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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi... looking for some creative options and recommendations for my yard. It is a 15' x 15' rowhouse yard - solid concrete which is cracked and heaved.

I'd like to make the surface flat and attractive, and waterproof (the cracks currently allow water to penetrate to the basement).

My wife would like wooden decking, but I don't want to lay this straight over the cracked concrete as it wouldn't address the waterproofing issue. I could skim coat with a layer of surfacing concrete, then do the decking, but I'm worried that would crack again quickly.

Someone suggested a sheet of rubber roofing material under the decking, but that doesn't seem clever to me - any ideas about this?

Unfortunately, tearing out the cracked concrete and starting again is not an option (only access is through the house - quotes for demo and relaying concrete are too high).

THANKS!
 

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Hi... looking for some creative options and recommendations for my yard. It is a 15' x 15' rowhouse yard - solid concrete which is cracked and heaved.

I'd like to make the surface flat and attractive, and waterproof (the cracks currently allow water to penetrate to the basement).

My wife would like wooden decking, but I don't want to lay this straight over the cracked concrete as it wouldn't address the waterproofing issue. I could skim coat with a layer of surfacing concrete, then do the decking, but I'm worried that would crack again quickly.

Someone suggested a sheet of rubber roofing material under the decking, but that doesn't seem clever to me - any ideas about this?

Unfortunately, tearing out the cracked concrete and starting again is not an option (only access is through the house - quotes for demo and relaying concrete are too high).

THANKS!

"I'd like to make the surface flat and attractive, and waterproof (the cracks currently allow water to penetrate to the basement)."


I doubt very much that is possible with what you have, without a complete tearout.
 

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How about some pictures?
Just can not imagine building a beck over a failing slab being a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't have any photos but I'll try and post some tomorrow.

As I said in the original post, no budget for ripping out the slab and relaying... just not an option. There are lots of products that claim to recoat concrete (e.g. http://www.sakrete.com/products/detail.cfm/prod_alias/FloCoat-Resurfacer).

Do you have experience of these products failing or not living up to claims?

I've successfully stopped the leaks simply by filling the two largest cracks with foam, so it must be possible... if not the ideal solution!

Thanks again for comments
 

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Why did you discount the rubber roofing idea so quickly? Single ply membrane roofing like that used all over commercially and works very well. Especially if you built a wooden deck above it to protect it from impact damage it sounds like it would be a very good solution to your problem.
 

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What's to keep it from further cracking.?
But now you will have a deck over it.?

You could rent one of these.?
http://www6.homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/Breaker/HM1810/index.html




15' x 15' x 4" = 2.7777 CU. YD.
A cubic yard of concrete weighs between 1.5 & 2 ton.
2.7777 x 2 = 5.5 ton
Dump fee average $80 per. ton
80 x 5.5 = $440
$356 One week breaker rental
$150 Misc.
$150 truck rental

Total $1096 give or take with sweat equity.

No need to re-install concrete if your building a deck, Just grade the yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the reply Msradell... I'm really interested that you think that might work. I can get a sheet of EPDM roofing material that will perfectly fit the yard. If I integrate it with the flashing on the house and just use the weight of the decking to hold it in place, do you think that might work? I wonder how it will hold up under the abrasions of people walking on the decking over time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the reply ron45. Fun though the jackhammer would be, I don't think it's practical. The concrete is integrated with the house and it's a rowhouse so there is zero access except through the house. Plus I'm pretty sure I'd have to put down a new slab so it gets pricey.

I'm very interested in the membrane idea now though. It looks like membrane over concrete is often used commercially as a base for decking or pavers.
 

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Thank you for the reply Msradell... I'm really interested that you think that might work. I can get a sheet of EPDM roofing material that will perfectly fit the yard. If I integrate it with the flashing on the house and just use the weight of the decking to hold it in place, do you think that might work? I wonder how it will hold up under the abrasions of people walking on the decking over time?

One of the things about roofing once applied is to NOT have any traffic on it,also one of the fastest way's to degrade your roof .
 

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They are very common, but there is a little more to it than rolling out the membrane and going to town building the deck.

First you would have to top it (slip membranes over all cracks first) for leveling and to get the correct slope away from the house. Flash the house end, apply membrane and then decide how you will support the deck piers, probably with more EDPM under concrete pads. So you would be looking at a new deck surface at a minimum of probably 18" above current yard height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the response Tscarborough.

There is already a good slope away from the house, and I was planning on doing any leveling with the decking (e.g. bison ip adjustable deck supports, or just traditional wooden decking supports shimmed up appropriately, with an additional layer of roofing rubber under each support). I would probably get my roofing guy to do the EPDM application and flashing.

Also, it doesn't need to be as waterproof as a roof! It just needs to carry most of the water away from the house.

Craziness, or reasonable?
 

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The leveling is mainly for the edges of cracks where they are not flush. You do not want any water standing under the deck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It will have to be carried through the house a piece at a time! Far from ideal, but a lot less messy than bucketing 5 tons of broken up concrete out through the house, then figuring out how to pour a new slab. Then I've got to carry the decking through the house anyway! Some pictures below. As you can see the yard butts right up to the house and both next door fences:



 

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I'd feel like an animal in a cage at the zoo if that was my backyard.............

You'll need some sort of pre-slope over the existing concrete before laying the rubber down. I'm not sure you have enough room to allow for pitch away from the house and still have enough room for deck joists & decking........
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ha! I know... welcome to the city!

There's a pretty good slope away from the house already actually (nearly a foot over 15 feet)

I'm looking at a couple of liquid rubber solutions at the moment. This for example:

http://sanitred.com/concrete-repair-waterproofing/

If you scroll down to the "Earthquake damaged concrete" example, it looks like it's designed pretty much exactly for my application. It's expensive for sure (probably around $800 for materials) but that's still an order of magnitude cheaper than ripping out the concrete and starting again.
 
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