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HelicopterOff Topics › Concrete driveway, salt, pitting, flaking
06-02-2009 11:04 PM  8 years agoPost 1
tauscnc

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Joliet IL

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Ok, there have to be some concrete guys out here that know what they are doing.

So we bought a new house that is about 1.8 years old and we have been there the last 8 months. First winter etc. No salt that we put on the driveway...barely even shoveled the driveway.

Our concrete driveway is already pitting and flaking! The builder and concrete guy say it is the salt, not the workmanship. No warrantee. From pictures I sent (I can post here too) another builder says it is the classic to much water or not "flowing the concrete to the top."

Problem is, even if I did accept the salt reason, there are places where the concrete is flaking we have never driven over! Does salt just get catapulted off the car and land there too (being sarcastic).

SO

Does salt actually break your concrete up this fast?? If so why are the expressway and other roads still together.

The builder is now offering, after seeing the driveway again today, to patch and seal the driveway for $500.00 and I pay half. Is this just a band aid as I assume??

taus

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06-02-2009 11:09 PM  8 years agoPost 2
PBusch

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Minnesota

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I'm not a concrete expert but as far as I know salt will not cause it to flake, salt will pit the concrete but it takes many years for that to happen. I would say the flaking has something to do with how the concrete was mixed, like you said, too much water.

Hopefully someone here knows more about it then me, I want to know as well.

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06-02-2009 11:14 PM  8 years agoPost 3
Mutt

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I would contact a expert on concrete in your area. You may have to pay them a token fee to come out and look at it and give you a written reason as to why the concrete is doing what it is doing. Then make copies of it and give one to the contractor that is wanting to go half with you and possibly that way you can make him pay full price. Worth a shot. Nothing worse then poor workmanship on concrete.

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06-02-2009 11:16 PM  8 years agoPost 4
tauscnc

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Joliet IL

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The ready mix guy should be there tomorrow, hopefully... to look at it.

They said a sample of the mix to see if it is their mistake is $1500.00 to do I am sure they will find nothing wrong so I don't think I will be going this route.

I am just curious as to why everyone says SALT,,, is this just a "cop-out" answer because it is easier than taking the heat and fixing the work?

taus

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06-02-2009 11:19 PM  8 years agoPost 5
Mutt

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To be honest I couldnt tell you if salt would or wouldnt hurt concrete since I do not live in a area where they salt roads etc. I used to live in Illinois and they salted roads there and it never hurt my concrete. So I in my opinion would say its a cop out on thier part/ I would persue it even if you have to get another guy involved like a inspector or someone who is supposed to know about that stuff.

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06-02-2009 11:24 PM  8 years agoPost 6
whirlyspud

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USA

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I salt the living hell out of my driveway every year. It has held up fine to 12 years of it. Sounds like they are trying to cover their asses.

Edit: Wife just got home so I asker her. She is a Structural Engineer. She said it is not salt. She said what you have is of a bad mix, or concrete that was on the truck too long. I hope you can work it out without it costing you a fortune.

Mike

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06-02-2009 11:28 PM  8 years agoPost 7
Mutt

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There you go a lot of experience of salted driveways. Hmm sounds like a snack. Good luck I hope you get it repaired sounds like shoddy workmanship to me.

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06-02-2009 11:34 PM  8 years agoPost 8
altima1779

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Toledo, oh u.s

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My neighbor just had a new driveway put in last year. They now have a huge crack running down close to the house. In their case the people who did the work are not the people who mixed the concrete. They agreed to fix the crack labor free but he has to pay for the concrete.

If the concrete people can check the mix and if it is not a bad mix but a poor job finishing you may be able to lay blame on the people who installed it. That is all of course if two different companies were involved. At least one way or the other you may have someone to back up your claim.

By the way my neighbor told me they can not shovel or use salt for at least two years on their new concrete driveway. I believe it takes that long to cure the concrete.

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06-03-2009 12:06 AM  8 years agoPost 9
whirlyspud

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USA

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Most of the time the people that install it are not the ones that mix it. It gets mixed at the plant, then poured into the truck. It is like epoxy. From the time it is mixed is has a certain amount of time to be used. If it is not used in that time frame, it is no good and it has to go back. One residential stuff this gets pushed alot. On comercial stuff they have people paying attention to the details.

Mike

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06-03-2009 01:38 AM  8 years agoPost 10
wakeboarder2342

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USA

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There are 2 types of concrete in the world.. That that has spauled or flaked and that that will spaul or flake!!

While that isnt 100 percent true as a builder i can tell you the 3 causes of spauling in the first few years is either

#1- overfinishing by the guys that laid it. It gives a smooth finish but puts a thin layer of mud on the surface that isnt very strong

#2- water penetration and freezing. the most common in cold areas is it rains and then freezes which pops the top layer of the concrete up. this can be prevented by using a concrete sealer once or twice a year to stop salt/water ect from penetrating

#3- bad cement mix. the improper mixture of cement powder, water and gravel can also cause this to happen.

i think 500 dollars sounds pretty cheap considering what it would cost to tear it all out and fix it. You would probably be around 1000 dollars for removal of a standard drive and then another 3 dollars a foot to relay what was removed.

I can tell you as a builder our warranty is very specific as to concrete spauling that we dont warranty it after the standard 1 year warranty. Some flaking and spauling is expected. Now if its the entire drive or there are large cracks IE greater then 1/8" then i would be more concerned.

favorite quote, no honey thats the same helicoptor i have always had

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06-03-2009 01:43 AM  8 years agoPost 11
DSW

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Oviedo, Florida 32765

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Your concrete failure is not from the salt. During freezing temperatures, the moisture within the conrete freezes and expands. Normally the concrete producer adds an air entrianing admixture to the concrete to develop an air-void system in the matrix of the mix. Typically in the 4%-6% range by volume. Its dependent on the severity of the exposure conditions or freeze-thaw cycles. This air-void system (microscopic air bubbles) provide space for the water to expand when it freezes.
If the % air is lower than required, the surface may spall or delaminate.

Here's a link that may provide some answers.
http://nrmca.org/aboutconcrete/cips/02p.pdf

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06-03-2009 04:53 AM  8 years agoPost 12
RaptorMan23

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Sioux City, IA

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Well, Ive been an asphalt man for 6 years but Im around concrete alot too. It shouldnt be giving you any problems at all and it sure as hell isnt from salt. Id tell that contractor to get his head out of the sand and check his work. Dont pay half, hes just trying to save the paperwork involved. Your gonna have to talk to another person evidently.

BTW, highways, freeways, and streets have a totally different kind of concrete, pretty high dollar stuff that will eat the skin off your hands if it gets on you.

You probibly just got a crappy batch of concrete, too much water can do it also but Im betting on it being a bad batch

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06-03-2009 05:09 AM  8 years agoPost 13
Jerc 77

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Minot

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Pics
Taus,
Email some pics to me. I have been building airfields for 17 years and work daily with an excellent pavements engineer. We'll both look at them and tell you why it spalled.
Jeremy

"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." - Mark Twain

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06-03-2009 01:24 PM  8 years agoPost 14
RaptorMike

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Rapid City, SD

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I've seen salt on new concrete pit it out over a weekend. I've enjoyed reading the responces from CA and FL, guys that have most likely never seen snow except for post cards!

If concrete is exposed to salt in the first 2-3 years after it's poured it will in fact pit and flake up the top surface. If you don't want to believe it or pay for the test go down to Lowes or Home Depot and buy a bag of Quikrete. Mix it up let it cure for a few days and put some road salt on it and see what happens. That's under $10 and you'll learn quick. I've seen salt wick almost 15 feet from where it was applied from the wind blowing it while it was dry and from concrete being the excellent sponge that it is.

But hey what do I know after more than 15 years in construction with more than 4 of them replacing concrete that people had applied salt to that pitted the surface!

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06-03-2009 01:59 PM  8 years agoPost 15
Mutt

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M ca usa

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I've enjoyed reading the responces from CA and FL, guys that have most likely never seen snow except for post cards!
Another guy who dont know about california. Yea never seen snow another tool

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06-03-2009 02:37 PM  8 years agoPost 16
ttsingram

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Lincoln, Ne

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I drive a concrete truck, I actually mix on the spot. Not one of those lazy guys that just sits and delivers the premix. Salt CAN ruin a finish job if it is used before the concrete is fully cured. But I doubt this is the case.

wakeboarder2342 pretty much hit the nail on the head. My #1 guess is overfinished. Also, finishing it too early can also cause problems. If the concrete is still to "wet" it is easier to "butter" the top bringing more portland to the top with less aggerate to hold it down. Many people also bull float too long which would cause spalling. You should only float it with as little passes as possible, let it set for a little bit (depending on the slump) and then trowl it.

I would not say that the concrete was not poured to wet however. Usually if is is poured too wet it cracks, not spalls due to the concrete shrinking while cureing.

It is possible they could have poured a weak mixture (more sand and less portland) also trying to save money. But I doubt this also.

If you want there is independant testing companys that would test it for you and not be parcial giveing you a true test. Being you are not the origional owner I hate to say it but I think you are screwed. No one knows what the origional owners did after it was poured.

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06-03-2009 02:48 PM  8 years agoPost 17
ShankBones

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La Quinta, CA USA

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Hey Taus, sounds like there's lots of concrete guys here with good info.

All I can tell you is from my personal experience and hanging out in the evenings with a bunch of beer belly'd, butt scratching drinkers that go to work on concrete all day long.

I live in an area that is just below sea level, it is now a dried up sea bed from millions of years ago. So the ground is very high in salinity.

There is lots of concrete pours that have gone bad here because of salty flaking, cracks 1/8 and larger.

The biggest reason is that some concrete guys just did not apply a plastic membrane to seal the salt below the concrete level.

Salt always wants to come up to the surface if not watered down. So planters and grass yards may get the water to leash the salt down, but the concrete now acts like a sponge to the salt.

This is only one theory and the other suggestions you got here have a valid explanation too.

"Whats Right is Right and Whats Wrong is Not Flying"

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06-03-2009 02:58 PM  8 years agoPost 18
tauscnc

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Joliet IL

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Thanks guy - I will post pics on my site today and send a link.

We are the orignal owners, we are the only title to the house. It was built, sat for a year and then we bought it. We moved in sept. 08. Within 8 months the concrete driveway is pitting and flaking off. The house is a custom built (spec house - we did not have it built) and we paid a pretty penny.

The builder and concrete guys say "well it was fine for the first year" well yeah, no one drove on it .... Again, we did not use any salt on the driveway... they claim it is from the tires of our car. But I have a problem with that on many levels. Places our car has never been are flaking. He told me our community uses liquid salt.I am trying to confirm this.

The $500 "fix" is just that a little fix, they want me to power wash it, than they will "patch the pits" and put a new sealer on it. Than I split 1/2 payment... will see...

Here is exactly what the warrantee says

"Cracks, scaling, popping of concrete surfaces due to settlement and/or weathering conditions that do not result from faulty construction or defective materials but are the result of natural shrinkage and drying out of building materials or of normal settlement of the building or other normal movement of the building components, are not covered by this Warranty, and are hereby excluded."

back to investigating. Hopefully the ready mix guy will come out today.

taus

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06-03-2009 03:01 PM  8 years agoPost 19
beidle99

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West Deptford, NJ

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Can you rub your hand or foot across the flaking area and get it to pull up or flake more? Exposing the aggregate? IF so, it sounds like the finish started to get away from them and they added water to and continued to work it and pulled to much "cream" to the top. Or they got a bad batch of concrete.
The coring sample will tell you exactly what happened to the finish ie. salt (how far down it got down), to much water, etc.
We had a similar problem at the community where I am a CM at and ended up using a Sika product that parged and sealed the concrete. It is very expensive but does work. I have attached pictures of the stairs before the fix was done.
The concrete subcontractor tried to wash their hands of the problem and blame the landscaper for using salt. Once we got a concrete expert out ($1500 initial charge) and told them that they were going to pay the entire bill after coring and lab tests (another $5000) they decided it wasn't worth the trouble and applied the Sika product for the repair.

Good luck on the repair. They should powerwash the drive before the repair to remove anything loose so that the repair sticks.

Who raised the ground since I took off?

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06-03-2009 03:01 PM  8 years agoPost 20
ttsingram

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Lincoln, Ne

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Ok, did not know you were the original owner. As for the tires causing the problems BS!

If the community sprays salt they might be at falult there. I would see what they have to say also.

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HelicopterOff Topics › Concrete driveway, salt, pitting, flaking
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