Concrete base

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Joe Cement, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. joes169

    joes169 LawnSite Member
    from WI
    Posts: 236

    Concrete doesn't explode in the summer. There are cases were the entire assembly can heave in the summer due to excessive heat though. It's as simple as this: 200 feet of highway is cut into 10-20' squares. In the joints crud/debris/dirt collects, and when the concrete returns to it's maximum plastic size, it heaves as the dirt filled joints allow for no expansion. Even this is a rarity considering there's millions of yards of concrete roads out there.
  2. Joe Cement

    Joe Cement LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Iam glad you brought up the point about the reinforcement failing due to the salts and rust. I seen that wrote and I had to laugh about that. I m with u on the percentage that does heave.
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  3. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    well said, i should have added this to my post about expansion: in an EXTREME situation (concrete poured in cold weather at a low slump with a water reducer, or other special considerations and then exposed to excessive heat) concrete will expand beyond its initial plastic state. but in our southern virginia 100 degree summers i have only seen it happen once that i can remember.

    in fact i was working in a 1 million square foot warehouse with an internal temperature of 120 degrees this past summer and not a single piece of 50 year old concrete exploded :)

    another good point you touched on is the corrosion of steel, many argue steel rots after a few years of being in the slab, not true. in that same 50 year old warehouse we worked in this summer, pulled out w2.0 wire that was in better shape than the supply yards have.

    the bridges around here have epoxy coated steel in them due to the high concentration of salt in the air and in the water that the pilings are bearing in. however that is a far cry from any patio situation.
  4. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,435

    Sorry if its to simple to understand, in fact I've researched a little to find that rebar is coated to prevent corrision from happening but depending on the contractor if they fail to use the proper materials IT CAN AND WILL HAPPEN, steel rusts which is a fact and yes oxygen can be present in concrete. Just cause you seal it doesn't mean that its air tight. In all the information I've seen is that this coating rated for mild exposures of corrosive materials. We've all seen this on trucks, a little flake in the paint is missing gone untreated for a number of years and now you have a hole in your cab. Give rust a inch and it will take a mile, this is no web based myth.


    As for saying concrete will return to it intended position after heaving. Maybe on your sites but nothing can convince me that North ave or Summit in Waukesha is a smooth concrete road, I drive them everyday and everyday I feel like I'm picking my teeth out of the steering wheel from bouncing around so much. Heck take a drive down Capital, do mind the 74 over pass trucks just love slamming into it, or not to mention Silver Spring in Milwaukee before they resurfaced it. But it doesn't help when a county truck with a plow slams into a heave piece of concrete creating a bigger pothole. If fact not just road ways but sidewalks as well, to give another example look at the walks at MATC north campus, they heaved or settled and stayed heaved or settled, though their problem may have been that each section is around 12x12ft.

    I'm not trying to argue with y'all, it isn't my intent and I don't mean to point the imaginary finger towards you. Each concrete contractor is different and each one builds/repairs differently, and it shows. I've seen some sloppy repairs, again this is on the contractor.

    Thank you for clearing up the "exploding" concrete, I heard it happen actually (driving down Sunset in Waukesha sounded like a Shotgun blast behind me, came back down sunset in the other direction with a squad blocking traffic and a pile of busted concrete in front of the crusier)
  5. MexicanAmerican1

    MexicanAmerican1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I don't understand either. Where I am, we experiense many, many freeze/thaw cycles. Concrete install warantees around here are at bes a joke, but usually non-existent and most of the concrete is cracked after a year or so.
  6. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    dude, you are a joke or something.

    in this post you can spell understand, non-existent, and form a sentance, yet in others you spell very with a "b" to fit a stereotype.
  7. jreiff

    jreiff LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 402

  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    Concrete is like a cracked windshield.

    Your windshield may have a crack in it. It's structurally sound (so I assume).

    But who wants a crack in their windshield?

    Same for concrete.

    Yeah, i'm not sold on it.
    I'm quite familiar with concrete construction (for the most part). We've done hundreds of concrete patios and walks.

  9. Joe Cement

    Joe Cement LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Iam not going to tell you my concrete will not crack. However I don't have many complaints bout it bc its minimum. It sounds like you should learn more about concrete bc it seems like you are dong something wrong bc you have so many complaints bout your concrete cracking.
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  10. Joe Cement

    Joe Cement LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    The post here was about CONCRETE as a base for pavers and stone. I'm not sure you can see through your field and see the cracks in the base when your job is completed. Unless you were using an X ray machine.
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