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Old 07-31-2007, 11:46 AM   #16
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Concrete problem in garage?


If you actually have water sitting on the slab, it is not "wicking". There must be something to bring an excess of moisture over evaporation to cause water to accumulate.

There are several possibilites depending on the construction detaills.

When was the concrete poured and what part of the world are you in?

In all reality, you probably will have to hire a local engineer to look at the situation and make recommendations for a solution. You cannot rely on posting and the internet to get an accurate answer.

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Old 07-31-2007, 12:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
If you actually have water sitting on the slab, it is not "wicking". There must be something to bring an excess of moisture over evaporation to cause water to accumulate.

There are several possibilites depending on the construction detaills.

When was the concrete poured and what part of the world are you in?

In all reality, you probably will have to hire a local engineer to look at the situation and make recommendations for a solution. You cannot rely on posting and the internet to get an accurate answer.
The concrete was poured in late January of this year. I'm located in the Tidewater area of Virginia. Our property is about 100 feet above sea level, but I'm not sure what the water table is like in this particular area.

I agree with your last statement. A few days ago I emailed photos of the problem to the builder's engineering department so they can determine the cause and a possible solution. They are currently reviewing everything. The one consistent thing I've noticed is whenever we get a heavy rain, or use the irrigation system, we see the water problem. There are no pipes underneath the garage slab and I don't believe the water is coming from an underground water source, like a stream.

Another interesting thing is the worst area has a slight bump in it—like the concrete was pushed up, probably when it was wet. Weird.

Last edited by kcrossley2; 07-31-2007 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:17 PM   #18
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Concrete problem in garage?


Keep us informed on what happens. Unfortunately as I said before I do not believe you will get much done either. But I have been wrong before and I know it will happen again someday. Good luck and I hope this gets resolved to your satisfaction.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:24 PM   #19
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Concrete problem in garage?


Here's the latest photo of the water problem.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:27 PM   #20
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Concrete problem in garage?


For about 5 years, I lived in the Tidewater area (Chesapeake - Riverwalk) and am somewhat familiar with the conditions and the type of contractors (generals and subs).

In the lower elevations, you have some miserable fine sand clay soild that can hold water and release it over time when consolidated. I am don't recall too many sites in the VB side of the tunnel that are 100 feet elevation, except for some in western Chesapeake/Suffolk, so you must be on the Hampton side.

Obviously, it is a cosmetic problem and not a major water problem since there is no water seeping through the slab joints or at the wall/slab joints. Any above slab sources like leaks have been eliminated.

As long as you rely on the posts and the contractors engineers, you will not get an answer to satisfy your standards of construction. You will obviously get proposals to repair, but ofter repairs can be detrimental. Your only way to get an accurate answer is to hire a good local engineer familiar with the materials and geology of the area.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:32 PM   #21
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I am don't recall too many sites in the VB side of the tunnel that are 100 feet elevation, except for some in western Chesapeake/Suffolk, so you must be on the Hampton side.

Obviously, it is a cosmetic problem and not a major water problem since there is no water seeping through the slab joints or at the wall/slab joints. Any above slab sources like leaks have been eliminated.

As long as you rely on the posts and the contractors engineers, you will not get an answer to satisfy your standards of construction. You will obviously get proposals to repair, but ofter repairs can be detrimental. Your only way to get an accurate answer is to hire a good local engineer familiar with the materials and geology of the area.
Actually, I'm about 15 miles west of Williamsburg. I was told today that the builder is submitting the photos to one of their engineering partners, who specializes in geological issues, so it appears we have some professionals on the case, or at least I hope we do.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:33 PM   #22
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Concrete problem in garage?


The geological engineer is coming Friday, along with the builder's service manager. Aside from the normal, "Why is this happening and how are you going to fix it?" question, what else should I ask these folks?
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:54 AM   #23
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I think the key thing to convey to the engineers is:

"It's getting worse!" The before and after shows quite a growth of the stain. You have the new house warranty so now is the time to get it fixed. If you wait 5 years or something, then you're on your own. And if it's something that requires a bunch of work, then I hope you make a good salary.

At least that's what I would do.

Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:29 PM   #24
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Okay, here's the latest. The engineer suggested we drill a hole in the crawlspace and beneath the low point of the garage floor to help drain any water that's trapped under the garage floor. That was two weeks ago and it didn't work.

Tomorrow, they'll be taking core samples of the garage floor to see if they can identify the cause of the problem. BTW, does anyone have a link to what a cross section view of a garage floor should look like? (gravel, stone, plastic, etc.)

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Old 09-08-2007, 05:28 PM   #25
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Concrete problem in garage?


whatever happened? i know someone who has the same problem - including the ridge where the grade is (in the garage that wicks water after it rains).
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:22 PM   #26
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Okay, here's what we think happened. The concrete was poured in January. During cold months, accelerators are often mixed in with concrete to help the curing process. In this case, the accelerator for cold weather is calcium chloride—otherwise known as salt.

Normally this is added at the concrete plant in liquid form, but sometimes the concrete finisher will opt to add it on site by simply throwing a few bags of dry salt into the mixing truck.

Unfortunately, they didn't mix the accelerators long enough and when they poured the garage floor clumps of unbroken salt were poured in with the mix. As the concrete cured, the clumps of salt didn't, which in turn created small voids or pockets within the concrete that were filed with salt. Eventually, naturally occurring moisture found it's way into the voids and liquified the salt.

We believe high levels of concentrated salt caused condensation to form on the surface of the concrete, which is where the water was coming from. The core samples clearly showed an intact vapor barrier and dry gravel, which indicates that we don't have any groundwater related issues with the floor. This of course was good news, even though the mixing error wasn't.

Next week the builder is sending in a crew to jackhammer and remove the old flooring and pour a new garage floor. Although this error was unfortunate, I am very impressed with the builder's response to this matter. I hope this helps your friend.
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:49 PM   #27
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Okay, garage floor demolition begins this week. Any advice?
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:10 PM   #28
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I'm very impressed with your builder. My only advice would be to let his crew do their thing. And be sure to tell others that he is a builder who stands behind his work.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:27 PM   #29
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I'm very impressed with your builder. My only advice would be to let his crew do their thing. And be sure to tell others that he is a builder who stands behind his work.
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:21 PM   #30
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Concrete problem in garage?


Rely on the concrete that is proportioned, mixed and delivered by the ready-mix company. Do not let the contractor add anything without signing off.

Most ready-mix companies will have the driver note what he added (including water) at the site. This should be on the driver's receipt and the customer's receipt. If the contractor slipped in something, it can be tough to catch.

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