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What Are the Pros and Cons of a Stucco Roof?

Tiffany Manley
Tiffany Manley

The use of a stucco roof in the construction of a building has several advantages and disadvantages. Two types of stucco are usually used in the construction industry, and each one has its own separate set of pros and cons. Cement stucco has been used for many years, and synthetic stucco, also known as exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), is a modern type of stucco. Cement stucco is extremely durable, long-lasting and efficient, but it also is susceptible to cracking and comes with a high price tag. EIFS is easier to install, comes in a range of colors, is less prone to cracking and is a superior insulating material, but it does not allow water or water vapors to pass through.

Cement stucco is a very durable and long-lasting roofing material. It is essentially a layer of rock covering a building, meaning that it is stronger in harsh weather situations and lasts a very long time. Several steps are involved in the application of stucco that provide layers of insulation, so a cement stucco roof is extremely energy efficient. In addition, the cement in the stucco roof allows water and water vapors to pass through, usually preventing wood rot caused by trapped water.


A cement stucco roof is susceptible to cracking if a building settles, sinks or moves. These cracks might be easily repaired by a professional, but they do represent an extra cost of home ownership. In addition, because of the multiple steps and curing process involved in stucco application, buildings that are made with cement stucco are usually more expensive.

EIFS requires fewer steps in the installation process and does not need to be cured. The final layer can be tinted with paint, so EIFS comes in a variety of colors to match the tastes of the owner. In addition, the owner has more options of textures and designs on the finishing layer than he or she would when using cement stucco. If EIFS is installed properly, it is considered to be very energy efficient. With fewer installation and application steps, no curing time and the type of material used under the top layer, EIFS is known to be less prone to cracking.

Although EIFS creates extreme efficiency, it also has a tendency to trap water underneath the surface. Strides have been made to improve this tendency, but this often does not prevent water from being trapped under the stucco roof. This might cause rot and other problems in the building.

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