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imola ghost 10-23-2008 05:09 PM

Concrete driveway with rock salt finish?
I had a contractor install a new 2000 sq. ft driveway and patio. When he was pouring the concrete he broadcast rock salt into the top of the concrete and once it dries and the rain or water dissolves the rock salt it leaves indentations in the surface, giving it a textured look. Well as he was throwing out the rock salt I made a comment that the rock salt looked very big unlike the rock salt finish I've seen before. He said once it dries and the salt dissolves it will look good, trust him he said. Well I'm very, very unhappy with the rock salt finish. Not that isn't what I wanted but the rock salt I've seen was the size of fish tank gravel not the size of large marbles.

Anyways, we've decided to put a top coat over the concrete but first I need to fill in the small holes. I just started with a filling some of them in with a mixture that the concrete company told me to use. After filling in about 20 of the holes, I believe this is going to take a very, very long time. Is there a product or a process that could speed this up?

The reason these need to be filled first is that they aren't like the normal rock salt looking impressions you'd normally see. Some of these divots are deep around 1.5" deep! Not all of them but quite a few but then there are a lot of small round deeper holes that I feel if I was to squeegy or trial finish the entire surface, those wouldn't get filled properly.

Anyone have any recommendations?

Tscarborough 10-23-2008 05:36 PM

Make him tear it out and do it right.

RippySkippy 10-24-2008 08:03 AM

Can you post a picture or two...I'd love to see that...but yeah...make him do it right.

imola ghost 10-24-2008 10:04 AM

4 Attachment(s)
Here you go. This is maybe 2-3 months after and as you can see most of the rock salt still hasn't dissovled. My wife and I literally had to get out there and bust open with a hammer those darker spots. This allowed water in the divots to start dissolving the salt. But as you can see this is not how rock salt is supposed to look. It too spuradic and not completely covering the entire concrete area. Mainly the rock salt that he used was way to big. I don't know if you can tell from these pictures but there are some divots that are 1.5" deep/wide and there are some that are bigger

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Marvin Gardens 10-24-2008 10:04 AM

I agree with all the posts so far. He screwed up and needs to make it right.

yesitsconcrete 10-25-2008 02:57 AM

we use 13hp pressure washers w/10/15 degree turbo nozzles & 4gpm,,, maybe your guy's awaiting the rainy season to save work :laughing:

another reason to pressure wash is to REMOVE, asap, ( NaCl - sodium chloride - salt ) from contact w/cement's lime,,, conc's porous - salt attacks it [ever wonder why we have to resurface bdge decks ? ? ? ]

its doubtful you're micro-cracking the conc w/hammers as i expect you're using carpenter's hammers, not pneumatic guns.

far's the 'look', you could've anticipated void size & seeding pattern,,, after broadcasting, salt's work'd into wet conc w/bull float so, unless 1 is blind, its easily discernible how the finished conc'll appear,,, we pick water softener salt as does everyone else doing this work to my knowledge,,, 'not how rock salt is supposed to look' isn't fair imn-s-hfo - more correctly, its not how YOU wanted it to look,,, what did you give your contractor for sample/comparison/example as sample photo's done w/conc stamp, not salt.

IF you're going to resurface, be particularly certain you don't place the mtl too thick,,, WHICH conc co ? ? ? unless their work's thin resurfacing ( 1/32" - 1/16" ), i wouldn't trust any mtl recommended especially if it comes from an apron store,,, this work's a conc sub-specialty & not even experienced placers/finishers know it.

ps - don't use a 'squeegy' OR 'trial' (whatever they are) we use a broom,,, 'spuradic' - there's a horse involved, too ? ? ? :laughing:

TazinCR 10-25-2008 05:37 AM

I'll bet you paid him in full and he will not come back. Correct? If you knew it was wrong I would have stopped him.

Mike2756 10-25-2008 08:43 AM

I think small holes in your concrete is a bad idea because it only allows water to accumulate and freeze (if your in north country) causing deterioration and little holes do not improve traction. Also salt causes concrete deterioration (salted sidewalks loose their surface) I suggest pressure washing the works and make a mixture of surface mortar crushed pea gravel and applying with a stiff bristled floor broom so the surface is evenly covered and the holes are filled.

Lansing 10-26-2008 01:35 AM

That's a nice car there...The job is not so nice...It looks like the salt was placed to soon and troweled in where a lot of it is set down to deep...Your lucky the area there does not get the real cold winters we do here...Unless your getting the concrete removed and repoured with the type finish you want ?? I would not mess with patchs,etc that will show it up worst looking...If the contractor is not coming back ?? than leave it a year , than see how its standing up and looking then...

yesitsconcrete 10-26-2008 06:02 AM

replacement's out of the question,,, you accepted the work as the guy got paid - now he's gone,,, had you concerns, they were nullified by no stoppage of work in progress AND by final pymt,,, IF you discover hidden damages after completion OR find the conc strength/slump wasn't as spec'd, then you'd have cause for legal action.

if it were mine, i'd live w/it for a yr as suggested then decide if the budget allows further work,,, know its not easy sawllowing this pill but there's a lesson to be learned when your hire other work.

imola ghost 10-26-2008 08:02 PM

Well I started filling in the rock salt divots. We're using a product recommended by the concrete contractor and the concrete supplier. Here's a link to the product:

We are using the Hard Trowel Finish intially to fill in the divots and then once those are filled we'll refinish the top with the Broom Finish product. The difference in the two are that the broom finish has a lot more sand. I must say that after doing roughly 1000 sq. ft. so far other than my back is aching, it turned out very nice and the rock salt divots are for the most part filled. There are a few that once settled, fell a little below the surface but once the Broom Finish coat is put on, it should level out those. The product is pretty nice and I can say that it is very strong. I believe it is about 28 days it will harden to roughly 5271 psi.

I'm doing all of the filling of the divots and the concrete contractor that originally poured the concrete is doing the finishing work. He's been pretty decent to deal with over this. I believe by the end of the week we'll have a completely finished driveway and patio.

Lansing 10-27-2008 12:11 AM

I hope you get a good bond with all the high strength it claims to have...If you like it and got his help you seem to have done ok...

When dealing with pouring concrete and finishing it , well things can happen no matter how good you plan and try to get it right...Good luck there...

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