FAQs About Synthetic Stucco

Synthetic stucco—also called EIFS—is an extremely popular exterior building material, especially in warm, dry climates. It first rose to popularity in Europe and began to be embraced as an alternative to traditional stucco in the U.S. in the 1960s. It has been used with great results for decades and is a favorite material of homeowners and builders alike. It is also a popular material in commercial real estate. If you’re considering buying a move-in ready home that has synthetic stucco or are designing a custom home and are using this material for the exterior, you are likely to have some questions. Here is what you need to know.

What exactly is synthetic stucco?

Synthetic stucco is a six-layer exterior finishing system that mimics the appearance of traditional stucco using more affordable materials. It is frequently used as a finish over wood frame houses, but can be applied over other materials. The six layers of synthetic stucco include a water-resistant barrier, adhesive, insulation, a base coat, a reinforcement mesh, and a texturized, finishing top coat. You often can’t tell the difference between synthetic and traditional stucco by looking at it. If you tap the surface of the material and it sounds hollow, then it is synthetic stucco.

Is there a risk of water damage with synthetic stucco?

Some homeowners are wary about synthetic stucco because they recall an issue in the 1990s that involved water damage behind stucco siding. Although similar issues were found with brick, wood, and vinyl siding and leaky windows were ultimately found to be the cause, the impression that stucco was to blame lingered. Today’s synthetic stucco has an integrated drainage system, and experienced homebuilders can use it without any issues.

How do I care for synthetic stucco?

Synthetic stucco is extremely easy to care for. Simply brush with a cleaning solution containing bleach and trisodium phosphate and rinse. Allow the solution to sit on the siding for about 15 minutes before rinsing.


The skilled home builders at Miramonte Homes use synthetic stucco to create beautiful homes in the Tucson area. For more information about our communities, call (520) 615-8900.