Stucco mess


  #1  
Old 04-04-16, 06:48 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Stucco mess

Hired a stucco guy to work on some stucco around 4 windows. They spilled a lot of stucco mix.

When they did the headers of the window blobs of the stucco mix dropped everywhere, some got on the bottom tracks of the window, and some got on the bottom of the wall where I have clay pavers. Also some got onto hosebibs and water shutoff valves. They only worked in some areas but their footprint with stucco coming in and out hundreds of times pretty much got it all over.

When they cleaned up they used a garden hose and sprayed all the pavers. At first it looked ok when the pavers were wet, but after a few hours when it dries up I see a white haze all over, and many many spots of stucco on the pavers. I tried to remove it with a bush broom, no luck, with a metal wire brush that worked but it would be insane to try and wire brush 1600SF of my paver deck. I called the stucco guy and he said that's fairly typical and a couple of rain storm and some traffic wear and tear it will not be noticeable after a few months...called again the next day and got the "he is not available right now will call you back..."

I spent four hours cleaning all of the stucco off window tracks, frames, hose bibs and water valves. Now I am trying to figure out how to deal with the clay paver deck. Will it clean up if I pressure wash the entire deck?









If I wash it and when it's wet it looks OK once it dries the spots, the patches and the white haze returns. Here is a picture of my deck when it's half wet.

 
  #2  
Old 04-04-16, 07:08 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,161
Received 937 Votes on 855 Posts
A stiff scrub brush on a broom handle and a muriatic acid scrub, followed by a power washing (or at least a good hosing off) will clean it right up. Water and muriatic acid should be mixed no stronger than 8:1. Wear protective clothing, gloves, and eye protection.
 
  #3  
Old 04-04-16, 07:29 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I have found that a product called Sure Klean is better than Muriatic Acid. The local stone yard should have it.
 
  #4  
Old 04-05-16, 03:26 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,145
Received 403 Votes on 359 Posts
I've always seen muratic acid used but have you contacted the stucco guy! Ideally he'd be the one to come back and clean up his mess!! I suppose he's already been paid
 
  #5  
Old 04-05-16, 03:02 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I will check into muriatic acid and Sure Klean.

Yes I paid them in full already. When they used the garden hose to wash my deck the clay bricks looked fine when wet. It's when it dried up the white haze and numerous spots all over showed up and by then it's too late. I also didn't notice the stucco they dropped on the window tracks until later.

I have called them multiple times and they are obviously hoping I would stop calling if they keep ignoring me. I have left another message telling them I would call BBB and also write them a bad review on Yelp if they do not call me back.

Now my question is, with each day passed, is this stuff going to cure and get harder and harder to remove? Or it doesn't matter? I am wondering if I keep on waiting for them to resolve it let's say it takes another two weeks, am I going to be making this a much more difficult task if I end up having to deal with it myself? In other words, if I use the acid or Sure Klean on day 3 versus day 20 after the job will there be any difference? Can I afford to wait and drag this on?
 
  #6  
Old 04-05-16, 03:17 PM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,635
Received 98 Votes on 86 Posts
They're not coming back, start cleaning this up yourself and then follow up with the reviews.
 
  #7  
Old 04-05-16, 03:18 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,161
Received 937 Votes on 855 Posts
I'm sure the water is his usual method to make it seem like he tried to clean up after himself when all it really does is hide the fact that its not clean just long enough that he can make a quick getaway. Hard to believe he couldn't put down a dropcloth or piece of poly.

Once the water dried and it turned white, it was dry. Waiting longer to clean it won't help or harm it either way. It will take the same amount of scrubbing whether you do it now or later.

I agree... you will probably never see him again. The fact that he didn't bother to put down a dropcloth told you right then that he doesn't care.
 
  #8  
Old 04-05-16, 04:34 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
He did put something down. I think it's a sheet of roofing felt or something similar. However, there was a lot of spills especially when he worked on the window headers, half of what he applied dropped down, some on walls some on the paper and then he stepped on it, and walked around. Then when he moved to the next window he pushed that paper to the spot below that window. Then a bit later he went back to the first window, and did another coat, so basically he was working on six windows, with a piece of felt paper around 3'X6', being pushed around but his shoes and his helper's shoes were full of mud and they walked all over. From where they were mixing, to where they were pouring onto a stand, to where he was applying the stucco...



I know they are not coming back.
 
  #9  
Old 04-05-16, 04:48 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,962
Received 17 Votes on 15 Posts
Acid or Sure Klean will work. One thing though, wet the work first then scrub with the cleaner and keep rinsing as you go.
 
  #10  
Old 04-05-16, 06:57 PM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,194
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I have to ask--what made you use this particular stucco guy? Did you base your decision on price alone? Did you get some good references from his previous customers before choosing him? And did you speak with any of them, if affirmative? Did he warranty any of his work? Does your written contract with him spell out (in detail) the measures he will take to keep overspill damage to a minimum, and the methods he will use to clean up same? And finally--Is he a licensed contractor in your state?

Your answers to the foregoing questions will determine if you should be blaming him, instead of the guy you look at in the bathroom mirror each morning.
 
  #11  
Old 04-06-16, 08:26 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
BridgeMan45, of course I have to bear the ultimate responsibility - after all, I am now going to have to pay for fixing all this.

Did I check him out? Yes. Because I used him before for drywall finishing and he did fine. I also used him to do some exterior wall stucco patching before and he did fine. But drywall finishing isn't too messy, and the exterior wall stucco patch he did was over a concrete sidewalk which color is similar to the stucco wall. I simply didn't think of stucco around windows can get real messy and clay bricks are porous.

I don't make hiring decisions on prices. I typically make hiring decisions based on a face to face talk. It is really hard to get good pros in South Florida. I used to live in NY and have no such problems, but in South Florida the whole landscape is different. I have a drywall job now and interviewing contractors and so far three contractors gave me estimates and I found out all three will be using Mexican drywall guys. It seems it doesn't matter if you are a family owned business with 10 employees or a large corporation they are subing the job out to Mexicans, which is a concern because the contractor himself may be licensed, insured and bonded, he may still be picking up guys at the Home Depot parking lot. So one of my hiring criteria is the person I talk to has to be the one doing the job. So sub-ing no shifting the job to an apprentice.

Few years back I hired a company to demo walls and ceilings of my property. Had every details in the contract but after the job was finished I noticed the screws and nails were not removed. I asked them how come they pulled down all the sheetrock but not the nails and screws? They said the contract did not specify removal of fasteners. If I wanted fasteners removed it's going to be an additional X dollars. I paid them and sent them on their way. I don't think you can include every single detail in a contract, to me it goes back to me hiring a PROFESSIONAL to do a job and I expect pride of workmanship. If you are not a pro and cheat me I don't have time to come after you.

Last month I had my house tented for termites. Thick contract. Tons of exclusions and they are not liable for this and not liable for that. Everyone does it. They end up breaking two of my security lights, and broke over 2 dozens of roof tiles while they set up the tent. I spent the weekend fixing that, myself.

South Florida is totally different from the rest of the country.
 
  #12  
Old 04-07-16, 12:54 AM
BridgeMan45's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,194
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I appreciate your response, but you failed to address several important questions:

1. Is he a licensed contractor?

2. Did you personally speak with prior customers he did stucco work for? There's a huge difference between knowing how to place and finish sheetrock and how to properly install stucco.

3. Did your written contract with him spell out how he would keep work areas clean, and what measures he would use to clean up after himself?

4. Does he warranty his work, including clean-up?


I can't speak for Florida, but when I lived in New Mexico, by far the best quality stucco work was always done by what you call "Mexicans." I prefer to use the more dignified term, that being Hispanic. After all, most of them or their ancestors have been residents of this country far longer than I (or my family) have/has been.
 
  #13  
Old 04-08-16, 05:56 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
I understand what you are getting at with those important questions, but for me those are not as important. Like I said, South Florida is totally different. But I'll answer them.

1. Yes he is a licensed contractor. That's why my recourse is BBB and even DPR. But he is a "general" contractor that is specialized in plastering work.

2. I did not speak with his customers (unless I count my previous two experiences with him). I did that before and this method never worked for me. No one in the right mind would provide you with customer names that would speak negatively of him/her. The quality of information provided by a list of references to me is close to zero. On a big job (say >$2500) I might make a few calls to not to question quality of work (which is subjective), but more to ask questions like is he on time? Are you getting undivided attention during the project or is he showing up for 1 day and missing the next day? Does he come back to fix problems? Is he the one doing the work and on site when the workers are there? If the job is based on time & materials, then is he on the phone all the time? How does it work when it rains? Even then I don't rely on it. In this particular case I didn't because I was using my prior experience as a reference like I said I hired him to do two previous jobs and it went OK. My mistake was to lump drywall, plastering, stucco into one "skill" thinking if he's good at one he's probably good at the other.

3. Written contract simply stated "leave job site in broom clean conditions". Again down in South Florida unless we are dealing with big dollars most times the company issues a simple one page contract with loosely defined scope. For my project the scope of work was simply "stucco finish six windows". For my project the cost was $1150. For something like that if I wanted to add custom clauses I would not be able to hire anyone down here. In NY I was able to be specific, down here not so much.

4. No warranty on stucco work unless you hire him to all phases - install windows, waterproof windows, stucco windows, prime and finish paint. If you hire him to do all phases there is warranty. If you break it up and hire different people for different segments of the work, which is what I did, then no warranty for the stucco only part. Which I think it's fair. Warranty has nothing to do with job site clean up.

To me the mistakes I made was I was the one who asked him "do you do stucco too?" and he said "sure". I should have known better. The other mistake was my not realizing when you stucco a window it's going to be messy, and the entire window needs to be taped off. If it is painting the exterior of a house I would have a conversation to make sure the windows, doors, trims, gutters, and anything else not painted on would be taped off. One can be very specific in the contract but one would have a real hard time finding anyone as this is not "usual and customary" here.

When I said "Mexicans" I mean Mexicans. I don't mean Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Peruvians, Colombians...it was not meant to be interpreted as Hispanic or their work being inferior. One of the best Terrazo finisher I know is a Cuban, and I hire a Brazilian marble finisher that does wonders. What I meant is the drywall trade down here, no matter who you hire, a small outfit or a large corp, outsourcing is the norm. Most of the drywall companies are now outsourcing the job to several "gangs" of Mexicans (I don't know if they are legal or not). They don't speak English they show up and they work boom boom boom and they leave.
 
  #14  
Old 04-08-16, 06:18 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,161
Received 937 Votes on 855 Posts
I don't see what the big deal is, and why you don't just bite the bullet and clean it yourself. $10 and less time than it has taken to write all these replies and it would be clean. Im sure you feel that it's the principle of the matter, but that being said, just suck it up and do it yourself.

They always say if you want it done right you've got to do it yourself.
 
  #15  
Old 04-09-16, 03:45 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,145
Received 403 Votes on 359 Posts
My mistake was to lump drywall, plastering, stucco into one "skill" thinking if he's good at one he's probably good at the other.
Generally applying stucco and/or plaster is a related trade and many in that field can do both. If his main trade is plaster I'm a little surprised that he's not good at stucco .... or is the stucco work fine and it's just the cleanliness that is an issue? There are slobs in all the trades
 
  #16  
Old 04-10-16, 07:49 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
XSleeper yes I am going to do it myself, just need to fit this into my schedule and this one I think would take more than a day. I Googled it and from what I read I need to sponge apply this acid carefully, then use a wire brush to carefully scrub off all the stains, then rinse off, and possibly power wash after. Over a 1500SF area on my hands and knees this would be back breaking work...so it keeps sinking down on my "TOP 10 Project to do next" list.
 
  #17  
Old 04-10-16, 08:04 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
marksr, the stucco work in itself, is OK. I wouldn't call it good or great. It was just OK. It was also messy as I had to knock off a bunch of uneven finish especially around outside corners. It's just really sloppy work. I spent a good 6 hours cleaning up the window edges, tracks etc...

Now that I think back, it doesn't make sense because the drywall work was done professionally and no mess. He told me the stucco job would take 1 full day and he wanted to start early at 7am. I was there at 7am, but around 8:30 he called and said they had a late start because he had to pick up a helper who's having car trouble. By the time he arrived it was already 9:45. After he unloaded his tools he said he forgot something and had to run to the Home Depot. By the time he came back, and begin work it was already 11:30. Before he ran off to Home Depot I asked him if I need to tape off anything while he's gone. I have tape, I have viscreen, I could have done that but he said "don't worry".

By the way, I don't know if you remember, I had another thread in may be the paint forum where I asked about the best way to seal/finish a fir wood ledge sticking out from a kitchen window under the roof overhang. You suggested a spa urrthane which was what I did, three coats, and it came out BEAUTIFUL...before he finished the stucco around the window. After the stucco mix dropped on that finished wood ledge, I cleaned it up, still I am unable to get the stucco off the various small grooves and crevices on the wood. Do I need to sand the whole thing down to raw wood, then redo the spa urethane coating? I think I do in order to get rid of it completely.
 
  #18  
Old 04-10-16, 09:33 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,145
Received 403 Votes on 359 Posts
Hopefully the stucco is just on top of the poly, if so, you'd just need to sand off a little poly and recoat.

Any reason you can't use an acid brush when applying the muratic acid? A roller pole lets you stand up straight and keeps your nose away from the fumes.
 
  #19  
Old 04-10-16, 02:08 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,161
Received 937 Votes on 855 Posts
I would use the acid and a brush on it and scrub it. Might need to rinse and reapply the acid a few times to get it clean.
 
  #20  
Old 04-10-16, 05:37 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: California
Posts: 1,962
Received 17 Votes on 15 Posts
Are the pavers you show in the pix concrete or fired brick? Brick are easier to clean without acid stains. Oh, and BTW resist he temptation to make the acid solution stronger in hopes it will work faster or be less work. You do not want to trade one problem for another.
 
  #21  
Old 04-17-16, 05:52 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
OK tomorrow I am going to try to do the cleaning.

I found a product at the Home Depot called Mean Klean Concrete and Mortar Dissolver

Mean Klean 1 gal. Concrete and Mortar Dissolver-MK128OZ - The Home Depot

Is this similar to Sure Klean?
 
  #22  
Old 04-19-16, 06:46 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Those are clay brick tiles, about 3/4" thick.

Anyway I used the diluted acid and scrubbed scrubbed scrubbed...a lot of it came off.

BEFORE picture:



AFTER pictures:





I missed some spots, so have to do it a second time.

HOWEVER, my deck has four deck drains one on each side of the pool and they are metal grated drains. After I used the acid I used a garden hose to rinse off...the next day when everything is dry, the metal grate is now partly "green" in color.



Does this mean the acid corroded the metal grate?
 
  #23  
Old 04-19-16, 07:28 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 27,161
Received 937 Votes on 855 Posts
Yep. Acid will do that to metal. Didn't see any metal in your photos, and no mention of a pool... guess we can't think of everything. You can probably clean the metal grates up a little bit with a wire brush. Go the long direction only to give it a brushed finish. Are they steel or aluminum?
 
  #24  
Old 04-19-16, 07:43 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,677
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
They are either copper or bronze.
 
  #25  
Old 04-21-16, 04:23 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: usa
Posts: 1,348
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
1 of our guys just made a mess - former guy now,,, 4Kpsi pressure wshr @ 4gpm + turbo nozzle - scrub w/prosoco's sureklean, press wsh again,,, this was on a wood deck so we reseal'd the lady's deck,,, don't always get thing right but its what happens when things go south that really count
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: