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There are two types of stucco commonly found as siding on US homes: traditional stucco siding and synthetic siding.
Traditional stucco is made from Portland cement, sand, lime, and water. Three coats of the mixture are applied over a lath base and are then coated with an acrylic-polymer finish. This is to avoid cracking.
Synthetic stucco siding is multilayered; made of a foam insulation board, fiberglass mesh, and a top coat. It is lighter in weight than traditional.
Synthetic stucco is a better insulator than traditional stucco siding. It is also more flexible. And unlike poorly installed traditional stucco, synthetic stucco does not yellow or fade.
Traditional stucco is less likely to absorb rain water than synthetic stucco siding. Similarly, synthetic stucco is a lighter material. Traditional stucco siding will hold up better to hail storms. And while synthetic is more energy efficient, it isn’t by much.
Both types are fire resistant and hold up well against insect infestation. They are available in a variety of styles and colors.
Traditional and synthetic stucco is an incredible insulator of both warm and cool air. With stucco, it is cheap and easy to maintain a constant interior temperature. This is one of the main reasons stucco is so popular in extreme heat.
Stucco is in a medium price range and should be installed by a professional.