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Frequently Asked Stucco Questions

stucco-faqIn this article we will tackle the frequently asked questions about stucco. It’s really important that we learn all that we can about this construction material, especially if you’re considering it in the hot, humid, and storm-prone area of Dallas, Texas.

How can you distinguish stucco from E.I.F.S.?

Before we discuss their differences, let’s first start defining EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System), which is used to protect, insulate and waterproof exterior walls. It’s made with different layers such as a moisture barrier, foam insulation, a basecoat of plastic cement, a fiberglass reinforced mesh and finally, the finishes. Both stucco and EIFS are hardly distinguishable from each other since they use the same type of finishes, but their differences can be seen more clearly through their interior layers.

Traditional stucco uses three thick coats that can be almost an inch thick while EIFS only uses a cement stucco of less than a fourth of an inch thick. You can detect the difference by tapping on the finished wall. An EIFS enforced wall will have hollow sound when tapped while traditionally stucco enforced wall will give a solid sound. EIFS will also give in a little if gently pressed due to the thinness of its cement stucco layer.

What is acrylic stucco?

Acrylic stucco is composed of high-quality acrylics and is known for its adhesion, flexibility, breath-ability, sturdiness and texture. A special type of ceramic and aggregate compound is also added to the mixture to get an ideal stucco texture surface yet with additional characteristics that are not found in usual dry mix ratios of stucco. Among these characteristics are water and moisture resistance, long bonding life, UV protection, cracking and peeling resistance and resistance to extreme temperature and humidity range.

What is the brown coat in stucco?

The brown coat is the intermediate layer between the plaster-based “scratch” layer and the final finish layer. It’s made up of a mixture of cement, lime and sand and is prepared to make a smooth and even surface for the finish coat. It’s important that these three layers are sprayed with water if they’re being cured during the hot dry Dallas summer season or you’ll be left with a week and brittle stucco.

Final Words

Here’s a short summary of our FAQ. EIFS and stucco are pretty much indistinguishable on the exterior unless one will look at their inner layers. EIFS utilizes a thinner coating and more varieties of material than its traditional counterpart. Acrylic stucco is a special stucco mixture that’s designed to resist weathering and last a long time. Finally, the brown is an intermediate layer that provides a smooth surface for finishes.

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