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Old 08-20-2012, 07:35 AM   #1
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concrete patio nightmare


Hi, I am a noob to the site, but I found it out of desperation. I hired a small company to put in a roughly 600 sqft patio attached to my house (Edmonton, Canada). After the pour was done, he did not properly expose the aggregate, and there are many rock pop-outs. Also, there is an obvious cold joint. Company is not returning calls...basically has walked. Are these things possible to repair? I'm also worried that the base of it is not cone correctly. Thanks, Russell

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Old 08-20-2012, 08:27 AM   #2
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Hi, I am a noob to the site, but I found it out of desperation. I hired a small company to put in a roughly 600 sqft patio attached to my house (Edmonton, Canada). After the pour was done, he did not properly expose the aggregate, and there are many rock pop-outs. Also, there is an obvious cold joint. Company is not returning calls...basically has walked. Are these things possible to repair? I'm also worried that the base of it is not cone correctly. Thanks, Russell
Should not be any rock pop ups on the surface. Did you pay in full?

I had a patio done a few months ago. I can offer some pictures I posted:

Concrete Patio...what type of mix: 4 sack, 5 sack


Last edited by hammerlane; 08-20-2012 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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Boy, nothing ruins a perfectly good slab like shoddy work.

The short, unfortunate answer to your question is no. I'm also wondering why there would be a cold joint in the first place. They're usually caused by the concrete from the first truck setting up before the second truck can get there and get poured out, but 600ft2 is only about 7.4 yards, well within the amount you can get on a single truck. This sounds like a small-time guy who is trying to estimate too close, order just enough to get the job done, and realizing that it costs you double the amount that it would to just order 1/2 yard more than you think you'll need.

I don't suppose its too late to dispute the payment with your credit card company (unless you paid in green money, which you should never do. Always have a paper trail).
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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Mort, you are absolutely correct...he estimated too close and had to wait a long time on a hot day for the next truck to arrive. No, did not pay in full, but did put up roughly half at the start of the whole process. I paid by cheque, so there is a paper trail, but the money is long gone. Not sure I want to sue him, but it is a fair bit of $$. Just told him today to get lost (in case he had any doubts)...he was trying to convince me that he could sandblast to expose, then epoxy in the pop outs and hide the uneven parts. I also forgot to mention, he also tried to cheap out an aggregate, and just brought in irregular stuff (lots of small sharp rocks, etc), probably hoping I wouldn't notice. Nothing but a re-do can fix that. Hard to believe that I found this guy listed in the local BBB, with an A+ rating. Just brutal. Next step...rip out and do again, or can I put on some sort of different surface finish? Advice? Thanks, Russell

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Old 08-20-2012, 09:25 PM   #5
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I'll have to let an experienced finisher take that one, but I'm thinking a rip-up-and-replace is the only way to make it look decent. That way, you can at least be sure the subgrade was done properly.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:57 PM   #6
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Hi Mort, Ya I'm kind of thinking the same thing...I don't want to find myself throwing good money after bad. Thinking of doing the saw cuts and then maybe I can wait for a season of freeze-thaw and see how it holds up. If good, then maybe I can look into using something around here called "Spec Deck" from Con-Spec Industries. In any case, the next step won't be happening this season...construction industry around here continues to be pretty busy, and getting qualified contractors has been a problem around here for several years now. Just another downside of the oil sands boom... Thanks again. Russell
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:29 AM   #7
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, he also tried to cheap out an aggregate, and just brought in irregular stuff (lots of small sharp rocks, etc), probably hoping I wouldn't notice.
did you notice if he laid any wire mesh before the pour?
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:09 AM   #8
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Hi Hammerlane, the base is mostly road crush (guessing 4 inches on top of clay soil), though he brought in some sand when he ran out of crush (again, cheap bugger). There is 10mm rebar grid, spaced at 18" throughout (and attached to the house foundation), with 15mm rebar at the edges and step. He also dug 8 piles (7" diameter, I think), but did not dig them below the frost line (6 feet around here...), and probably no rebar inside. I insisted that he chair the rebar, but from photos taken for me during the pour, he just shoveled some concrete under.

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Old 08-22-2012, 12:22 PM   #9
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Hope you didn't pay in full....I would let it go for now and see what it looks like in 6 months. If it is structurally ok, You could do some saw cuts and staining, or overlay the whole patio and make it look like tile. Again, this would only be a cosmetic fix...not a structural repair. If that process takes to long...tear it out and start over. With some of these small time guys you have to be careful with their bids, they might be thinking there giving you a heck of a deal in terms of price, not knowing you are willing to pay twice the bid price to have it done right the first time.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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Hi Hammerlane, the base is mostly road crush (guessing 4 inches on top of clay soil), though he brought in some sand when he ran out of crush (again, cheap bugger). There is 10mm rebar grid, spaced at 18" throughout (and attached to the house foundation), with 15mm rebar at the edges and step. He also dug 8 piles (7" diameter, I think), but did not dig them below the frost line (6 feet around here...), and probably no rebar inside. I insisted that he chair the rebar, but from photos taken for me during the pour, he just shoveled some concrete under.
I'll never understand why people think it's a good idea to tie a frost protected structure together with a slab that's prone to frost heave or settling, especially if the guy went through the work of drilling piers into the ground.........
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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I'll never understand why people think it's a good idea to tie a frost protected structure together with a slab that's prone to frost heave or settling, especially if the guy went through the work of drilling piers into the ground.........

Is there any risk of the patio movement causing damage to my foundation?
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:58 AM   #12
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rphw, I was thinking of you yesterday when I was at Totem.

By the order desk, they had samples and brochures of a material that can be put down on top of concrete. It was like a rubber material available in many colours that has some texture to it. It looked very nice. I think it is put down mechanically in one continuous layer. The brochure shows it being used on driveways as well as patios. I don't know how the material will hold up to shoveling our snow.

I know I should have grabbed the brochure to give you the name of the product/company. Next time I'm in Totem, I'll grab one and let you know.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:04 PM   #13
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Is there any risk of the patio movement causing damage to my foundation?
Absolutely. It could take years, but you can bet that you'll never beat Mother Nature........
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:09 PM   #14
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Absolutely. It could take years, but you can bet that you'll never beat Mother Nature........
Presuming I don't rip it all out, could I just make a 1" deep sawcut (say 1 foot away) to encourage cracking or movement near the house? Or, would I need to actually go deep enough to cut the rebar?

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