Unlike traditional stucco, which is non-insulating and typically comprised of Portland Cement, sand, and water, synthetic stucco is really not stucco at all. Synthetic stucco generally refers to a type of Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS), an insulating wall coating that may consist of more than one synthetic layer and foam insulation.
It is often used as a façade on a building’s exterior walls in place of cement stucco because it may be more quickly and easily applied. One example is known as one-coat stucco, a synthetic stucco applied as one coat or layer, where traditional stucco is usually applied in three layers. This may suit a wide range of function and design for both structural and decorative needs.
The installation of this EIFS may be an on-site renovation overseen by stucco professionals, or the synthetic stucco may be pre-fabricated into panels and then shipped to the installation site. With the use of adhesives, the stucco is then applied to what is known as the substrate. Common substrates may include new or existing concrete, cinder block, brick, plywood, and other common building materials. It may also be applied to paper or wire mesh over a wood frame or other material for use on various interior and exterior projects.