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Unread 08-10-2006, 12:47 PM   #1
David Gelinas
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Here’s one for you … how would you handle this?

It's been a little while guys but I have on for ya'. THANKS

A multi million dollar home on the gulf, 1.5 years old. There are three second floor baloneys, all are at least a few hundred square feet each. The front/east balcony has 14 short pillars (about 4’ high) around the perimeter, they are cast concrete around block stubs. The trav comes out to a bullnose and below that and slightly set back there is a cast concrete fascia with some weep holes in it. The sub-floor is something like 9” poured concrete. There is a big time efflorescence problem on that cast concrete fascia and that is washing down to the driveway below. There is also some hairline cracking in the trav that has efflorescence erupting out of it. There is no way for rain water to pool on the surface or back along the edges of the walls. As a matter of fact there isn’t even any run off onto these surfaces because of a very nice gutter system. But this is the kicker, after a hard driving rain there can be water seeping out of that fascia for 2 – 3 days. One other interesting point is that the south west balcony only has two of these type columns and has much less salt appearing and the north west balcony has a different type of column system and has no salt.

This is what’s been done so far; they have put at least 3 very heavy coats of Mira Matte Stone Color Enhancer on the trav decking (It just looks like crap, heavy pools and runs everywhere. It is also starting to flake just a bit in a few areas.), the columns have been treated with 511 Concrete Sealer (If you put the palm of your hand on a column you can still feel that it is sticky from the sealer. In addition to these things the only other thing that has been done is they calked around the basses of the columns with I believe an elastomeric calk.

Upon my inspection this is what I’ve found. The trav seems to be installed well enough; I only found one area that seemed to have some hollow spots. The grout line is about a ¼ of an inch and the caulk in the expansion joint seems to be intact and sound. This is what I think is going on. On nearly every one of those columns there is some measure of cracking in the grout where one cement panel meets another, either vertical or horizontal. It looks like they used a hard cementious type grout when they installed the panels and it is starting to crack. I think the columns are filling up with water when it rains and then over the next few days it works its way out.

What are thoughts on this one, how would you handle it?

Best Regards,
David Gelinas
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Unread 08-10-2006, 02:32 PM   #2
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Pichers, David, gotta show us some pichers.

'Fraid I can't visualize this "column" system you have with "cement panels."

Show us what you got.

Then we can all look and say, "I dunno."

But for sure they ain't likely to correct the problem by laying on more coats of sealers.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 08-10-2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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I was thinking the same thing CX. As I live in FL,I've seen lots of things lol. Here's the latest..... I'm in a house,2nd story shower. The GC put "temp" 2x4's at the curb,and didn't nail em down. His reason,He wants em removed so curb block can go in it's place. It's waterproofed with a vinyl liner.

For the life of me,I don't understand why he wouldn't just nail the wood curb in place,and wrap the liner over it? As it stands,I had my helper screw a strip of lath down at the curb,and then bond the curb blocks to it.(naturally the liner is going over it) I then did my normal procedure,and wrapped the curb in lath.

Just when I thought I had seen/heard it all lol
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Unread 08-10-2006, 02:53 PM   #4
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And to add....if the decks were floated,and/or they used "fat" mud to set the stone(that's more the norm here in FL) Possibly it's leeaching from the float?
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Unread 08-10-2006, 03:33 PM   #5
David Gelinas
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Here are some pics. Thanks for the replys.

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Unread 08-11-2006, 05:25 PM   #6
David Gelinas
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test
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Unread 08-11-2006, 05:26 PM   #7
David Gelinas
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Autoplay, I wish I had your number, I was all over your neck of the woods today. From 14 street W and 56 down to Five Points by Whole Foods Market. It would have been nice to put a face with the name.

Come on guys through me a bone here, I need to have a plan formulated on paper by Monday.

THANKS in advance.

David Gelinas
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Unread 08-11-2006, 07:47 PM   #8
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1\4" joints with travertine? what the hell? most guys run 1\16" or butt joint.
i doubt thats the problem but it struck me as kinda wide. I cant really give
any advice as far as fixing this without knowing what is below the install.
Got me really. Even if the prep was done properly efflorescence can occur
for a bunch of different reasons,.... most of which get argued. Your theories
sound good but theres no way i could make the call from the west coast
sorry. Maybe someone else will be able to look at your pics and see
something they have experienced before. Good luck and welcome back
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Unread 08-11-2006, 10:03 PM   #9
tileprof
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structually, what is under these cols.,& floor?. it looks like there is a lot of movement all floors have main supports unless pt cable
,.look below??
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Unread 08-12-2006, 05:47 AM   #10
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My guess is there's a combination of water getting into the cracks, and any places it can into the stone.The stone was set on a drypack bed, the concrete deck was not sloped,and after a rain the setting bed sucks up that water, and it slowly releases into the fascia.There should have been a membrane or waterproofing installed over the pitched mudbed and a weeping channel installed at the edge.I don't think there's any topical fix for this, unless weep holes were installed into the fascia stone,but this ain't gonna stop the efflorescence unless it just wears itself out.
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Unread 08-12-2006, 07:45 AM   #11
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Well, the photos don't really show the facia that you indicate to be the problem area, David.

I think Davestone is getting closest to the likely problems, but without knowing exactly how the surface was prepared for the tile, it's tough to make informed guesses.

The cracking of the little concrete columns would seem to me to help alleviate any seeping problems by letting them drain quickly. Not that I recommend cracks as a good installation feature, but I don't see those columns being a source of water storage for several days. If the staining is taking place near the base of these columns, I'd be more inclined to think it's because that's an easy place for the water to escape due to the physical construction of the whole deck area.

The fact that the facia is being stained after a rain is indicative of poor design of the deck run-off to my thinking. There may well be other installation problems involved here, but it's common as dirt to get water stains in that kind of area unless the run-off is caused to go elsewhere with proper drip edging and such, as I think Stoner is suggesting. This staining can be of various colors depending upon just what the water is leaching through to get to the exposed surface.

I wouldn't even call this an effloresense problem; I think you have mostly a simple drainage design problem, likely exacerbated by some other installation problems as evidenced by all the cracking we see.

Can you find out how the tile surface was constructed. ?

Was the initial slab sloped for drainage?

Did they install a mud bed over the slab?

Was any waterproofing membrane installed over the mud bed (or whatever tiling surface was used)?

Does the staining appear to start at the top of the tile surface, or somewhere lower in the construction, like at the bottom of a mud bed, or top of the poured slab or whatever?
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Unread 08-12-2006, 03:05 PM   #12
Davestone
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Typically here, there is a slope to concrete decks,and sometimes sealers are applied to the slab,because of the sea salt intrusion, but not usually curing agents, (but sometimes in cold weather).Also, almost everyone mudsets stone here,(although some put down a mudbed)and i would guess there's a membrane, but it's applied to the concrete, with no other waterproofing other than the membrane.All this is hypothesis from 300 miles away.
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Unread 08-12-2006, 03:36 PM   #13
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So? Mine's from 1200 miles away, Stoner. If you drive. You sayin' that makes your hypothesis is better'n mine 'cause it didn't hafta travel as far?
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Unread 08-12-2006, 03:42 PM   #14
Davy
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Stoner, David says the concrete is poured nine inches thick. Is this normal in your area? Only thing that thick around here are our freeways.
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Unread 08-13-2006, 11:38 AM   #15
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mostly an efflorresence problem - the sub structure needs to fully dry out. In Southern European Countrys, Italy etc, it might traditionally take some months, dependant on the time of year. To avoid this modern fast set materials need to be used. Was it fixed in slow ( normal) or fast set adhesive ?
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