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driveway77 11-25-2013 06:51 PM

Poor job on New Concrete Driveway
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I just had a portion of our driveway redone. Nice large concrete slabs with Mexican pebble in between. From afar it looks great. Up close horrible Ė to me at least. The corners were not rounded nicely, the corners are a different color/finish than the top , and you can see the fanned trowel marks on the surface when it was supposed to be a to a smooth concrete finish, and water pools conveniently right at the front step because of improper grading. Iím a bit lost as to what I do now so Iím trying to figure out if the craftsmanship meets industry standards and Iím just being too picky, or if I have a bigger issue on my hands. I thought we were going with a pretty good person and I didnít think it was low bidder situation because to me concrete was a portion I wanted to invest in - it is going to be there for years, it would be an incredible pain to pull out, and I wanted it to look good. Do you have any suggestions on a second opinion, or what I should do next?

joecaption 11-25-2013 09:04 PM

Adding your location to your profile by going to quick links to edit may give some insight as to why it came out so poopy.

cleveman 11-25-2013 09:19 PM

Thanks for the post. I've never seen concrete like that. Do you have a detail of the joints? I wonder if the concrete is thinner there, or non-existent or the same thickness, just dropped down.

joecaption 11-25-2013 09:25 PM

There's lots of full time concrete guys on this site so hold in there for there suggestions.

cleveman 11-25-2013 09:44 PM

You're going to have a hard time photographing that so people can get a good idea of what is going on.

I can see how the edging is not all the same and it looks like there is some that flaked off.

I can see the trowel marks and this is why a broom finish is so nice. With a broom finish, you can do most all your troweling with a fresno, then screw the broom onto your stick.

As for the edging, I wonder if you saw much of the guys work. I'm thinking that if I were to do a pour like this, how the heck would I get in and do that hand edging? I sure wouldn't want to wait until I could get out on the slab to start the edging. Sometimes it is nice to move along with a bucket of water and wet down your edger, but if you find yourself using water to edge with, this is not good. Then you get a slurry on top of the concrete and it will be weak.

As for water collecting in some area, this is maybe the worst problem. The other things which you brought up are mostly just not so pretty, but I would hate to have water puddling in areas. It is always best to have a bit more than minimum slope so that if you get a low spot, it will still drain out.

driveway77 11-26-2013 12:20 AM

Thanks for the responses. I'm in the Los Angeles area. It was about 60 and cloudy on the day of the pour. The slabs are about 4'x12', each one a separate slab and they are not connected. If I recall. They were poured about 4-5" deep. My main concerns are if the concrete will hold up as long as it should have if it we're put in with good workmanship or if this is all cosmetic and it will be fine (Besides the poor grading at the step)...or if this is just going to keep deteriorating and will prematurely break down. Hope this info helps a bit more.

jomama45 11-26-2013 08:10 AM

This is a DIY site, not sure what you're looking for as far as help. It's nearly impossible to offer opine on "workmanship" from a few thousand miles away, and even so, what good is a bunch of opinions? I'd personally have a talk with the contractor to see what he has to say, or call the ready mix supplier to see if they think it's at, above, or below average. It's going to be extremely hard getting a useful, non-biased opinion on this for free though............

The one thing that does stand out to me is the profile of the slab at 4' x 12'. Unless those slabs are already jointed in half, they're likely to crack in half in the future. Concrete likes to be square, the "industry standard" is typically 1.5x maximum lenght to width ratio........

WorkHard 11-27-2013 01:31 PM

Based on the photos there are some minor defects - but it's hardly a poor job. The edging, trowel marks, and puddling are all easily corrected by wetting down the surface and re-doing the entire slab with a cementious-sealant. If you paid a minimum of $9 per square-foot (2013 national-average,) or more for the work (including demolition and removal of any old structure,) you should ask whoever did the work to make the corrections. But if you paid a lesser-rate, you may have to find another contractor to make the final minor corrections. If you have more photos or info it would be helpful, but based on the photos and description, the problems, though they should not be present, are easily correctable.

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