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Old 02-09-2009, 06:29 AM   #1
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Garage floor cracking


We had a 2 car garage with a carport attached to it, all detached from the house, built about 8 months ago. The slab was poured as one continuous pour and is ~40' by 30'. There was also a room built above the garage portion. What we have noticed is several cracks forming on the garage floor side and several more on the carport side. The carport side looks like the concrete has a marbled effect from all of the small cracks running together. Is all of this a problem or is it just due to the concrete curing? Also what is "acceptable" as a level pour for a floor this size?

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Old 02-09-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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Garage floor cracking


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We had a 2 car garage with a carport attached to it, all detached from the house, built about 8 months ago. The slab was poured as one continuous pour If you mean as a continuous, uncut floor slab, this is not good practice, especially for a garage. It should have had a number of control cracks either "finished" into the surface, or sawn in within a day or two of pouring. and is ~40' by 30'. There was also a room built above the garage portion. What we have noticed is several cracks forming on the garage floor side and several more on the carport side. Cracks on both sides could indicate an inadequately sized, prepared, or cured footer... although this is not necessarily the case. Today, so little care and attention is given to proper concrete soil preparation, placement, finishing, and curing that most newer contractors have actually come to truly believe that slab cracking in inevitable. The carport side looks like the concrete has a marbled effect from all of the small cracks running together. That definitely sounds like a workmanship problem. Is all of this a problem or is it just due to the concrete curing? Also what is "acceptable" as a level pour for a floor this size? Although a good percentage of contractors would develop a case of the chills over having to do this, 1/4' +- is about all you should see from level, or in this case, flat. And 1/8" is attainable, and required, in many applications.
But what you have is really not all that uncommon today. In the future, as you should do with all contractors, go to see at least two or three of their past jobs in person... and talk with the customers if you can.

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:58 AM   #3
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Garage floor cracking


Thanks for your reply Willie. The floor does not have any control joints cut into it. Do you think I have a structural problem or is this only going to be cosmetic? Also is there anything that can be done now to remedy it? Thanks again.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
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Garage floor cracking


Photos would help.

A garage floor would normally not be level here. It would be sloped toward the doorway.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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Garage floor cracking


Was this job inspected? Was there a Permit? What does the Builder have to say? This sounds like a disaster to me.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:46 PM   #6
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Garage floor cracking


No inspection and no permit.....county I live in doesn't require it. Builder of course says that all concrete cracks and that's normal. I'll try to get some pictures tonight and post. I think I used the wrong term and meant flat instead of level. What we're seeing is water pools in spots along the floor. It appears flat to the eye but doesn't pass the water test. Thanks guys.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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Garage floor cracking


Steve,
My Sympathies are with you. Maybe you can get a concrete guy to come look at it and give you an estimate for concrete repairs. That will give you a leg up if you talk to a Lawyer.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:12 PM   #8
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Garage floor cracking


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Originally Posted by steve37887 View Post
No inspection and no permit.....county I live in doesn't require it. Builder of course says that all concrete cracks and that's normal. I'll try to get some pictures tonight and post. I think I used the wrong term and meant flat instead of level. What we're seeing is water pools in spots along the floor. It appears flat to the eye but doesn't pass the water test. Thanks guys.
I think we all know you meant "flat". And it is even more disappointing to have standing water on a garage slab, simply because it IS sloped.

Of course, nothing can be said with total certainty through a long-range, taking-a-guess, and only going on a paragraph of comments medium such as this forum. But it doesn't sound like you are going to experience any catastrophic structural damage from what just sounds like a poorly executed job of concrete placement.

But keep an eye on it. Mark several of the worst cracks right now. Measure them for length and width, and see if they grow any larger over time. Check them every few weeks or so, and keep a documented chart of it. (Otherwise, you may find yourself imagining worse things than may actually occur.)

As far as "fixes" go. Not really. Do NOT let anyone talk you into trying to "top" the surface with more concrete. Nor will it do any good to cut the control cracks (joints) now. That has to be done very early in the curing stages to be effective.

Normally, with an occasional wild crack, here and there, you could patch the cracks with any of a number of compounds found at your HD or Lowe's. But I would wait and see what more may develop. If it seems to have done all the cracking it is going to do, then you could look into the crack patching methods.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:56 PM   #9
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Garage floor cracking


Ok, thanks again guys. Attached are 2 pics. The first one is of the garage floor. There is one main crack running from the garage door back in the center of the pic. The second one is of the carport floor and you can see what I mean about the "marbled" effect. Don't mind any of the water you see, we just washed the floor down and that's just leftover water that hadn't dried, not standing or seeping water. These are by far the worst, they're not big, just just A LOT of them. I read somewhere that this happens when water is used to trowel the concrete and then that water evaporates too fast. Is that possibly the cause? Thanks again, I hate people that can't do a job right. That's why I always prefer to do what I can myself.
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Garage floor cracking-carport-floor.jpg   Garage floor cracking-garage-floor.jpg  
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:09 PM   #10
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Garage floor cracking


These don't look serious. But that's just a comment from looking at a photograph, so don't take it to the bank. But I probably wouldn't worry.

On the right is "gatoring". Not a problem.
In some cases the surface layer of concrete may begin to form a network of fine cracks like you have on the right. This condition is often caused when a rapid drying procedure was used, or when there was inadequate curing of the concrete. Concrete should be kept cool (usually with moisture soaked burlap or wet straw) for a period of no less than three days. We usually actually run a lawn sprinkler on new slabs every couple of hours for several days. Water won't hurt the finish after the first eight hours or so.

Other contributing factors may include water on the surface during finishing, or the sprinkling of raw (dry) cement on the surface in order to dry the water up. This is a band-aid fix to the problem of either getting on the slab to finish too soon, or from a low spot that holds water.

Too much water while finishing usually just causes a weaker top surface and eventual "sanding" or "dusting" that is more of a continuing sweeping-up pain in the neck than anything. There are products you can put on the surface to help eliminate much of the "dusting", and also hide the cracks some. Check your local stores.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:18 PM   #11
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Garage floor cracking


All monolithically placed concrete over a certain size will crack. Period. The idea is to control where it cracks. From the photos, you have two different and unrelated types of cracking. The first photo appears to be what is known as shrinkage cracking, and is what is normally encouraged where to take place with control joints. Unless the joint continues to move, no problems with that. You can seal this crack with a good quality epoxy or high quality caulking made for the application.

The second can have several causes, among them overworking the slab during finishing and adding water late in the process. This type of cracking will reduce the durability of the concrete. A good sealer will help to minimize the issues with this type of cracking.
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:38 AM   #12
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Garage floor cracking


Steve-I'd like to know what area of the U.S. your are in. Those cracks look similar to ones found in monolithic pours here in S. Ga. particularly in the summer. It also appears to be "fiber-filled" concrete as opposed to re-bar. I poured a 24 x 36 in April of '96 and thought we did everything really right to prevent cracks. Nah-two cracks appeared about three weeks after the pour jumping across one of the control joints. They have not gotten any worse since then. I used Rock-ite to fill them. I just sat there and took my time placing the Rock-ite dust into the cracks with a little paint brush and spraying them with water. It's a hydraulic joint filler and it filled really good. I worked it down with a piece of old cement block and it looks pretty good, if I can find it under all that mess in there. Good Luck. Thanks, David
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:19 AM   #13
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Garage floor cracking


David,
I'm in Eastern TN. The slab was poured in early May of last year, don't exactly remember what the temps were like, but I'm 99% sure they only let it dry for 2 days. I don't know if they used the "fiber" mixed concrete, but I do remember seeing them put re-bar and wire mesh down before the pour, just happens I was home from work that day. Where did you find the Rock-ite you used to fill in your cracks? Thanks again for all the comments guys, while it doesn't take away the disappointment of having a bad job done, it does make me feel better that I'm most likely not going to lose the whole slab and building later.

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