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Old 02-02-2014, 08:12 AM   #1
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Concrete Patio Removal


Hi all, I'm new here and this is my first post so go easy on me.

I just purchased my first house in September and I'm getting around to all the little fixes that the house needs from the previous owner. Over all, the house is in fantastic shape but the outside patio needs some attention.

There is a 12'x15' concrete patio off the rear of the house that is completely cracked up and settled in all different directions. What I would like to do is completely remove the patio and when the weather warms up, put in a composite deck level with the sliding door.

Now I've never had to take on a project like this before and I have a friend with a dump truck and backhoe who keeps bugging me as to when we're going to get this project going.

Here's my few questions...

The concrete butts up right against the foundation of the house and there's a concrete step that is up against the exterior wall. Once I remove the concrete, what do I need to do, if anything, to the side of the house?

I'm assuming that because the concrete has cracked, the grading on that part of the house is probably junk. Should I back fill in some dirt immediately to the proper grading? Remember I am probably going to get this concrete deck out now while its around 0 degrees here in Wisconsin so as not to rip up my grass.

Is there anything I should pay particular attention to?

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Old 02-02-2014, 08:29 AM   #2
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Got some pictures?
The slab and the steps should not even be attached to the house, just butted up against it.
A few things to be aware of, a raised deck need at least 12" of air flow under it to ward off mold.
Any deck, stoop, patio, should never be build even with a threshold unless it's under cover.
100% sure way to get water damage under the siding and threshold area.
If you spend anytime on DIY sites you'll see hundreds of examples of home destroyed from this one building mistake.
You did not include your location to your profile so it's hard for anyone to guess what your local code may be as to how far below the threshold needs to be.
In snow areas it's often up to 6".

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Old 02-02-2014, 08:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Got some pictures?

Any deck, stoop, patio, should never be build even with a threshold unless it's under cover.
100% sure way to get water damage under the siding and threshold area.
If you spend anytime on DIY sites you'll see hundreds of examples of home destroyed from this one building mistake.
You did not include your location to your profile so it's hard for anyone to guess what your local code may be as to how far below the threshold needs to be.
In snow areas it's often up to 6".
Ok, keep in mind I'm completely new at all this. When you are talking about the threshold, what do you mean?

Here are some pictures for reference...


This is pretty much the gist of it. I didn't shovel everything but you can get an idea of what I'm up against.


This is one of the many cracks and you can kinda see how it is basically making a nice tunnel for water to flow right to the house


There seems to be about an inch of foam between the concrete and the foundation and looks like someone tried to fix some of the issue with expanding foam as well.



I also have a door that leads in to my garage with some planters put down leading to it. The grading here is especially bad. And somehow, even with the door sill about 8 inches off the ground, water tends to seep through and run in to my garage. I'm not sure if its the crap concrete underneath or what.




There's some snow in it, but you here you can see the concrete basically falling apart under the door


This kinda shows how bad the grading is. There's about a 3-4 inch difference in height between the left and the right sloped towards the house.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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yeah, pics.


"I have a friend with a dump truck and backhoe who keeps bugging me as to when we're going to get this project going"
fantastic resource right there.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:59 AM   #5
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that was fast :D.

how does the yard grade away from the house ?
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:05 AM   #6
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Haha with the least scientific and numeric answer - the yard is flat and doesnt seem to slope toward the house. Now, we have rock beds around the entire perimeter of the house and so I'm not exactly sure what the slope looks like under those. But in the short amount of time we've owned the house, we've had quite a few downpours and snow melts in the late fall and early winter and our sump pump has never had to turn on (and yes it works!). There's also no musty smell or sign of dampness in our basement. It is completely finished so its hard to get a good idea of how the basement walls look.
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:14 AM   #7
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Haha with the least scientific and numeric answer - the yard is flat and doesnt seem to slope toward the house. Now, we have rock beds around the entire perimeter of the house and so I'm not exactly sure what the slope looks like under those. But in the short amount of time we've owned the house, we've had quite a few downpours and snow melts in the late fall and early winter and our sump pump has never had to turn on (and yes it works!). There's also no musty smell or sign of dampness in our basement. It is completely finished so its hard to get a good idea of how the basement walls look.
ok, thats good. if it were mine. i would get that slab out of there. and put in a paver patio that slopes away from the house (as much as is possible).
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:19 AM   #8
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ok, thats good. if it were mine. i would get that slab out of there. and put in a paver patio that slopes away from the house (as much as is possible).
Well before realizing there was such an issue with the grading and the concrete patio, the plan was to install a deck level with the sliding door of the house. Not much larger than the patio now.

So I suppose my main question is, do I need to back fill right away? or can I wait until the weather warms up? Or if I do that, will I run in to even more of an issue with water running towards the foundation?
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:53 AM   #9
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No way would I be considering installing any type of deck on that style home.
It's already to low.
Go with a patio instead.
The main reason patios fail is the ground under them was not properly prepped, just removing the grass and poring over it is not going to work.
Both your doors were not installed right is the reason there leaking.
I'd bet there's no flashing under them, the one in the garage has nothing under the threshold to fully support it so it does not twist when stepped on.
The one on the house has a piece of something over the outside edge of the threshold instead of under it to support it so all it's doing is forming a funnel to direct the water behind it.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...electedIndex=1
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Old 02-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #10
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What do you mean both the doors? The sliding doors are not leaking. Just the one leading in to the garage.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:20 AM   #11
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Not that you can see.
It was suppose to look more like this.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...lectedIndex=59

Here's a picture if the kind of damage I've had to deal with dozens of times caused by that one building 101 mistake.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...lectedIndex=10
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:23 AM   #12
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So how would that go about getting fixed?
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:37 AM   #13
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I agree with Joe in regards to not installing a deck. You will not have proper ventilation under the joists and will end up with cupping and twisting of the deck joists due to the bottom of the joists absorbing moisture and expanding and the top shrinking from drying out when exposed to sunlight. A properly prepared patio would be the way to go in my humble opinion.

Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by GBrackins View Post
I agree with Joe in regards to not installing a deck. You will not have proper ventilation under the joists and will end up with cupping and twisting of the deck joists due to the bottom of the joists absorbing moisture and expanding and the top shrinking from drying out when exposed to sunlight. A properly prepared patio would be the way to go in my humble opinion.

Good luck!
Would the same happen with composite decking? I mean, you guys are the experts here. I always thought a deck would look real nice in the back yard but if I'm limited to a patio, that will have to do.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:19 AM   #15
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composite decking is the deck boards (finish surface) not the frame. I've seen composite deck boards applied over a concrete patio slab as a finish surface.

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