing, are kept in good condition.

These elements play a critical role in directing water away from the EIFS, preventing potential water damage. Regular checks should also include sealing gaps around windows and doors, as these areas are vulnerable to moisture penetration. Seasonal maintenance is crucial, especially before heavy rainfall or snow seasons.

When to Call a Professional

Knowing when to call a professional can save you from costly repairs in the long run. If you observe signs of significant wear, such as large cracks, bulges in the wall, or visible water stains, it’s time to consult a specialist.

These symptoms may indicate underlying problems that require immediate attention to prevent further damage. Professionals ensure that any fixes both look and function as they should. Additionally, if you are unsure about the condition of your EIFS, a professional evaluation can provide clarity.


Synthetic stucco is a great choice for building because it’s energy-efficient, flexible in design, long-lasting, and resists moisture. However, its success depends on doing the installation and upkeep right. This being the case, never hesitate to ask for help from an expert.

For guidance on your home’s stucco surfaces, or to schedule a full home inspection, call Boggs Inspection Services in Olympia, WA, and surrounding areas.

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