All About Stucco Foam

applying adhesive to foam board

Stucco foam can be used to change the outside architectural look of your home with no construction required. It can change your home from something average looking to something extraordinary by creating trims and accents where there were none before. This product will also work well if you need to provide some curb appeal to sell your home. A do-it-yourselfer can enhance the look of a typical home in a single weekend. Here's some more information about stucco foam.

Easy to Install

Few tools are required to install stucco foam. All that's required is a saw to cut the foam, carpenter's glue (or glue supplied with the product) to position it to a door, wall or window, caulk to hold it in place and make the seams are weatherproof, and standard household paint to color the accents to match the look of your home. It also trims easily to retrofit any window replacements. No special carpentry skills are required to install stucco foam. Most manufacturers also supply easy to understand instructions with the product.


stucco side of a house

Stucco foam is affordable and much cheaper than adding architectural features the standard way with wood. Some manufacturer's claim that their stucco foam is more durable than wood, but there have been some issues regarding the product's durability and strength. See the next points to learn more.

Moisture Penetration

When joints are not properly sealed, moisture penetration can happen. Once moisture gets behind the stucco foam, there's a higher chance of mold growing which looks bad and is also an allergen. Mold will completely destroy the foam meaning replacement is necessary if you want to maintain the design you created. Sometimes the mold spreads to other outside surfaces of the house. The chance of moisture penetration can be increased by improperly installed flashing (the plastic installed under doors and windows to divert rain water) that directs water to the seams of the stucco foam causing them to deteriorate much faster.

Easily Damaged

Stucco foam is generally not as sturdy as wood architectural accents. It's easy to dent. This means if you have sports minded children playing basketball or soccer near the foam structural accents, expect dents in the synthetic stucco. Most stucco foam is strengthened with fiberglass meshing between the foam and the top layer of structure. But damage can still occur even with this added strength if the architectural accent is hit with enough force. Dents and cracks need to be repaired immediately so water doesn't get behind the foam and cause mold to grow.

Not Fireproof

The polystyrene foam board used in stucco board is not fireproof and easily catches fire. The cement-like stucco surface reduces the combustibility but the foam still has a low melting point. Dark stucco foam has the potential to absorb enough heat from the sun to melt the foam and cause a fire, so it's a good idea to paint sections exposed to a lot of sun a lighter color to reflect the sunlight and reduce the chance of overheating.