I spent a day with the Brady Company on the job in San Clemente last week, and their professionalism and attention to detail renewed my faith in the stucco industry. They were applying the scratch coat to the first building of an outlet mall to beat all outlet malls. This one is perched atop a hilltop in the most charming beach town in Southern California, and has Pacific Ocean views to go with the great shopping. They are pumping our Sanded Insulex product as their scratch and brown coats, made with washed clean silica sand, factory blended so it’s the same ratio every time. Insulex is blended with fibers for improved strength and sag resistance allowing for accelerated job scheduling due to reduced wait times between plaster base coats. Our flexible polymer-modified, crack-reduction system (Basex) is then being applied as the base coat, specifically designed for smooth coat finishes. One of the key advantages of using our base and mesh system (Basex) is the fact it withstands cracks in the base coat up to 0.04 inches without cracking through the finish coat. Lastly, Brady will apply our Merlex Santa Barbara Finish smooth-troweled stucco as the finish coat. These guys from Brady are pros. The mixers, Ernesto and Ismael, followed our mixing procedures to the letter and stopped the mixer after a few minutes to break the set. Not many crews follow that instruction, although it’s on every one of our technical data sheets and gives the plaster better workability and open time. I saw Ernesto checking the slump of the material before sending it to the Tommy Gun several times. The hose crew was just as good. Joe ran the nozzle this day to set the tone for his guys, who were hustling to move the hose, trowel out the scratch coat, and keep the trims clean. They worked calmly and efficiently and together, communicating with each other to ensure they did the best job possible. The nozzle and mixer talked frequently by walkie-talkie to ensure proper speed, coordinate breaks and lunch, and fine tune things. Chuck Cannon, their plaster superintendent, did his part to ensure their success, adjusting the hose configuration, reminding the guys of standard operating procedures and safety issues, and getting the right people in the right places. This is the first time I’ve blogged about a work crew. But these guys made me believe that our products are in good hands out there, and that our industry can be successful in rising to any challenge that comes our way in the field.