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Old 08-07-2018, 06:06 PM   #1
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how can I fix these huge gaps


Hi all.

I have a huge gap between the slabs in my enclosed patio.

It is a nightmare scenario. There was a patio slab that the original owner had made into an enclosed space. The roof leaked and the walls were decaying because he had wrapped them improperly stone . So we ripped the structure down.

Then we had a contractor dig new footings and pour a slab over the existing slab. He put plastic down over the old slab and put in rebar. He drilled into the foundation and inserted rebar to tie the two slabs together. Unfortunately he didn't make it tall enough nor square.
A different contractor rebuilt the structure and had another slab poured (via wheelbarrow). it's about 2" thick.

The house is 40 years old (located in south Texas) and the soil is very unstable. It's Houston Black Clay which swells with the rain and shrinks with the drought.

I had the foundation piered in 2014. They put in over 75 piers. They double piered the footings where the two slabs meet.

Now the triple slab is separated from the foundation.

Everyone (including a structural engineer) I've asked said to just pour more concrete into the gap. Something just doesn't seem right with that answer. No one said anything about how to calculate how much concrete I'll need. Nor how to prevent pouring 10 yards of concrete into a bottomless hole. And what about using a primer or binding agent? Do I need to remove more concrete so that the new concrete can fill all the gaps?

Any advice is very welcome.

Thank you!
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:17 PM   #2
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


Nothing you mentioned that has been done is the way I would have done it, but I'm going to wait until a few of the full time concrete guys chime in before saying anything.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:19 PM   #3
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


When or if you get this fixed, will it not just happen again. You have stabilized the house but the deck is free floating with the moisture condition.
What is the procedure that works with house that have a stable foundation and a slab patio?
I think I would fill it with sand with just a skim coat patch that would not be hard to replace when it happens again.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:19 PM   #4
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


no, nothing was done correctly but I can't rewrite history, I can only move forward.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:45 PM   #5
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


Quote:
The house is 40 years old (located in south Texas) and the soil is very unstable. It's Houston Black Clay which swells with the rain and shrinks with the drought.
Ayuh,.... Bein' from the Northeast, I can't even imagine these conditions,.....

Anyways, How wide is the gap,..??
Have ya probed the depths with a chunk of rebar,..??

If a local engineer offered the advice,....
I Guess, I'd set up a mixer, 'n start mixin' bagged concrete mix, 'n dumpin' it down the hole, good, 'n wet,.....
It's gotta fill space, no strength needed,....
Water runny sand might do as well, though I believe wet concrete seems to flow better, further,....

Fill it up til the last few inches, then be concerned 'bout what it Looks like,....

Last edited by Bondo; 08-07-2018 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:02 PM   #6
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


The perimeter of the slab(s) has been stabilized by the addition of piers spaced every 10'. so according to the foundation repair people, it shouldn't shift farther.
Which is so bogus a statement even I recognize how ludicrous it sounds.

I just want to get it flat enough to put down waterproof laminate over a 1/4" cork underlayment.

I've never poured this kind of cement before by myself. I did pour several pallets of self leveling until my arms felt like they were going to fall off. When the professionals installed the engineered hardwood in the rest of the house, they poured/ground/poured some more in the areas my arms refused to let me finish.

I'm concerned I won't be able to pour all of the job at once. The bags are 80lbs which is more than half my weight. Also, I'm a few years older now and my arms have still not forgiven me for the last venture. Is it ok to create a dam and do multiple pours? I'd use a primer and/or additive with each pour. The length of the room is 44'.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:08 PM   #7
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


@Bondo ,

Thank you for the reply.

The gap is about 2" wide and 6" deep. at least as far as I can see. Yes, I did poke a piece of rebar down there. It felt soft like I hit sand or caliche. I vacuumed the gap to remove all the loose chips and dirt.

I think I'm gonna need a bigger wheelbarrow...

and some young muscles!
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:10 PM   #8
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


We would fill the void first with sand and soak it so it settles You only need concrete to the depth that is there now. There are things you can use to help it stick to the old concrete but I would wait for the pros to suggest what to use. I don't think self leveling would be the answer.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:15 PM   #9
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


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I vacuumed the gap to remove all the loose chips and dirt.
Ayuh,.... Sweep it In, don't vacuum it out,.....
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:54 AM   #10
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


That slab never should have been tied to the foundation in the first place, get some of this grout and mix the first half to a fluid consistency, and the balance to a flowable state, FOLLOW THE MIXING INSTRUCTIONS, either Quikrete,or Sakcrete brand will be the same, and get some help as this will set in about 20 minutes, and will expand slightly, and no you don't need a bonding agent.


https://images.homedepot-static.com/...feca54a229.pdf
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:06 AM   #11
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


@Canarywood1

Thank you for the link.

It looks like this stuff is as much fun to work with as SL - mask off your area very well, move quick and DON'T touch it once it's down.

I definitely need help - in more ways than one. ;-)
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:21 AM   #12
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


I don't see anywhere in your pics that needs masking.
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:29 AM   #13
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


I meant when working with SL. Working alone, I was only able to mix a max of 7 bags at a time so I had to work in sections.

I'm concerned that even with help, I may have to make multiple pours on this project, too. I'm assuming this stuff spreads like crazy at the fluid mix. Plus, I have no idea how deep the crack goes. I'll probably have to make a second run for materials. So I'm planning on trying to contain each pour. I'm not sure how realistic that is since I can't get my hand down the crack to even measure let alone create a dam.
I'm pretty sure this is going to be a goat-rope of epic proportions.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:50 PM   #14
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


Well if your 2 inches at the top, it more than likely tapers in a v shape, so just don't get it too wet at the start, and it's okay to make more than one pour if you have to, after all it's not structural only fill, and doesn't need to be contained so a cold joint is not a problem.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:08 AM   #15
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Re: how can I fix these huge gaps


@car narywood1

Thank you.

I've almost got the room emptied. I'm having the foundation repair people come back and do elevations again BEFORE I pour. They get testy if I do repairs then complain the piers are shifting (which they are - again).

So it might be a while until I get to pour. My other excuse is that it's freaking hot here right now (upper 90's, heat index over 100). November sounds like a much better time to pour, doesn't it?
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