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Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco

 
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:23 PM   #1
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Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


If the project calls for construction of a new reinforced CMU garden retaining wall with drainage and waterproofing, where the wall is to be finished with stucco, what level of waterproofing would you apply? One coat of bituminous paint, two coats (as recommended on the label and done for basement waterproofing), protective dimpled membrane?; would you parge the mortar joints on the hill facing side of the wall and apply the coating to the mortar joints too, or just to the CMU block surfaces? I'm asking because I'm looking at a wall that has some bituminous paint applied, but not covering the mortar joints and other imperfections, and during the last rain the wall seemed soaked with water making the whole waterproofing effort seem really ineffective. The water seems to find it's way through the joints, or holes or imperfections in the joints, and into and through the masonry units. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


Parge the entire wall where it meets the earth, 2 coats of waterproofing coatings, 1 layer of Delta MS, weeping tile at the bottom, covered with filter cloth and gravel cover

Same as a basement

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Old 12-05-2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


What was applied is definitely not waterproofing. I wouldn't even call it dampproofing. What Chris posted is one of the best you could do. Or covering with peel and stick, or a spray on rubberized coating. Tar is NOT waterproofing...it's damp proofing and it absolutely needs to be parged and the joints covered for it to even be that
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:24 PM   #4
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


Could also go the route of cementitious coatings such as Thoroseal for long term performance.

It's pretty much standard for my retainers to leave open head joints or weeps holes of some sort, backed by 4" perf pipe and plenty of washed 3/4" stone and filter fabric.

For the finished wall side and caps, I use Sure Klean PD to keep saturation and efflorescence at bay. Then again depends on materials you're using...
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:20 AM   #5
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


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What was applied is definitely not waterproofing. I wouldn't even call it dampproofing. What Chris posted is one of the best you could do. Or covering with peel and stick, or a spray on rubberized coating. Tar is NOT waterproofing...it's damp proofing and it absolutely needs to be parged and the joints covered for it to even be that
Thanks for everybody responding. I forgot to mention that I'm in California. Maybe in California, just painting a bit of bituminous paint without full coverage, without parging and without covering mortar joints etc. is standard? For those who don't know: CA (Los Angeles) is pretty dry, but we can have wet winters every few years with relatively heavy rain storms. To be clear, I do know how to properly waterproof a wall; I was just wondering what the standard way in California is that can be expected from a contractor, when the project specifies waterproofing of a landscape retaining wall without further details; the other question is whether it's worth the extra effort/expense of full waterproofing of a retaining wall in CA. How will it likely affect the longevity of the stucco on the visible side, and/or the wall itself.

Last edited by comegetme; 12-06-2014 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:22 AM   #6
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


Regardless, what the 'standard' way of waterproofing and how dry it is in your state, the waterproofing that's already been applied isn't working.

The way Chris and Dom-mas explained is the best ways to go ahead and do it right.

It's cheaper to go ahead and fix it right regardless of the cost.

Good Luck
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


Thanks again for the opinions posted. I personally couldn't agree more with doing it the right way with full fledged water proofing e.g. the way Chris described it, the first time around; and again, I do know how to do it. If anybody from California has a chance to chime in what contractor typically do for waterproofing a retaining landscape wall with stucco on the visible side, I'd be really curious to hear about it. I know California is often very cheap Also, I'd be happy to hear about real world examples of failing stucco on a landscape wall for lack of waterproofing on the hill side of the wall. Again, I personally would do it 'right' the first time in any case; but as not everything is always under my control on the job site, I would like to base my opinion on real world examples if possible, preferably from locations in a relatively dry climate. Thanks again for all the replies!
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Old 12-06-2014, 02:23 PM   #8
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


No matter where you are in N America, the terms "waterproofing" and "'damp proofing" are the same. Tar is NOT waterproofing, it's damp proofing

Never been to california...there are one or two masons that are members here from california but I haven't seen either one in a while
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Old 12-30-2014, 09:33 AM   #9
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


I would use a roll on secondary water moisture vapor barrier, such a TIQUEguard.
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Old 12-31-2014, 04:43 AM   #10
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


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I would use a roll on secondary water moisture vapor barrier, such a TIQUEguard.
What would be the purpose of a "secondary" (secondary to what?) moisture vapor barrier in the scenario described in this thread? Is this spam?!
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:40 AM   #11
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


Don't know exactly what your retaining. With that said I assume earth as do most. Next to waterproofing below grade, the second and just as important factor to control is hydraulic pressure. As nature and gravity work together ie. Rain and settling of the fill or material that is being retained. There is the pressure created by nature. I've never done any retaining wall without the addition of weep tubing placed strategically through out the length of the wall. By tubing I mean pvc pipe that penetrates the wall, diameter not so important. Used 1" up to 4" then I fill the pipe with sand. Most of the time I'll cap the side that will be exposed with duct tape to be removed after back fill and or wall is finished. This works in conjunction with the French drain on the side retaining is taking place. The piping should be installed close to level of your perforated drain pipe/ french drain. It's insurance to assure longevity to the wall.
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:40 AM   #12
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


The first line of protection against water intrusion in typical applications is your drain planes and flashing. Secondary water vapor moisture barriers are either Tyvek wraps or a roll on barrier. Most cementitious manufacturers make a roll on barrier. It is easily rolled on like paint and forms a water and air proof membrane.

For this type of direct application, to provide moisture barrier, I believe a roll on barrier would be best suited.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:19 AM   #13
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


California's a very large state with some areas getting tremendous amounts of rain and others, specifically in the desert, hardly getting any. Unless you're located in one of the deserts (and sometimes even there) it rains more than enough during the rainy season everywhere in the state to have poor workmanship or lack of attention to details show up when the rainy season comes.

From what you wrote I would say the wall wasn't even damp proofed as the easiest path of travel for moisture is going to be through the mortar. Depending on how important it is to keep the moisture out, the budget, and the immediate surroundings will help determine the appropriate course of action.

We work in southern California and a while back had a house with a stem wall and raised floor foundation that had moisture coming through the stem wall . by diverting the water on the outside of the stem wall using ground level concrete gutters and using thoroseal on the inside of the stem wall the problem was resolved. This method is not as efficient as the one Chris laid out, just happened to work in our situation for a number of reasons.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:47 AM   #14
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


Quote:
Originally Posted by EIFSdepot View Post
The first line of protection against water intrusion in typical applications is your drain planes and flashing. Secondary water vapor moisture barriers are either Tyvek wraps or a roll on barrier. Most cementitious manufacturers make a roll on barrier. It is easily rolled on like paint and forms a water and air proof membrane.

For this type of direct application, to provide moisture barrier, I believe a roll on barrier would be best suited.
I apologize but since it's an earth retaining garden wall, I think your product would be misplaced. I don't think the soil has to be protected from moisture passing through the stucco, as the soil itself will be very wet in rainy conditions. I never heard of a garden retaining wall needing a vapor barrier like Tyvek. Again, have you read the thread before posting/advertising your product? thanks again and sorry if I misunderstood the function of your vapor barrier. This thread is about a completely different scenario.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:06 PM   #15
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


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California's a very large state with some areas getting tremendous amounts of rain and others, specifically in the desert, hardly getting any. Unless you're located in one of the deserts (and sometimes even there) it rains more than enough during the rainy season everywhere in the state to have poor workmanship or lack of attention to details show up when the rainy season comes.

From what you wrote I would say the wall wasn't even damp proofed as the easiest path of travel for moisture is going to be through the mortar. Depending on how important it is to keep the moisture out, the budget, and the immediate surroundings will help determine the appropriate course of action.

We work in southern California and a while back had a house with a stem wall and raised floor foundation that had moisture coming through the stem wall . by diverting the water on the outside of the stem wall using ground level concrete gutters and using thoroseal on the inside of the stem wall the problem was resolved. This method is not as efficient as the one Chris laid out, just happened to work in our situation for a number of reasons.
Thank you, Rio, for your input. Finally someone from California The location in question is Los Angeles, and as I said, while a dry climate, we have a number of heavy rains almost each season. Other, older garden walls on the same property show lots of efflorescence, which was to be avoided on the new wall.
Rio, would you say that when the contract/specification calls for "waterproofing" of the new garden retaining wall, it could be expected that at least all holes/grout lines between the CMUs are filled with mortar, and kind of smoothed out (parged), and a contiguous roll-on membrane of bituminous material applied on the back of the CMUs (rather than just in patches and not covering the grout lines)? Again, my question was what can be expected in California when the contract says "waterproofing" without further detail, not how it should be properly done (which I know myself). As we speak, I am looking at a new garden wall with lots of holes and cement protrusions in the grout lines between the CMU blocks on the back, with black bitumen half-heartedly applied with various thickness, not forming a contiguous membrane and not covering the grout lines, and so thin that the cement can be seen through the very thin patch of bitumen on some parts of the wall. My question was whether that is acceptabe when the contract says "waterproofing" without further detail. Thanks again!

On a side note, because of the half-heartedly applied bitumen, it seems almost impossible to smooth the grout lines and protrusions with cement as a base for a properly, contiguous bitumen layer, without getting rid of the already applied, spotty bitumen first.

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Old 12-31-2014, 12:20 PM   #16
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


By your description it seems obvious to me that they did an unacceptable job at "waterproofing" the back of the garden wall.
The slump from the mortar should be scraped off (easy enough to do), divots filled and a good liquid membrane re-applied.

This was pretty standard for me to do when I was building.

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Old 12-31-2014, 12:37 PM   #17
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


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By your description it seems obvious to me that they did an unacceptable job at "waterproofing" the back of the garden wall.
The slump from the mortar should be scraped off (easy enough to do), divots filled and a good liquid membrane re-applied.

This was pretty standard for me to do when I was building.

Andy.
Thank you, Andy, for your input! It looks like it would have been easy, with negligibly more labor and material, to do this properly in the first place while the wall was being built. By now, a couple weeks later, while the wall is not back filled yet, there's a mix of cement and bitumen patches on the back, with lots of dirt splashed on to the surface from the rains, that presumably would need to be cleaned and/or the bitumen patches scraped off in parts before applying a new contiguous layer (as additional mortar to fill the divots presumably does not stick to the bitumen?), to fix this. Again, thanks for your input, and I'd be happy to hear more opinions from locals about this. While I do want a good job, I don't want to make it hard on the contractor, and I want to take into account what's customary locally in terms of detail, given the specification/requirements that I described in my first post. Thanks again to all who gave their input so far.

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Old 12-31-2014, 12:44 PM   #18
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


Well if there is membrane in the grout lines now not much can be done about it and it will probably be OK.

I would have the guys knock off any big protrusions then hose off the dirt clinging to the wall and reapply the membrane over the existing (it will stick) and any thin areas.
I do not see any reason to try and take off the membrane that is there.

No big deal.

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Old 12-31-2014, 12:53 PM   #19
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


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Well if there is membrane in the grout lines now not much can be done about it and it will probably be OK.

I would have the guys knock off any big protrusions then hose off the dirt clinging to the wall and reapply the membrane over the existing (it will stick) and any thin areas.
I do not see any reason to try and take off the membrane that is there.

No big deal.

Andy.
... there is NO membrane on most grout lines. I did a test with a water hose, and most water travels right through the grout lines into the wall and out on the other side. There are curved wall sections with lots of holes in between the wall blocks, that I think now are a little more tricky to patch with cement in between all the bitumen patches. Otherwise, I agree to add bitumen to the existing, of course. thanks again.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:55 PM   #20
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Re: Waterproofing Of Garden Retaining Wall With Stucco


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Don't know exactly what your retaining. With that said I assume earth as do most. Next to waterproofing below grade, the second and just as important factor to control is hydraulic pressure. As nature and gravity work together ie. Rain and settling of the fill or material that is being retained. There is the pressure created by nature. I've never done any retaining wall without the addition of weep tubing placed strategically through out the length of the wall. By tubing I mean pvc pipe that penetrates the wall, diameter not so important. Used 1" up to 4" then I fill the pipe with sand. Most of the time I'll cap the side that will be exposed with duct tape to be removed after back fill and or wall is finished. This works in conjunction with the French drain on the side retaining is taking place. The piping should be installed close to level of your perforated drain pipe/ french drain. It's insurance to assure longevity to the wall.
Depending on the height of the wall and how much earth it's retaining some sort of way of getting the water out from behind the retaining wall is really important. If you look at the pictures of the nice brick wall up the thread you can see the weep holes at the bottom course.

I read a book, think it was called something like 'Construction projects from Hell' that was written by a forensic architect and one of the investigations he did was in regard to a large retaining wall that had collapsed, taking a bunch of cars with it; it turned out the owner didn't like seeing the water running out of the weep holes and when he had the wall painted had the painting contractor plug the holes. He did such a good job that the water had no place to go and after a couple of big storms loaded up so much more weight behind the retaining wall (about a 10' wall if I recollect correctly) that the added weight pushed the wall over.

That book had a lot of really good information in it on how one can get royally screwed on construction projects as well as how the problem isn't what it always seems to be. There was another case in there where waterproofing on walls in a condo project had failed. In that case the waterproofing 'contractor' was the low bidder; so low he couldn't make any money using the correct material so what he did was for the first pass use the correct material and then took the empty containers and filled them with cheap stuff that looked similar but wasn't the same quality.

He had a bunch of walls to do with multiple coats and every time he finished the layer would take the original containers and refill at his shop with the bad stuff. No one noticed until winter came with the rains. This was in California where the normal pattern is dry summers and wet winters.

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