Cracks in new concrete

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by HouseRepair9, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Aug 29, 2013 #1

    HouseRepair9

    HouseRepair9

    HouseRepair9

    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just had 1400 sq feet of concrete patio done last month, with color concrete, stamped. The contractor did the work on a very hot day, and then when I asked him if I should spray water on the concrete, he said no.

    We had 105+ days for a week right after that, and looks like the concrete has not cured well. Right away nearly half of the controlled joints had long cracks, and cracks started appearing (and getting longer) on the concrete surface (see the pictures).

    It also seems like the top layer of the concrete is not very strong, as I dropped a screwdriver from 3 feet height and it chipped the concrete.

    The contractor says this is normal (no surprise there :)). Is that correct? He says he will put a quick patching, and once the concrete is sealed, the cracks won't be visible at all.

    What do you guys think? Thanks for your advice.

    IMG_2261 (Large).jpg

    IMG_2260 (Large).jpg

    IMG_2262 (Large).jpg

    IMG_2263 (Large).jpg
     
  2. Sep 7, 2013 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,892
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    I think it is crap, but mostly I am bumping the thread for other to see it.
     
  3. Sep 7, 2013 #3

    Drywallinfo

    Drywallinfo

    Drywallinfo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    36
    What was the concrete reinforced with?
     
  4. Sep 8, 2013 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,892
    Likes Received:
    3,117
  5. Sep 8, 2013 #5

    Chris

    Chris

    Chris

    Guest

    I have had many many long conversations with my subcontor concrete guys and the very best way to cure concrete is to wet it as much as possible for the first 3-5 days, i went out on mine every hour and sprayed it down. Also if you poured it on a hot day and you have rebar, the hot rebar can set up the concrete around it causing cracks, I have seen driveways with cracks following all the rebar.
    It is common and you will almost always have cracks in the controlled crack joints, that is why they are there.
    If you poured more than one truck and there was a long time delay between trucks and the first started setting up it will likely crack where the newer concrete meets the first trucks.
    Concrete is concrete and it can and will crack but there are many things that could have been done to avoid it. If he was licensed himself then he would have never old you not to cure it at all.
     
  6. Sep 8, 2013 #6

    Chris

    Chris

    Chris

    Guest

    Also if he used a low sack mix of concrete or poured it thin it will also crack easier. I poured 30 yards (3 trucks) in my yard on July 3rd and it was a well over 100 degree day. After many conversations with a few guys I did not use rebar but I did use a 7 sack mix (I believe standard is 4-5) and poured between 4-5 inches thick for my RV pad and widening my driveway. My first truck was on time but the second two were two hours late so I thought I would have major problems but to this day not a single crack except a few in the joints.
     
  7. Sep 10, 2013 #7

    HouseRepair9

    HouseRepair9

    HouseRepair9

    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for all the feedback!

    I called the ready-mix concrete company my contractor had used, and inquired about what exactly was ordered by my contractor. It turns out that he ordered the concrete with a slump of 5, which is marginal at best (4 or less is desirable). So the concrete was already somewhat watery. On top of that, he added 40 gallons of water on arrival (to 16 cubic yards of concrete), making the slump to 7.5 - WAY too watery. The water to cement ratio was 0.59, making both the ratio as well as the slump too high to make acceptable concrete.

    It turns out that he clearly violated the ASTM C 94 standard. According to the ready-mix quality control guy, he should have requested plasticizer instead of adding so much extra water. Plasticizers are cheap ($1-3 per cubic yard), so it is really surprising that he cut corners there.

    Now I also understand why he asked me not to spray water, as he know he already had put in too much water to begin with. So we ended up with too much water during pouring, and too less water during curing.

    Just to gather some conclusive evidence, I have asked the concrete quality control guy to come by tomorrow and do some Schmidt hammer testing, so that I can clearly show that the slab is weak. (For those who do not know this, the test is free, and non-destructive).

    Then the fun will begin when I break this to the contractor...
     
    nealtw likes this.
  8. Sep 10, 2013 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,892
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    Sounds like the readymix company is on your side, good luck and good info.
     
  9. Sep 10, 2013 #9

    Frank0

    Frank0

    Frank0

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    12
    Readymix gave the guy up with the quickness :clap:

    Hopefully you get it resolved without much more hassle
     
  10. Sep 11, 2013 #10

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    23,892
    Likes Received:
    3,117
    The readymix company is just trying to make sure they are not part of any lawsuit. This guy likely brings them lots of problems, and they should be helping with the fight.
     
  11. Sep 25, 2013 #11

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    BridgeMan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    744
    Likes Received:
    80
    The close-up pix show some delamination occurring along the crack lines. No easy fix for that, in a manner that "blends in" with the adjacent surfaces. A properly-applied curing compound on placement day could have eliminated all or at least most of the cracking.

    Your contractor may have the gift of gab, but he sure has a lot to learn about concrete. If he plans to stay in business much longer, that is.
     
  12. Oct 2, 2013 #12

    MNBuilder

    MNBuilder

    MNBuilder

    Amaris Custom Homes

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Watery concrete is already a bad situation let alone adding the 105+ degree days. I have worked with ACT Asphalt Specialties (who does concrete too) and they make sure to schedule the projects around the weather, not the other way around. Temperature can make a great impact on the finished product especially working in Minnesota. Good luck with ReadyMix, Its great they provided you with all the information. Hopefully enough to take the matter to someone who will fix it, and make it right at no additional cost to you. Thanks for sharing.
     

Share This Page