Maintaining Synthetic Stucco

If your home is sided with synthetic stucco, you should not worry about the overall condition of your home. If you have the time to maintain your home and give it periodic inspections, your synthetic stucco should last many years and provide few problems.

What Is Synthetic Stucco?

Synthetic stucco is actually called EIFS, or Exterior Insulations and Finish System. It incorporates some lightweight foam boards that are coated with a type of acrylic that looks like a stucco finish when completed.

Synthetic stucco has been called a 'maintenance-free' type of siding. However, there is no such thing as a maintenance-free building product. Regular inspections and cleaning will help you keep on top of any damage, or potential damage.

Is It Synthetic or Real?

Sometimes it is hard to tell from the appearance whether or not your stucco siding is real or synthetic. They both finish the same way, and looks can be deceiving. There is an easy test that will tell you for sure:

  • Tap the surface - If the surface of your stucco sounds hollow, then it is synthetic stucco siding. Real stucco will sound heavy.
  • Lightly press the surface - Real stucco is very hard and will not give, while synthetic stucco has a slight give in it.
  • Feel under the bottom edge - If you can reach up under the bottom edge of the stucco surface, then it is more than likely synthetic stucco system.

Maintaining Your Synthetic Stucco

Regular maintenance will help ensure that your stucco siding stays free from damage.

Start your inspection at all the corners and seams. Any damage will start here. Check to make sure that there aren't any chips, cracks or sections that are pulling away.

Inspect after storms. If you live in an area that is prone to extreme weather, checking after windstorms can show any damage that you you should address immediately.

Do not use a drill to attach anything to the siding. Any way for water to potentially seep in will cause tremendous unseen damage not only to your siding, but to the actual wall of your house.

Never let your synthetic stucco system make contact with the ground. Any moisture there will be absorbed by the foam or acrylic coating and be sucked to the actual wood surface.

Certain manufacturers offer have their own requirements for cleaning, maintaining and repairing their brand of stucco. Adhere to these directions and your synthetic stucco system will be relatively hassle-free.