On Tuesday, I walked Phase I of the Plaza San Clemente Outlet Mall project, which is using our exterior plaster system. It is coming along nicely. Brady seems very pleased how the materials are spreading and their professionalism and attention to detail continues.
Phase I of Plaza San Clemente is approx. 40,000 yards. Phase II will follow with 27,000 yards. The system implemented on the majority of the walls is Densglass fiberglass faced water resistant gypsum board screwed to the studs; 60 minute paper (WRB) is applied over the board with 3.4 metal lath installed over this to hold the first pass (scratch coat) of mud. The mud consists of factory blended and sanded Insulex fiber reinforced base coat material by Merlex. The scratch coat is field mixed using a mixer and pump to apply the material directly on the metal lath. The material is then tooled to introduce furrows typical of the scratch coat. Brown coat is applied following a two day cure time. The brown coat is tooled flat using a Plaster Rod and tooled with trowels to introduce the subtle mottling required by the scope of work. After another two day cure time and the third coat is applied. This third coat is a relatively new addition to the plaster system and is known as “Base and Mesh” or the “bed and mesh” system. It is also characterized as Crack Resistant Coat or Crack Isolation System. Merlex Basex is applied by Hawk and Trowel over the tooled brown coat and, while still wet, the mesh is embedded into the material. The 4 oz Alkali Resistant fiberglass mesh is worked into the material to create a barrier to stress. The polymer in the Basex also serves to absorb some stress as it emanates up from the natural movement of the building. As soon as the next day Merlex Santa Barbara Finish can be applied from the top down to create the early California look desired. The subtle humps and bumps are barely perceptible but are sure to add to the natural beauty and traditional look of bygone days. The architecture calls for long planes of material using no plaster stops as Control or Expansion Joints. These tend to break up the field and long stretches of wall and most feel they help in crack reduction. The further benefit to these breaks is to allow a stopping point for the labor as they tool the smooth finish on the wall. Without a stopping point it is common to get “cold joints.” These are where an area of finish dries before the next step is started. In a natural application (without paint) this is to be avoided at all costs. However, because the entire job will be painted, it is only a matter of patching these “joint” areas and sanding them out before painting.