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Old 07-23-2007, 07:28 AM   #1
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Concrete problem in garage?


I'm having a problem with wicking in my garage. I've spoken with the builder and they said they've never seen this before. They assured me that they did everything right—gravel, wire, plastic, etc.), but something is clearly wrong.

Does anyone know what could be causing this?

Thanks,
Kelly
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:36 PM   #2
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Concrete problem in garage?


That would be holes in the polyethylene vapor barrier. So how is your contractor going to fix it?
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:03 PM   #3
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Concrete problem in garage?


I don't know. Do you have any suggestions?
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:21 PM   #4
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Concrete problem in garage?


The only way I know would be to fix the holes in the poly. The only way to do that is to remove the concrete, patch the hole with more poly and pour a new floor. The builder won't want to do that, or might want to only do the affected areas. If he only does the affected areas the appearance of the repaired areas might not match the rest of the floor very well.

If you're lucky the builder used a sub that he can chew on for doing a bad job and he can insist the sub tear it out and do it right. If your not lucky the builder did the work and will insist that it's "normal" or that he has no idea why it's doing it but that he did the floor "right".
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:30 PM   #5
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Concrete problem in garage?


Don't be surprised if he offers to coat the whole surface with a "magic sealer". This is just a bandaid repair and won't fix the real problem which appears to be what Jogr stated.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:08 PM   #6
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Concrete problem in garage?


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or that he has no idea why it's doing it but that he did the floor "right".
Yep, that's exactly what the builder and concrete guy said.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:10 PM   #7
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Concrete problem in garage?


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If you're lucky the builder used a sub that he can chew on for doing a bad job and he can insist the sub tear it out and do it right.
Is this possible AFTER the house is built? This sounds like some pretty major stuff that if not done properly could compromise the foundation and structure of the home.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:24 PM   #8
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Concrete problem in garage?


You really do not know if it is actually a perforated vapor barrier. In any event, nothing looks like a structural problem. How can a moisture problem on a garage floor compromise the foundation and structure of the rest of the house? - It looks more like a cosmetis/possible funstion problem.

All I see on the floor is some non-structural stains (the last photo maybe something different) on a garage floor. The only thing structural I see is a post for a few steps and tube post for shelving or something. - Am I missing the connection to the rest of the structure?

The proposed repair process could be more detrimental to the rest of the home than the stains on the floor. Is there a special purpose for the garage area or a unique structural tie?

You will have to work out something with the builder and back it up with something tangible. If it is really a big thing, you may want to hire an engineer to provide an opinion to back up your claims.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:38 PM   #9
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Concrete problem in garage?


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How can a moisture problem on a garage floor compromise the foundation and structure of the rest of the house? - It looks more like a cosmetis/possible funstion problem.
I was referring to the repair.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:39 PM   #10
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Concrete problem in garage?


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In any event, nothing looks like a structural problem.
You can't see it in the photos I posted, but the garage is starting to develop hairline cracks were the dark lines that link the spots are. We have not put anything heavy, like cars, in the garage yet. BTW, I have forwarded these photos to the builder's engineering department for review. Hopefully, none of this is structural.

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Old 07-24-2007, 06:00 PM   #11
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Concrete problem in garage?


The wicking isn't a structural issue. Hairline cracks seem to be the norm on concrete slabs though some will argue whether that should be. With all your control joints I wouldn't expect to see any cracks outside the control joints. You might just be seeing some surface "crazing".

As far as replacing the garage floor to eliminate the wet spots, it shouldn't cause a structural issue if you have a stemwall on footing foundation. If you have a monolithic slab on grade then it gets too complicated for me.

The wet spots are typically caused by water vapor working up through the concrete and condensing on the surface. If the ground was pretty saturated when they poured the floor and you have a pretty well drained yard I would think you have a chance that the wet spots may go away as the soil beneath the slab loses moisture - but that is just speculation. It may also become a seasonal thing.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:45 PM   #12
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Concrete problem in garage?


Trust me the contractor will not do anything about this. If he does it will not be pouring a new floor. We do not do vapor barriers here in Eastern WA. but if this is the worst of your problems you probably got a great house. Concrete is a strange thing and it does strange things. I am no expert but the only way you have a chance of a new floor is it was subbed out and your contractor forces the subs to do it again. Of course I have been known to be wrong (just ask the wife).
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:00 AM   #13
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Concrete problem in garage?


Just an update. I'm now working with the builder's service manager to determine the root of this problem and a possible fix. Does anyone have any more insight on my concrete problem which might be helpful to the builder?
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:58 AM   #14
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Concrete problem in garage?


You have the very common shrinkage cracks.

You have an area with microcracking of the surface which is not structural.

You have several small discolored areas (non-structural) that may fade and blend in or not be a fact in the function of the garage.

There is no one in the world that will guarantee uniform colored of concrete that is subject to many factors.

Apparently everything else has passed your appearance/observation tests.

Any "repairs" would probably leave you with an appearance you would not be happy with, but you may get a few buck or two or a coat of "goop" out of the contractor.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:05 AM   #15
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Concrete problem in garage?


So what about the wicking problem? I literally have water sitting on the surface of the concrete. This does NOT appear to be normal.
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