How to Repair Trowel-On Coating
LESLIE: Ed in Iowa, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
ED: I have an insulated concrete form home …
ED: … and have a dimple fabric – think of an egg carton made into a plastic roll.
ED: It’s called Platon. And it’s attached with their clip system to the outside of the foundation walls for waterproofing. That was followed on by a trowel-on coating to transition to the vinyl siding before backfilling. So that sounds all fine and great.
But as the backfilled earth settled, it pulled on this Platon material, breaking the nice, flat-top-edge seal against the ICF block and tearing that trowel-on coating. Now I no longer have an aesthetically-pleasing transition and mice are actually using the torn spots of this trowel-on coating to gain access to the inside of the house, crumbling up the outside of the home until they get access to the attic, if you can believe that, in a two-story.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Wow. Wow.
ED: So what can I do about this?
TOM: You can use an epoxy patching compound and put it back together again. That’s what I would use. Obviously you can’t use more concrete but you could use an epoxy product.
LESLIE: And that’s the only thing that’ll cause everything to stick back together.
TOM: Yeah, there’s a website called Abatron – A-b-a-t-r-o-n. It has a lot of industrial-strength products like that and you can find one that will work in this particular application.
But how do you like the ICF home? I mean we covered those years and years ago. Insulated concrete form homes, for those of you that are not aware, I always describe them as sort of LEGO blocks for adults. You stack these hollow blocks up and then they’re filled with concrete and they become the walls and you can get a house that’s pretty well insulated. Are you finding that you get good energy savings in this home?
ED: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I mean it’s 5,200 square feet and my utilities average 130 bucks a month.
TOM: That’s unbelievable.
LESLIE: Wow, that’s great.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah. When I saw that technology, I thought to myself, “If I was building another house today, that’s definitely the way I would go.” Insulated concrete form homes are just fantastic. They’re also storm-proof and very, very weather-resistant as well.
So it sounds like one minor maintenance hassle, Ed, that you’ve got to deal with here but I think an epoxy patching compound is your solution.
ED: So when I apply that, am I trying to repair this trowel-on material with that which actually pulled away from the house? What am I doing? Or am I peeling off that stuff first?
TOM: Yeah, I think you can repair the material. I think you can also seal in the gaps that have now formed between the trowel-on material and the exterior wall. Because epoxy is a product that has very, very excellent adhesion, so you’ll have a lot of flexibility as to where you can use it.
ED: OK. I’ll absolutely give that a whirl because prior to calling you guys, I was planning on excavating and reapplying another layer of Platon. This sounds way easier than that.
TOM: Yeah, and let’s try this first because even if you reapply, remember, you’re going to still have the same adhesion issues. And I think you’ll find that the epoxy products are the way to rock on this one.
ED: Guys, thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Ed. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.