View Full Version : Homeowner damaged pavers and want me to fix it.

10-19-2008, 11:02 PM
Title says it all. 2 years ago we redid a landing and walkway for a client I have. We use poly and then sealed it on top of that a month later. It has been flawless since, in fact it was still good on friday cause I stopped for a second while there to admire it. I called him today to talk about some work we are going to do tomorrow and he said that the poly is coming up and the sealer is gone. Funny cause it wasnt 3 days ago. Im guessing he took his commercial grade pressure washer to it and somehow damaged it. I told him I would look at it, but I know this guy well enough to know that he will expect me to repair it under warranty even though he most likely damaged it. How do you deal with this, cause if he really did damage it he wont admit to it outright, and would also be offended if I asked unless it is brutally obvious.

DVS Hardscaper
10-19-2008, 11:44 PM
Honesty is the only way to operate.

10-20-2008, 08:42 AM
I agree, when he pulls this it annoys me anyways. Not the first thing he has messed with and expected us to repair. I guess the question is should it be able to withstand a high powered washing without an issue like this? If it is my fault then I have no problem repairing it.

10-20-2008, 08:08 PM
Heres some pics. The corner appears to be holding water. Things I noticed are corner limestone tread popped ( not my install ). Sand was moist in said area, but it hasnt rained at this location in a while. The limestone was scuffed all around as if it was brushed with a very stiff brush maybe wire. It is installed on a pad that has expansion joint around the perimeter. Pad is below the tread. Weep holes are on the side. So what do you think.

DVS Hardscaper
10-20-2008, 08:53 PM
In my opinion, one should only pressure wash pavers when they're prepared to re-sand the joints.

The joints are grouted with sand....not mortar. Everything has it's breaking point!

10-20-2008, 08:58 PM
just ask him is it was power washed if no
ask him is he took a huge leak on it?

10-20-2008, 09:20 PM
Ask him when it started to happen and what he think could have caused it. He'll make up some BS you can see right through then confront him.

ralphie boy
10-20-2008, 10:50 PM
I would look to see if anything looked like it was resently pressure washed,if so that would answer what happened to the pavers.

10-20-2008, 11:03 PM
The wood entry was definitely painted this past weekend, not a spec of dirt or cobweb, nothing. Perfect white paint.

ralphie boy
10-20-2008, 11:13 PM
pressurewasher works great to remove peeling paint.I think I smell a rat.

10-20-2008, 11:38 PM
Looks as if something was poured or spreayed on the steps beside the bricks that are messed up to me.. Unless all the steps look that way.

10-21-2008, 09:36 PM
You said something in your first post that got my attention. You said you were at the site and looked everything over before he said there was a problem. He needs to know this.
I would of said " I was just at your house on Friday making sure everything was ok and everything looked great still." Then after seeing it again. " Did someone do some pressure washing over the weekend and some painting? This damage wasn't here on Friday and everything is still damp. Do you and I need to call whoever did this about paying for damages?
This way you are not directly pointing the finger at him but he still knows that you know what happened. Depending on how good a customer he is you can then work out who is paying for what.

Good Luck!

10-27-2008, 09:35 PM
Well the owner swears he didnt pressure wash it, but it happened after I saw it friday and before he saw it sunday. Saturday he had a painter there to do the wood around the door. He wasnt home when they where there so he wasnt sure what they did. I threw some leftover poly in the gaps just to get him through till spring while we figure out what we are going to do about a water leak he has.

Heres the story behind that:

House was built by 2 different builders during a bankruptcy switch. We know the foundation drain did not daylight and was only covered with 6" crushed 7' below the surface. Last year we dug up everything to the left of the landing down to the footing and properly fixed the issue in that area of the house. There was also water coming in below the door, but he didnt want to rip anything up at the time. We found lots of leaks in the veneer and wood joints as well as the negative pitch of the landing pad. We dropped some pavers in the landing as previously described and he had another company address the front of the house. It has been much better, but he still gets water in the basement around the door. We know that it is coming in somewhere above the door and travelling down the tyvek till about the height you see.

Odds are we will have the job of digging out what you see to attempt to get this issue solved. Assume that it was finished as you see it. What needs to be addressed. I see the exposed block as one. Possible drainage install as two. Lack of flashing at the pad surface. Etc. I probably wont do the work myself but we are kind of the property managers if you will since the owners are not real handy and travel a lot.

Any helpful advice would be good.


Green Team Landscaping
10-27-2008, 09:50 PM
Since he wants you to do more work then you should just fix it for free, but add what you would have charged to fix it on to the next project you do for him. That's if he isn't honest if you ask him directy.

10-27-2008, 09:52 PM
how is the front grade to the house? is it graded away from the house?
are the down spouts cloged in some way? did they use the black flex pipe to drain it may have a crush in it and washout backing up into house?
is there a huge window over the front door?

10-28-2008, 08:42 AM
Yes there is at least 1 large window over the door. Its a full height foyer maybe 30+ feet on the exterior. All drainage on the left side of the landing was redone last year. No problems there other than the gutter size occasionally being limited. Problems occur not during heavy rains like they used to to the left. instead it happens when the wind blows the rain into the wall above the door. Pitch for the house is OK could be better, but it works. Water is getting in at the sill plate height which is where the tyvek terminates in the pic. Only in the area under the landing which is several feet above ground level. The pool is filled with the usual garbage and construction debris alone with some QP on the top. I have a 5-6" pad on top of that and the pavers. Everything is sealed real well so it isnt getting in at the landing pad surface.

10-28-2008, 10:54 AM
that looks and sounds like it needs foundation sealer and probably lead flashing at the door sill, as far as the pavers that looks like a pressure washer to me maybe the contractor spilled paint and tried to wire brush it of along with the pressure washer i would sit the HO down tell him everything its gonna take to fix if he wants it done right and that he needs to be prepared to pay for it good luck

10-28-2008, 12:36 PM
Yep Im not worried about the sand. He seems to be ready to rip out the landing in the spring anyways. I dont have a lot of experience with buried wood like this so the question is. Should the tyvek be cut at the landing level with flashing under to direct any water out above the landing box, then new tyvek or similar barrier behind the flashing going down over the wood. The foundation block should also be tarred and since we would have most of it dug at that point I would think it should be filled with clean and directed to a perforated pipe that daylights out the side. What else should be considered?


10-28-2008, 09:05 PM
I have a question. Was this original problem just about a little poly sand? I mean unless im missing something, why not just throw a little sand in there and be done with it? I have customers all the time who play with light timers or irrigation timers, then call me when its not working... " I have no idea what happened to the timer", I just come and fix the problem.. I dont try to argue with them about who did it ( I know you didnt argue with this customer, but you were asking what you should do?)

10-28-2008, 09:31 PM
No. This house has leaked since the day it was built. Both builders went bust so warranty is bust too. There were several leaks in the basement. Last year we fixed the biggest one as described above. We also determined that the landing had water issues. There were so many different areas it could have come from that he tried to save money and do all easy exterior surface repairs against any recommendation. Well the problem is internal and all the "patch" work needs to be taken out anyways.

It wasnt a thought till he tried to check for leaks on Sunday and noticed the sand. I threw about $0.50 of poly in there and told him we would redo it in the spring at an undetermined cost. He told me not to worry about it cause we need to solve the water problem the right way. That brings me here with a question and an old photo he gave me. Its a classic case of being cheap costs double.

11-09-2008, 02:14 PM
Wow thats alot of sand in the joints. It looks like he pressure washed it. Just ask him and tell him you were there 3 days ago and it looked fine. Whats he gonna say.....