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How different cladding materials stack up

Today’s most popular cladding materials include vinyl siding, exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS), stucco and masonry. Here’s a look at how they compare for maintenance, cleaning, durability, life cycle cost and fire safety:

Maintenance Cleaning Durability Typical Lifespan Fire safety
Vinyl siding High, susceptible to mold Requires regular cleaning Vulnerable to damage from extreme weather and projectiles Unknown Combustible, adds to fire load, potential toxic emissions
EIFS High, susceptible to mildew, dirt Requires regular cleaning Vulnerable to damage from extreme weather, moisture and projectiles 20 – 25 years May melt due to extreme heat from fire, does not contain fire
Stucco Medium, may crack or need repainting Minimal Vulnerable to cracks, damage from projectiles Unknown in Canadian climate Non-combustible, fire resistance unknown
Masonry (brick, block, stone) Low, requires little-to-no upkeep Minimal Impact-resistant and designed for water management 100 years or more Prevents fire from spreading, noncombustible, more than 2-hour fire resistance

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