Stucco Underlayment

xavieralumniAugust 6, 2007

I heard a rumor that stucco houses tend to be "hotter" internally than brick houses. We will be building a stucco house and hearing this statement has made me cautious since this is Louisiana. I figured that if you have the right type of underlayment & insulation, this should not happen. For those of you with stucco houses, please give some advice. We are presently deciding on what type of stucco to use (eifs or traditional). We are trying to find a balance between durability and aesthetics. In other words, we don't want to be able to punch through an exterior wall with our bare hands (eifs)but we also don't want the wavy imperfections I often see on traditional stucco jobs.

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For most FL home, they put stucco over concrete blocks (aka cinder blocks).

I guess your stucco is going to be placed over wood, with something between the wood and the stucco, right?

Maybe consider using concrete block construction if that is an option in your area. It creates one sturdy home - and reduces the termite problem and mold/rot problem.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 3:51PM
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One of the contractors I am considering uses "Durock" as their stucco underlayment. Under the Durock is felt paper then plywood sheathing. Have you ever heard of using Durock as underlayment? I would also wonder if I could use some type of exterior insulation along with the felt paper, durock, etc.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 12:55PM
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I don't know if by your first sentence you mean traditional stucco or EIFS, but I will answer that question as it relates to EIFS. I am providing a link to a new government study that took place over 2-3 yrs. which compares EIFS to traditional stucco, brick and fiber cementboard sidings. It states that when comparing these sidings, EIFS is superior in energy efficiency and moisture control. This study was done in South Carolina which has a similar hot and humid climate to Louisiana.

When you mention that you don't want to be able to punch through an exterior wall with EIFS, I believe you have been misinformed about a true EIFS application. With a proper application, you should never be able to put your hand through an EIFS wall assembly.

With regard to stucco, there are many different types of applications used throughout the country including skimming over block, 3/4 to 5/8 2-3 coat scratch finish over metal lath and even stucco sprayed over chicken wire with black paper.

I think it would be wise to talk with your builder about exactly what type of stucco application and what type of EIFS application he is considering (based on what your home's substrate is). You then may be better able to make an informed decision about which exterior finish makes sense to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: U.S. Dept. of Energy's Report on EIFS

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:13AM
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