EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) are a non-bearing exterior wall cladding made from a layer of rigid foam insulation board covered with a reinforced surface lamina.  Traditional hard coat stucco is a non-bearing exterior wall cladding typically made from a Portland cement based material that is applied in layers over a metal reinforcement such as galvanized lath or galvanized stucco netting.

EIFS Hard Coat Stucco
EIFS can be attached using an adhesive, mechanical fasteners, or both. Hard Coat Stucco uses mechanical attachment through the metal reinforcement over most substrates. If the substrate is clean, bare masonry, the hard coat stucco can be applied directly without the use of metal reinforcement or fasteners.
EIFS can provide a minimum of R3, up to a maximum of R20 Hard Coat Stucco will provide up to a maximum of R1
Color Availability and Uniformity
EIFS is available in any color, with a high degree of uniformity and reporducibility. Hard Coat Stucco is available in limited colors, and is subject to color variability due to the varying effect of cement hydration on color development.
EIFS is available in eight different textures. Hard Coat Stucco is available in a limited variety of sand and freestyle textures,  fully dependent upon the technique skill of the applicator.
EIFS (PB) requires sealant joints at penetrations, at changes in substrate, and at floor lines in wood frame construction.

Hard Coat Stucco requires sealant joints around penetrations, at changes in supstrate, and at floor lines in wood frame construction.

It also requires control joints every 144 square feet, at natural strees points, and any panel areas where the length to width ratio exceeds 2.5:1

EIFS is highly crack resistant and can accommodate building movement. Hard Coat Stucco is typically brittle, and can crack if not propery jointed or cured.



Total Lastic is a premium acrylic elastomeric coating that can be applied to an exterior or interior wall surface by brush, roller or sprayer. Total Lastic is available in two grades called Standard and Premier. The basic difference in the two grades is the Premier grade has more elongation (more stretchable) and can bridge slightly larger cracks. Both grades are excellent coatings, but consider the Premier grade if the substrate has significant cracking.

Total Lastic is also available in three textures:

  • Smooth (non-textured)
  • Sand Texture
  • Repair Texture

How do I know what texture to use?

Use Total Lastic Smooth when you are interested in re-coating or recoloring without altering the existing texture to any large degree. The Total Lastic Smooth will provide excellent coverage (average 600 Sq. Ft. per 5 gallon pail) and excellent crack bridging protection. The Total Lastic Smooth may increase the sheen to an eggshell luster.

Use Total Lastic Sand Texture when you are interested in re-coating and wish to maintain a flat and very slightly textured surface appearance. The Total Lastic Sand Texture can be used to even out slight variations and restore an even flat reflectance to the surface. (Average coverage 500 Sq. Ft. per 5-gallon pail).

Use the Total Lastic Repair texture in all instances where you wish to generate or preserve an even sand-like finish with a natural masonry "floated" look. The Total Lastic Repair texture can eliminate existing imperfections in the texture, and correct color or sheen variations of the wall surface. The result will be even texture, color and flat light reflectance similar to natural masonry or EIFS Finish in appearance. (Average coverage 450 Sq. Ft. per 5-gallon pail).

Roller, spray, or brush can apply any of the three textures. Contact us at our Technical Department if you have any questions or if you would like more information.


Woodpeckers will sometimes choose to make EIFS a home. Woodpeckers will try to keep their home in a specific location. If a tree is cut down where a woodpecker had its home and a house is built where the tree was, the woodpecker will usually try to rebuild its home in the same spot. In this case, it will try to build its home in the exterior wall or trim of a new house. Obviously, the woodpeckers are not trying to damage property, they are merely following their natural instincts. Once the woodpecker penetrates the EIFS Lamina, it can easily carve out a small area of the EPS foam and make a nesting area for itself.

Woodpeckers can be discouraged from nesting in a house or other structure by two environmentally friendly means:

  • Use of a chemical treatment called Ropel. Ropel can be purchased from farm supply houses. It contains Thymol and Benzyldiethyl ammonium saccharide as active ingredients. It is sprayed on full strength in two light applications. Coverage rate is about 2000 square feet per gallon per application. The treatment works by using odor as the repellent mechanism.
  • Use of stuffed or inflatable predators. Owls and snakes and birds of prey placed on the upper elevations on every wall are an effective deterrent to woodpeckers. These artificial predators are also available at farm supply outlets.

Experience has shown that a combination of the spray and stuffed predators work best.

Total Wall does not support shooting or use of poisons or other deadly control means. These deadly control methods are potentially harmful to humans and other creatures and will invariably cause more problems than they solve.


Total Wall has several exterior coating systems that can be used directly over Foam Block construction. One example is the Total Barrier PB Class lamina, which incorporates T2000 base coat and fiberglass mesh. Another popular approach uses Total Wall Tuff II trowel on coating and Total Wall Fiberglass mesh. These coating systems, along with a few others from Total Wall, perform very well as a protective and attractive exterior layer when applied directly over Foam Block.  Typically, the Total Wall Coating Systems are used above grade and a waterproofing membrane or damp proofing coating is used below grade. A question has been raised about how to terminate the Total Wall Coating system near the grade line when a damp proofing coating or waterproofing membrane is present at the grade line.

Frequently, the below grade treatment of Foam Block construction is either a self sticking membrane such as Carlisle 701 for waterproofing or a fibrated emulsion such as Karnak 220 AF for damp-proofing purposes. In either case, the Total Wall Coating System can be carried several inches over the top of the treatment to allow for a proper termination of the Total Wall Coating System. If a fibrated emulsion coating is used, it should be allowed to dry at least 24 hours before receiving any Total Wall coating. The polymer-modified nature of the Total Wall Coatings along with the fiberglass reinforcing mesh will provide good bond and performance over the several inches of membrane sheeting or damp-proofing coating.


Architectural joints are made by cutting straight grooves cut part way into the rigid foam insulation board of an Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS). When the insulation boards are covered with lamina (base coat and finish), the grooves then simulate the appearance of expansion joints for the purpose of stress relief or thermal movement. Although architectural joints are esthetic in nature, they do provide an additional advantage of being natural stops for application of base and finish materials.

Here are some things to remember about architectural joints:

  • Horizontal joints must have the lower surface beveled downward so that water can flow out of the joint.

  • They should not line up with board joints, sheathing joints, or natural stress lines in the structure such as window corners.

  • A 3/4-inch insulation board minimum thickness must be maintained in all EIFS. Therefore, a 3/4-inch insulation board can not receive architectural joints, and a 1 inch thick board can only have a 1/4 inch deep architectural joint, and so on.

  • Higher density insulation boards, such as polyiso board (Quick-R) or 1.5 to 2 pound density polystyrene are higher modulus materials than standard 1 pound density EPS. That means that the higher density (stronger) boards will tend to transfer more of the stresses to the lamina. This translates to more tendencies for cracks to develop in the architectural joints. The bottom line is to be more careful when using higher density insulation board to avoid architectural joints in those systems when possible.
  • Repair of cracks in architectural joints should be done with low modules (easily stretchable) repair materials. These materials will include low modules sealants, elastomeric coatings, and joint repair strips such as Sil-Span from Pecora or System 1-2-3 from Dow-Corning. The type of repair procedure and materials selected will be determined by the system being repaired and severity of the crack problem.