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Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior

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Unread 10-09-2019, 07:27 PM   #1
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Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


*was only able to upload one picture, this one doesn't show the crack as much as other photos but it shows where water is coming in.*

Attached are photos of a cultured stone project I did September, 2018.

The stone has cracked down two of the corners. Both of the sides that cracked have gaps in the wooden cap on top of the cultured stone.

The cap was originally supposed to be a concrete cap that I would have installed with mortar... Instead the builder told me that they would install their own cap because the concrete caps were too expensive.

The wooden caps have now shrunk over a winter and a summer and corners have cracked. Not only did it shrink, there is also no caulking/sealant to close the gap between the top of the stone and the wooden cap, leaving up to 1/4 inch gap in spots.

This wooden cap non-sense was done after my job was inspected by the project manager and I was fully paid.

My back ground before my 7 years in stone masonry is stucco prep/ waterproofing. I know how to water proof a building.

I use 2 layers of tar paper, I always overlap my lath(MESH) and fasten to every stud. I prepped this job like every other one I have done. I haven't had any problems with any previous job.

Another thing I should mention is that this particular cultured stone, Eldorado Stone - Quartz Stacked Stone, is unique to any other cultured stone I've used. It is extremely soft and doesn't seems to have an exterior (for example black cultured stone has a black exterior but the inside is light cement color....the white stone that I used is the same throughout, a cut edge looks the same as the facade. Its so soft that you can carve the stone with a trowel.

So now I have been contacted by the builder, who has been in contact with the supplier and they want all of this to be my fault. They are saying that I didnt overlap my lath properly at the corners.

Who do you think is at fault here?

Am I liable?

At this point its only been a couple days since I was notified.

I suppose it'll get taken apart in the near future for inspection.

If this really does come down to being my fault I will take responsibility for it, but I don't think I am.

Any Advice on How to Proceed?

SIDE NOTES:
-The base of these cultured stone planter beds is on about 10-12 foot tall foundation wall in an area of town that has already had problems with ground movement.

-Builder was cutting corners on this house due to a big foundation screw up that happened earlier and need to be re-done. They ate up too much of their budget early on. (hence no concrete caps as per the plans)

I am a small masonry company so this is a stressful situation. Any help is appreciated, Thank-you.
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Cracked cultured stone house exterior-img_0542.jpg  

Last edited by Stonebuilt; 10-09-2019 at 09:01 PM. Reason: picture is sideways
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Unread 10-09-2019, 07:41 PM   #2
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


if the product is appropriate for that application...

and you installed it per the manufacturers specs...

doesn't seem like it is a liability to you.

assuming that you did not prepare, install or approve any substrate.

also the builder eliminating the masonry cap seems to be part of the issue also.

another thought is if the pm approved your work you should be ok.

sounds like you had a cheap azz builder that had previous errors and now wants someone else to pay for his latest screw up.

Good Luck.

PS- Please learn to use the space bar and write with paragraphs. Without them it makes a long post very difficult to read.

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Last edited by griz; 10-09-2019 at 07:43 PM.
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Unread 10-09-2019, 07:52 PM   #3
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
if the product is appropriate for that application...

and you installed it per the manufacturers specs...

doesn't seem like it is a liability to you.

assuming that you did not prepare, install or approve any substrate.

also the builder eliminating the masonry cap seems to be part of the issue also.

another thought is if the pm approved your work you should be ok.

sounds like you had a cheap azz builder that had previous errors and now wants someone else to pay for his latest screw up.

Good Luck.

PS- Please learn to use the space bar and write with paragraphs. Without them it makes a long post very difficult to read.
It sounds that way to me too. I am confident that my work is done to the manufactures specifications. It's still early in the whole process, I was first notified about this 2 days ago.
I suppose until it gets ripped apart nobody will believe me.
I will update as I get new information.
Thanks!
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Unread 10-09-2019, 08:01 PM   #4
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Where are you located? Do you have winter temps below freezing? If so, that would lead me to think "builder error" for skimping on that cheap wood cap.

Which reminds me....I have a neighbor a couple blocks away that's having the brick stone veneer (three stories, plus gable) torn off and redone. Not a small job. I've been wondering why, and meaning to meddle and inquire over there.
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Unread 10-09-2019, 08:12 PM   #5
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Quote:
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Where are you located? Do you have winter temps below freezing? If so, that would lead me to think "builder error" for skimping on that cheap wood cap.

Which reminds me....I have a neighbor a couple blocks away that's having the brick stone veneer (three stories, plus gable) torn off and redone. Not a small job. I've been wondering why, and meaning to meddle and inquire over there.
Yes, we get freezing temperatures that get as low as -15C.

I feel quite confident that if I was able to mortar on my concrete cap that the crack wouldn't have happened.

Nothing about the existing wooden cap seems okay.

Id be interested to hear whats going on with that brick veneer if you're feeling like meddling, haha.
thanks
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Unread 10-09-2019, 08:26 PM   #6
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonebuilt View Post
Yes, we get freezing temperatures that get as low as -15C.

I feel quite confident that if I was able to mortar on my concrete cap that the crack wouldn't have happened.

Nothing about the existing wooden cap seems okay.

Id be interested to hear whats going on with that brick veneer if you're feeling like meddling, haha.
thanks
I meant to just say stone veneer.

I shall inquire.
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Unread 10-09-2019, 09:45 PM   #7
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Got pictures of your process?




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Unread 10-10-2019, 08:31 AM   #8
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Sounds like water leaked in from top cap gaps, soaked into the wood substrate, froze, expanded and cracked the stone.
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Unread 10-10-2019, 11:37 AM   #9
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordekyle View Post
Got pictures of your process?




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unfortunately not
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Unread 10-10-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


You won't know until you dissect it, take lots of pictures every step of the way. You will see the water marks leading back to the problem area.

I am trying to follow a water leak at a condo where I represent the homeowner and no one wanted to tear anything out but they wanted to all blame the other guy. After my customer sending everyone a letter telling the he was going to just sue everyone they tore it apart.

Sure enough leak went right back to a mechanical box on the roof that was the problem. Which the engineer initially said there was no way it could leak because he designed it.
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Unread 10-10-2019, 10:57 PM   #11
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


I suppose tearing off the cap and getting down into it would show water has penetrated.

Once you show your workmanship, you should be off the hook.

Then, they just need to find someone to put it back together.


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Unread 10-11-2019, 03:23 AM   #12
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


You need to get the Faux stone tested for adequate cement % i.e. its compression strength in PSI, and how much water it absorbs in 24 HRs

ASTM tests.

Call the supplier and factory HOT-line, did you an INDOOR product out of doors?

Was it produced legally under licence or is it a Knock off product

Did you use any sealer that doesn't breathe?

The wood cap needs a tin cover that turns up under the siding, and the miter gap caulked.....

This pile of manure doesn't pass the "Red Pencil" rain screen test.

YOU NEED your insurance company to HIRE you a lawyer NOW.
You should have left when the money dried up on the non- functional footings...... Greed mouse trapped you into building on a broken footing?
Be polite, ADMIT NOTHING.

If the foundation is MOVING/ broken, Jesus couldn't fix this.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 07:40 AM   #13
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


rotated
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Unread 10-11-2019, 07:46 AM   #14
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Are the cracks primarily at corners and/or near window/door openings?

I did a bunch of condos with lik & stik.

Got cracks at corners as described above.

Also all entries had at least 1 column with the bottom half covered in lik & stik, and these supported overhangs and rested on concrete entry slab. Approx 1/2 of those had cracks on corners.

The install was good. The new buildings were done in fall and winter and continued to shift/settle through spring.

Stone doesn't bend well - even fake chit. However, the fake chit is also brittle and weak, and a crack will telegraph right on up a line once it has gotten a good start.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 07:55 AM   #15
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


And PS, as regards flashing: just as you described, I/me/aka "the builder" installed metal flashing, which was done by the siding company. It was the look we wanted, since the upper columns and walls were trimmed in full 1" rough-sawn plank.

In other words, I ate it. That was on 75 duplex condos. Just how life goes.

You best come out swinging, and swing hard.

I've looked at dozens and dozens of other faux stone installs elsewhere, and have seen this several times.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 08:16 AM   #16
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


These are shots of the exact condos. Quite a bit of front elevation variability. The shells were all constructed the same way though.

There are a couple that have paid extra and the stone wrapped all around and onto the rear elevation, none happened to show up just now via google and mls.
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Unread 10-11-2019, 01:51 PM   #17
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Contact the manufacturer and ask them to put in writing that what the builder did with the wood cap is an "approved" method of termination.

My feeling is the manufacturer will say it isn't, which then gets you off the hook.

PS. Pretty obvious water is going to run down behind with that huge open miter.
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Unread Yesterday, 10:39 PM   #18
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


behind my veneers on wood I have a drainage plain material.
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Unread Today, 07:01 AM   #19
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


I don't think this crack has anything to do with stone installation, more likely the cause for that crack is framing or foundation movement.
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Unread Today, 07:17 AM   #20
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Re: Cracked Cultured Stone House Exterior


Quote:
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I don't think this crack has anything to do with stone installation, more likely the cause for that crack is framing or foundation movement.
That should be easy to see, if the cracks are that large outside, the interior cracks should be that size or larger inside

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