When I switched from successfully using Trupac "V" additive mixed with a 55 lb. bag of mortar mix, to trying their stronger "X" product, I mistakenly continued using the 55 lb. bag of mortar and had serious cracking problems. Of course I felt like the dumbest guy on the planet after all kinds of beautiful rockwork turned to garbage when the fall weather hit.
After racking my teeny-tiny brain for weeks I figured it must've been because I didn't use 80 pounds of mortar mix with a bag of "X" like I forgot they told me to. Duh! So armed with this new insight I continued on with my project, building days worth of more rock and tree roots. They looked absolutely marvelous....again until the rains hit. Cracks galore. The stuff is peeling away from the scratch coat and crumbling. Could rain hitting the concrete within a couple days of finishing it be the problem? I have always thought that water was the friend of curing concrete, in fact you could hardly have too much of it. I watered the Trupac "V" mix half a day after it was troweled and it worked fine. Is this stuff a different animal altogether? Any assistance offered will be greatly appreciated.
Hit up Don at walttools. He knows his products better than anyone else.
My sympathy for the problems your having.
When you say mortar mix, be sure its the stuff with sand pre blended into it rather than masonry cement with no sand.
Only other things I can think of might be too wet of a mix, over working it, frost or freeze after the rain soaks into it.
Sure appreciate your responding to my plea of desperation, Jeff. As yet there has been no frost or freezing this fall so I can rule that out. I made absolute sure I never overworked the product either, as I had previously considered that a probable source of grief. The consistency upon mixing was just perfect, definitely not over-watered, as I was careful to keep the stuff full strength. And it is truly the cement and sand mix: Quickcrete mortar mix it's called. When I use the blend without any Trupac added it is ALWAYS behaving and curing like a dream.
Only thing I can think of is the possibility that rain seeped into the concrete at slightly too early a time after completion and acted much like mixing the product with too much water initially. I am quite sure that concrete will admit water, maybe even soak it up. Sound like a good reason for it to turn to mush?
Steve, when you get a chance, give me a call. I am out this week but have my phone and can get back to you. I am sure we can get the the "root" of the issue.