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Old 02-10-2011, 07:30 PM   #15
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Sarge, You said "The biggest reasons that concrete cracks up is not being worked enough when poured". Does this mean using one of those agitators to help settle the concrete while it is being poured?
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:41 PM   #16
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I suspect the foundation was not properly compacted.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sCarycary View Post
Sarge, You said "The biggest reasons that concrete cracks up is not being worked enough when poured". Does this mean using one of those agitators to help settle the concrete while it is being poured?
Are you referring to a concrete vibrator? Then no, not necessarily. By "working" the concrete, I mean the multiple steps required to bring the concrete to it's finished state. A professional concrete finisher knows that it takes several steps to bring the concrete to the appropriate "end" when the finish process is completed. A novice will try to rush the process, jumping ahead with the tools to create what looks like a finished product. The difference is that trying to rush the process only creates a thin layer of cement on the surface that may appear to be ready to walk away from. In truth, the cement underneath is still very wet, and contains many air pockets that have not been worked out of the slab. As it dries, the air pockets contract with the evaporation of the water in the mix, and the "jig saw" cracks can soon appear.

A experienced finisher will keep working the cement until the current tool will no long achieve a sealed surface. Only then will he change tools and "seal" the surface of the slab. He will continue to "open up" the surface until the cement is showing signs of hardening. Only then will he apply weights to the tool, or employ a "finish machine" or "power trowel" to continue to work the air out of the concrete and form a hard top surface. The harder the surface is when it receives it's last troweling, the better chance you have of eliminating cracks. And then add plastic to the whole surface to slow the curing process and make a rock hard slab.

The dirt under the foundation is a part of the symptom, not the cause. There are several parts to making a slab come out as good as possible. I poured a slab for my 30,000# MH. Most of it is 4" thick, except for the outside edge, which is about 8" due to a slope. I put wire mesh in it, and covered it with plastic for a week. Two years old and not a crack in sight. Except the expansion joints that opened up as designed.

Hope I haven't confused you.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:26 PM   #18
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The driveway had been down for one and a half years when they broke the chunk off and found it to be "green". Maybe the descriptor of cracks like a jigsaw might be wrong. Lets say it has cracks about 10 -12 long and short cracks running in all directions.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:53 PM   #19
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I have done a good little bit of concrete work. The very first thing you need to remember is concrete is only as good as whats under it, you can put 12" of concrete over unstable fill drive on it and it will break. That more than likely is the problem with your driveway. As far as your M/H building pad the footers around the edges need to be monilithic 10 to 12'' deep and 12-14'' wide with 2 or 3 #5 rebars to support your building your slab needs to be 6-8'' deep with commercial grade wire or a #5 rebar mat, with expansion joints. All on top of clean well drained compacted fill. and also remember all concrete will crack it's gods work. IMHO the fiber mesh is a waste of your $$$ on something you intend to drive on.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:20 PM   #20
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It sounds like it was poured and finished too wet. The type of cracking you describe is from lack of "working" the cement. Mind you I have not seen it. Any chance you could post some pics?
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:54 AM   #21
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We were also impressed that when our contractor did the prep work he dug lateral trenches 2-3' deep and 1-2' wide lined up with approx. location of the MH axels. Also a front to rear trench in the center of the pad all having rebar.

We also spoke directly to the concrete company explaining the use of the pad and w/o specifics, he knew exactly what to send out.

Interestingly, our contractor actually does $300,000+ home foundations and with home building rather slow here in Austin his crew of 6 took the better part of a week to prep and pour a 45'X30' slab.

PS - A $300,000+ home is big time here - probably not so in other parts of the country.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:51 AM   #22
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HMiller, sounds like you got a great job! Exactly how I'm laying out my pad now.

Sarge, If Mike Cantner's pad was set too wet, there should be surface spalling also, correct?

Mike, when they poured the slab, did they keep the chute close to the ground? If poured from too high, it allows the aggregate to all fall to the bottom. Is an ACI accredited lab testing the concrete?
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:54 AM   #23
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I've been a general contractor for many years. Make sure you or your cement contractor dowel and epoxy your rebar into the adjoining curb. This will make sure you have a solid joint at this point and it won't settle. This also increases your chance of not breaking the concrete at the edge. I wouldn't advise angling the driveway or flaring it as it makes it easier to break a narrow edge rather rhan the 90 degree butt joint.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:02 AM   #24
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I again apoligize for taking this post off in another direction BUT having said that I see that we are all learning more from all this so we know enough to be dangerous in pouring a pad or driveway. I am sure the contractor pouring the pad or driveway is going to love us telling him what we want and how we want it done

Here is a picture of part of my driveway. I did it after a rain shower so it makes all the cracks stand out. This driveway is a year and half old. Some of these cracks in the right side of the picture iare in an area that the MH has never been parked or driven. There are more cracks in areas that cannot be seen in the picture. I hope that this picture is not too big. I tried making it smaller but one could not see the detail so it may have been a waste.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:41 AM   #25
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Personally.. I'd go with six inches of concrete... Fact: Many folks wonder why the German Autobaun holds up so well when US freeways break up fairly quickly.... The loads are not much different, likewise the weather and the soil.. So what is the difference.

Thickness of the concrete.. The Germans pour as I recall 8 inches, the US 4.. save for a few freeways in Detroit which they did at SIX. Worked out much better.

NOTE: All the numbers are my best recall.. I will not guarantee them, DO THE RESEARCH.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:28 AM   #26
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Check with county or building supplier first!

If you are planning on placing a building on the slab, then find the building first.

Our home built 30x60 2 level only requires a 12x12 footing around the edge, yours may be different.

From there you can get the engineering and prints for the slab.

The building supplyer can provide a plan to support whatever you plan to park in the building, so no guesses.

Next work with the building department to pull a permit, and make sure it is clear that a future building will be placed on the slab.

Then when you build it will be easy, otherwise your slab may need to be removed to build!
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:55 AM   #27
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Yep, I stick with my first assessments. Those are not weight cracks. Appearing in the middle of the slab like that, especially with all of those expansion joints in the slab. Those were the result of one or more of the following: Poor workmanship, not working the slab long enough before finishing. Too much water in the mix, or substandard mix with not enough cement or rock in the mix.

A simple test for substandard mix is this. Get a sharp pointed instrument, like an ice pick and scrape at the surface of the slab. If the mix is weak the surface will chip off or you will be able to "carve" lines in it.

If the surface is hard and does not scratch easily, it was poor workman ship.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:23 PM   #28
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Mike: Thanks for the photo.

The greatest physical impact on a driveway is where it connects to the street. You don't have cracks in that area ??

Did they do a "slump test" while pouring ? That will give you a good idea of water/cement ratio.

From thousand of miles away I would have to think Dadeaux (post 16) is correct.

Since you didn't say the surface was spalling, it's an assumption the water/cement ratio and finish troweling was okay.

However, it is very discerning that a sprinker was used during initial curing. Did the contractor tell you to do that ? That doesn't sound like misting.

Kerry
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