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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

New to the forum.

I inherited a property in New Mexico (climate/region may be applicable to my scenario) and it was an old building from the 1900's. I hired a contractor to repair the plaster in the building that was heavily cracked and coming down in some places. The scope of work was to remove any old plaster, reinforce around cracks and large removed sections, then apply new plaster and skim coat to a smooth finish.

I live out of state and I was not able to oversee the job and could only see photos of work progress. Towards the end of the job, prior to painting, I visited the property and was surprised to find he used stucco based products for all the repairs. When questoined he stated it was completely normal and even more durable.

There were very apparent trowel marks on the surfaces as well, so I talked to him about skim coating before he painted. After I left back home, he painted without skim coating and now is not returning any calls to correct skimming of the work.

I took photo's of the bags of material he used. There were 4 bags on site. Dryvit Primus DM, Dryvit Genisys DM, Quikcrete stucco one-coat, and STO primer/adheasive B. He also did have a fabric mesh material that he used to imbed on the surfaces being repaired.

I'm not sure how the products were used, or if they were applied in layers or mixed. The majority of the bags were Primus DM.

I've got the following questions/concerns:

1. Will I have any long term issues with these products bonding properly to the old plaster, lathe, or paint? Eveything currently looks very solid, but I can not find anything form the manufacturers specs that indicate it will adhear to these materials, or that it should be used indoors.

2. Is it possible that expansion/contraction of this different material will be an issue for pre mature cracking in the future?

3. If moving foward seems okay, I would still prefer to have the surfaces skimcoated and smoothed. Hoping to get thoughts on this... The current product is heavily sanded (and painted over), can a scratch coat, and finish coat of plaster be used over this stuff? Maybe even just drywall compound?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hello,

New to the forum.

I inherited a property in New Mexico (climate/region may be applicable to my scenario) and it was an old building from the 1900's. I hired a contractor to repair the plaster in the building that was heavily cracked and coming down in some places. The scope of work was to remove any old plaster, reinforce around cracks and large removed sections, then apply new plaster and skim coat to a smooth finish.

I live out of state and I was not able to oversee the job and could only see photos of work progress. Towards the end of the job, prior to painting, I visited the property and was surprised to find he used stucco based products for all the repairs. When questoined he stated it was completely normal and even more durable.

There were very apparent trowel marks on the surfaces as well, so I talked to him about skim coating before he painted. After I left back home, he painted without skim coating and now is not returning any calls to correct skimming of the work.

I took photo's of the bags of material he used. There were 4 bags on site. Dryvit Primus DM, Dryvit Genisys DM, Quikcrete stucco one-coat, and STO primer/adheasive B. He also did have a fabric mesh material that he used to imbed on the surfaces being repaired.

I'm not sure how the products were used, or if they were applied in layers or mixed. The majority of the bags were Primus DM.

I've got the following questions/concerns:

1. Will I have any long term issues with these products bonding properly to the old plaster, lathe, or paint? Eveything currently looks very solid, but I can not find anything form the manufacturers specs that indicate it will adhear to these materials, or that it should be used indoors.

2. Is it possible that expansion/contraction of this different material will be an issue for pre mature cracking in the future?

3. If moving foward seems okay, I would still prefer to have the surfaces skimcoated and smoothed. Hoping to get thoughts on this... The current product is heavily sanded (and painted over), can a scratch coat, and finish coat of plaster be used over this stuff? Maybe even just drywall compound?

Thanks in advance.
Those products used were synthetic Stucco products & should not have been used with an old plaster system. Being you are in a dry climate area it may last longer than in a damp area but in my opinion it will fail at some point. To skim coat do NOT use any ready mixed joint compound it does not go well with plaster.
The very best skim coating Material is Master of Plaster it is high $$$ but the best to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Those products used were synthetic Stucco products & should not have been used with an old plaster system. Being you are in a dry climate area it may last longer than in a damp area but in my opinion it will fail at some point. To skim coat do NOT use any ready mixed joint compound it does not go well with plaster.
The very best skim coating Material is Master of Plaster it is high $$$ but the best to work with.
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunate to hear on the possible failure later on. Hopefully this is something that is a decade or more out and not a year or two.

At this point, I'm kind of in a tricky spot as 80% of the interior walls and ceilings on a 1800 sqft building with 12ft tall ceilings was skimmed over after repair. So it's not simply a wall or two I can remove plaster and have it redone. Unless actual failure occurs, I'm pretty positive I won't be able to get any help with the contractors board either.

Couple follow up questions:

I'll avoid joint compound and get a plaster based finish coat. I have no problem in using a high dollar product (so long as I can get it in northern NM) if the results are best. However will a product like master of plaster improve the integrity of the system? or am I still just rolling the dice with the different materials being used at this point?

I had another contractor come out to look at skim coating for a smoother texture. Ironically when I showed him the material used for repairs, he said he would of done the same thing. Apparently its common down here on the pueblo style homes (which mine is obviously not), and most contractors use it for all repairs on exterior/interior cement based systems. He seemed to think it would be fine, but given the average person stays in a home only 7 years, I can't imagine these guys are getting call backs years down the road if it fails...
 

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Thanks for the reply. Unfortunate to hear on the possible failure later on. Hopefully this is something that is a decade or more out and not a year or two.

At this point, I'm kind of in a tricky spot as 80% of the interior walls and ceilings on a 1800 sqft building with 12ft tall ceilings was skimmed over after repair. So it's not simply a wall or two I can remove plaster and have it redone. Unless actual failure occurs, I'm pretty positive I won't be able to get any help with the contractors board either.

Couple follow up questions:

I'll avoid joint compound and get a plaster based finish coat. I have no problem in using a high dollar product (so long as I can get it in northern NM) if the results are best. However will a product like master of plaster improve the integrity of the system? or am I still just rolling the dice with the different materials being used at this point?

I had another contractor come out to look at skim coating for a smoother texture. Ironically when I showed him the material used for repairs, he said he would of done the same thing. Apparently its common down here on the pueblo style homes (which mine is obviously not), and most contractors use it for all repairs on exterior/interior cement based systems. He seemed to think it would be fine, but given the average person stays in a home only 7 years, I can't imagine these guys are getting call backs years down the road if it fails...
I just spoke with Lauren from Master of Plaster & she does not have a distributer in NM.
There is another type of plaster that should be available in NM. Check American Clay they operate out of Albuquerque, NM ask they for an applicator in your area. I have used American Clay Plaster but it has been about 10 years ago. I retired from plastering @ 78 in 2015 really liked working with plaster.
As for the synthetic products that were already used on your project being you are in a very dry climate I would leave it.
All those products contain cement , cement and plaster oppose each other under moist conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you again for your response, I'll look into the American clay products.

I'm happy you mentioned the cement and plaster under moist conditions. Part of our rehabilitating the building includes adding cooling. Evaporative coolers are affordable and very commonly used in NM.

Even with the much higher cost, central air may be the best option for the building now that I'm aware of this moisture issue. Not sure if the humidity would be raised enough with an evaporative cooler, but may not be worth the risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Never pay the out of area guy before you check finall product.
Thanks for the unhelpful comment.

I don't believe I stated that this contractor was paid in full. He did get a deposit for his work, but he never returned my calls/showed up to correct the skimming of the work, so he never got the remaining balance of his invoice.

I work in the trades, and don't do any work without 75% down in my field. Maybe you haven't been stiffed by a client, but once you are and your wasting hours and hours chasing them in the court system, you'll take deposits too.
 

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Thanks for the unhelpful comment.

I don't believe I stated that this contractor was paid in full. He did get a deposit for his work, but he never returned my calls/showed up to correct the skimming of the work, so he never got the remaining balance of his invoice.

I work in the trades, and don't do any work without 75% down in my field. Maybe you haven't been stiffed by a client, but once you are and your wasting hours and hours chasing them in the court system, you'll take deposits too.
I have done Stucco & Plaster for 41 years never ask for a deposit or money up front in some cases I have completed the work & just told the owner to mail the check.
Only got stiffed one time & it was for $ 14,000.00.
I have completed jobs for $19,000.00 & received no payment until it was complete.
The large jobs were billed on an AIA form 701this billing was 25 days behind never had a problem except the $14,000.00.
In some cases it would take 40 /45 days to receive payment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have done Stucco & Plaster for 41 years never ask for a deposit or money up front in some cases I have completed the work & just told the owner to mail the check.
Only got stiffed one time & it was for $ 14,000.00.
I have completed jobs for $19,000.00 & received no payment until it was complete.
The large jobs were billed on an AIA form 701this billing was 25 days behind never had a problem except the $14,000.00.
In some cases it would take 40 /45 days to receive payment.
Sorry to hear someone didn't pay you, and happy to hear it never happened again. For me it wasn't a risk I was willing to take again, and I have never been short on work, so its worked well for me.

Didn't mean this subject to get off topic, but I guess regardless of payment (full, partial, or none), I'm the same boat, and it doesn't change the situation of the products used.

I did use a licensed contractor, and if there is near term failure, I certainly have a case for the contractors board. However the work to remediate the situation will be far beyond any money I would get back from the inferior job, so hopefully I don't have to deal with that down the road.

I appreciate the insight on your previous posts.
 

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Ah, I'm sorry that you encountered a contractor that did not consider your wishes. The fact that he did not consider your needs, such as putting the coating before painting, is very unprofessional. Unfortunately, there are a lot of such "professionals" who do not do their quality work. But when it comes to a contractor, he should do his job at the highest quality. Because of him, you could have big problems later. I recommend you find another specialist who will be able to fix everything so that you don't have any problems. I turned to the specialists from ALMIGHTY CONSTRUCTION, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the result. So don't let it be done so bad.
 

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Are you going to do the repairs yourself? It's very difficult and the easiest way is to hire people who will do it instead of you. I don't understand why you should create big problems for yourself if you don't understand this, then just go and find professionals, pay them and be content with the finished work. The only thing I can advise you in this case, if you are still going to do repairs yourself, then it's best to use Stamped Concrete El Paso. This is the only way that will help you to close up the holes and then easily sand this material. I don't have any other options for you. It is best to contact some company that is engaged in repairs, so as not to make big mistakes.
 
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