Synthetic stucco AKA EIFS, which stands for Exterior Insulated Finish Surfaces has been installed in residential applications since the early 1980's here in the United States. Synthetic stucco has been around since after World War II, introduced primarily in Europe to help speed up the process of recovery and rebuilding after the war. Synthetic stucco looks great, is easy to shape to create decorative coins and corner keystones on a home. It is a very good insulating system primarily due to the 1 ½ to 2-inch thick Styrofoam insulation that is incorporated into the system. It is one of the most expensive exterior cladding systems on the market provided it has been installed correctly. That is the apparent problem; no one seems to know how to install it correctly. Some of the bigger manufactures of these types of systems are: Dryvit, Sto, Bonsol and United States Gypsum to name a few. The typical installation for EIFS is as follows: the systems can be applied over brick or concrete block or plywood or OSB, just like a hardcoat system. The Styrofoam is then applied by either gluing or mechanical fasteners per manufactures details of the systems. A fiberglass mesh is applied with a skim coat of mortar and then secondary mortar coat applied over the Styrofoam to complete the finish. All manufacturers of the system recommend proper back wrapping and appropriate usage of backer rods and caulk at all penetrations. These penetrations to include all outside electrical outlets and light fixtures, windows and door trim terminations, A/C refrigerant lines or termination where two dissimilar materials meet.