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Old 01-04-2017, 11:46 AM   #1
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Waterproofing Stucco Retaining Wall - help needed!

Hi, we hired a company to build and "waterproof" a new stucco retaining wall (about 17" height above soil level), and what they ended up doing seems rather unusual but I am hoping there are others who understand it:

1. We requested Thoroughseal or Superblockade as the waterproofing agent, but they claimed (after they put on something else) that they have had bad experience with Thoroughseal and insisted on using Rapidcrete Waterproofing. Does anyone have experience with Rapidcrete and understand their decision to use this over Thoroughseal?

2. When I look at where the contractor applied Rapidcrete, the coat looks extremely uneven - thicker in some places and extremely thin in other areas. Yet, he insists that he applied two coats. Is there a way to test this? How do I know if the thin layer that they applied is enough?

3. One major problem with Rapidcrete is that it has 200 grit sand; when I spoke with a Rapidcrete rep directly, they confirmed that Rapidcrete would not be the right material to use in areas where stucco was intended to be applied. When I mentioned this to the contractor, he became angry that I was questioning him, but is now proposing a "clear" colored spray on material used in pool application for the area where stucco will be applied. Does anyone know what this might be, or what would be the advantage of applying a "pool" product, instead of the obvious Thoroughouseal or Superblockade specifically made for retaining wall and repeatedly now requested by my very excellent stucco guy (which I still do not understand why the contractor is resisting)? Is Thoroughseal expensive or difficult to apply? Or is my contractor correct that somehow Rapidcrete is superior to Thoroughseal?

4. in addition to the contractor's THIN layer of what he is telling me is Rapidcrete, the contractor also placed large overlapping sheets of white "Insulfoam" on the soil-facing side of the stucco wall. When I mentioned that htis material was extremely unsightly (right now it extends all the way up to the back of the stucco wall, sometimes with the lettering side facing out and visible from our patio), he said that once we had finished planting we could cut the foam down to be even with the soil line (so one would just see the 1/4" to 1/2" thick white overlapping sheets even with the soil, which of course is still unsightly in my mind; all of this is extremely visible from our pool area and the only way to truly conceal the foam would be to cut it down below the soil line, which presumably would defeat the entire purpose). Does anyone understand what the purpose of this is? Is this standard practice in residential applications? Is it OK to cut this down so we do not see huge ugly sheets of foam behind our retaining wall?

I'd love to hear from professionals able to make sense of this for us, as we do not want to question or complain if what our contractor is proposing/defending is consistent with top quality standards.

Thank you,
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: Waterproofing Stucco Retaining Wall - help needed!

Is this a solid stucco retaining wall, or stucco over concrete block, or something else entirely? I have never seen a stucco retaining wall, perhaps you can more precisely describe what you had installed, and why you chose the particular materials.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Waterproofing Stucco Retaining Wall - help needed!

Best practice is to get three or more local bids before hiring a contractor. Did you do this? If so, what was specified in the other bids.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:06 AM   #4
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Re: Waterproofing Stucco Retaining Wall - help needed!

I have never seen a stucco retaining wall,
Ayuh,... There's been a couple of odd "Retainin' walls" this week,....
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