As popular building materials, Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) and stucco often appear similar — if not the same. However, EIFS and stucco couldn’t be more different. Stucco, dating back to the Greeks and Romans, is composed of Portland cement, sand and water. EIFS, a lightweight cladding system, is comprised of a polystyrene insulation board secured to the exterior wall with an adhesive or mechanical fasteners, then reinforced with an acrylic plaster and fiberglass mesh on top, and finished with an acrylic and polymer coat that is both colorfast and crack-resistant.
Some of the most notable differences between the two can be detected in energy and thermal efficiency. Unlike stucco, EIFS serves as a continuous insulation system with no thermal bridging due to fasteners, which helps reduce building operation costs as well as air infiltration. EIFS also has the ability to achieve infinite design options with its wide array of aesthetic choices. EIFS can can look like nearly any material on the market; something stucco cannot achieve.