Hello I am here for your HELP!
**I was only able to upload one picture because I am a new user
****This one isn’t the best shot of the crack but it shows you where the water is entering from the wooden cap.
Attached are photos of a cultured stone project I did September, 2018. The stone has cracked down two of the corners. Both of the sides that cracked have gaps in the wooden cap on top of the cultured stone. The cap was originally supposed to be a concrete cap that I would have installed with mortar… Instead the builder told me that they would install their own cap because the concrete caps were too expensive. The wooden caps have now shrunk over a winter and a summer and corners have cracked. Not only did it shrink, there is also no caulking/sealant to close the gap between the top of the stone and the wooden cap, leaving up to 1/4 inch gap in spots. This wooden cap non-sense was done after my job was inspected by the project manager and I was fully paid.
My back ground before my 7 years in stone masonry is stucco prep/ waterproofing. I know how to water proof a building. I use 2 layers of tar paper, I always overlap my lath(MESH) and fasten to every stud. I prepped this job like every other one I have done. I haven’t had any problems with any previous job.
Another thing I should mention is that this particular cultured stone, Eldorado Stone - Quartz Stacked Stone, is unique to any other cultured stone I’ve used. It is extremely soft and doesn’t seems to have an exterior (for example black cultured stone has a black exterior but the inside is light cement color…the white stone that I used is the same throughout, a cut edge looks the same as the facade. Its so soft that you can carve the stone with a trowel.
So now I have been contacted by the builder, who has been in contact with the supplier (EldoradoStone) and they want all of this to be my fault. Eldorado stone’s message to the Builder was they presume that the lath wasn’t wasnt overlapped properly at the corner. (which I always do)
Who do you think is at fault here?
Am I liable?
If this really does come down to being my fault I will take responsibility for it, but I don’t think I am.
Any Advice on How to Proceed?
-The base of these cultured stone planter beds is on about 10-12 foot tall foundation wall in an area of town that has already had problems with ground movement.
-Builder was cutting corners on this house due to a big foundation screw up that happened earlier and need to be re-done. They ate up too much of their budget early on. (hence no concrete caps as per the plans)
I am a small masonry company so this is a very stressful situation. Any help is appreciated, Thank-you.