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Losing it

5120 Views 24 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  NYCB
Ave you ever lost a concrete pour ? Meaning could get a good finish on it . If so how to you fix it ? Resurface ?
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No, but I have been darn close on a couple occasions. Had one were even the driver stated that the ready mix plant hot loaded us, he said he'd never seen it dry so fast. It was all hands on deck and we were working it hard core, I have never pushed so hard on a wood float to get the cream to the surface before. We got it down and got a great finish but I have never worked so hard on a finishing my life. I have to hand it to my crew, I had to jump off and start finishing while we were still screening at about 8 feet into a 30 foot pull, so my guys jumped in and took up the slack from me jumping off the screed.

I did have a buddy that lost one pour, had to let it sit fully and jackhammer the entire thing out. And it had rebar, that was a real bear.
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I have not lost one but have seen others that have and they had to redo them
We lost a pour, actually a couple with the same GC many years back. The problem on the one was too few workers, too many yards, all of it flatwork, a southern cut lot with white earth that faced due south and a 120 degree day with a hot wind blowing and the humidity under 10%.............. we got about 1/2 of it done and ended up jackhammering out the the other half and redoing it.

I also think we got hotbatched as it was in the afternoon and the redimix company had a bad habit of just adding to the trucks when they went back to the plant.

That was when I learned the importance of having more hands on deck than required and scheuduling the crete for 1st thing in the morning.

That particular GC had a few more really stupid incidents with concrete, like the time we had to finish the slab under the headlights of our trucks, the time the forms weren't beefy enough, the exposed aggregate fiasco, the 'I forgot to mark where the outlets in the slab on grade floor will be so we just placed 25 yards of concrete over them with no idea of where they are in the slab', etc.
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I have been close to loosing one like reall bad made phone calls to call in help, Large flat pour late in the day.

Had a sub loose the last 10' of a driveway that was 100' long. Didn't even have to ask him to fix it he was there the next morning jack hammering out the last 10'.

Yup, haul it off and try again:whistling
Thanks guys , i poured a slab in between a house and a wall with a curb along the wall it was cloudy and humid at the pour and as soon as i could get on the slab without sinking the sun was deadon it and it was tightening real fast i got a good finish on the walkway and most of the curb i was out there by myself it sucked but it was at a friends house so its not a big deal i think next week i will resurface it to give it a nice look . Just took a toll on my pride but I learned a lot of tough lessons but i just want to fix it already . My buddy says its no big deal but i still need to make it right
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I lost 180' of 4' sidewalk at a HUDD apartment complex a few years ago. Had plenty help and it went in slick, straight off the truck pour - didn't have to wheel anything. Just getting ready to start brooming and the sky burst. It rained for about 9 hours like pouring out of a bucket, nothing in the forecast. We shoveled a lot of it up, nothing left but gravel. :eek:
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Years ago. Foreman laid out the stairs. I formed them got to the top and noticed they were 2 inches low. So I tell him. He is a ego manic. Yells at me. Tells me I am stupid. His butt boy pipes up "you need to listen to your foreman." I shrugged my shoulders because I knew better.

So pour day comes along and the Sup for the GC walks by right after the first pour. There was two sets on opposite sites. Blows a gasket on how f'd the top landing fall is. Yeah 2" drop in 4 feet. Luckily the one side was able to be saved. And it took about 6 months for the company to figure out the nutless wonder foreman was a joke.
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Waited 2 weeks one wet spring to pour a average driveway. A guy drove by and said you guys have been waiting 2 weeks to pour, are you ever going to get it done?

So being broke and determined we poured just in time to get caught in a turd floater. The rain stopped and we removed the plastic a hour later. Realizing I could demo it out now or later . I misted water on top and got a pretty good finish considering. It lasted till the following spring then the homeowner called and showed me all the little pop marks. I realized the consequences when I put the water on it to make cream, but I wonder how much the HO and salt was responsible that winter. It cost around 5 grand to resurface it. I do not like those jobs that I pay for. Great customer and actually did some work for them last week.
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Ok, so I was told recently that you can sprinkle water to help seal the top. But you think that could have caused the problem, so now I do not know what to do.

Check out my post about Hot loads....

I did not sprinkle, got a crappy seal on the top, I am a perfectionist and only a pro would notice but it really bothers me. So now I don't know if I can re-wet it slightly if what you say is true and I don't think I really want to gamble with a $4000 job.
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After the last thread about losing a concrete finish I really want to help. You guys need to look into some chemicals that are available to you. The first I would recommend purchasing is an evaporate retarder. This is a pink pepto bismal like concentrate that you mix with water. This solution should be used on every pour when you are working in hot, dry or windy conditions. Excessive evaporation of water is not only hard on the guys trying to finish but is also hard on the concrete itself.

The second chemical is a set retarder. This can be used as an emergency method. Set retarder is commonly used in the decorative concrete industry for exposed aggregate and to extend the working time when stamping. If you have a load that is going off hot as you are unloading it do not hesitate to spray it down right behind the strike off.

There are also some chemical additives that you can throw right into the truck and mix in that will slow down the set.

These chemicals are not expensive and you should keep them in your truck. As concrete contractors we are responsible for understanding our trade as well as our materials. If you know you are going to encounter adverse conditions, you can adjust your mix accordingly. Try reducing the amount of fly ash in your mix if It's going to be sunny and windy. Try to pour at an appropriate slump for your conditions and strength requirements.

If you are going good to be in this business please try to research as much as you can about the trade and the many facets. If you are short on manpower try using as many mechanical tools as you can to get done as fast as you can. Get bigger floats, use walking edgers, vibrating strike offs and self winching screeds.

Work smart, not hard.
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Thanks PPRI, I research constantly and I am always looking for new ideas. Problem is around here, many of the crews are old school and won't adopt the new ways and finding them with the exception of this forum is tough. Shoot, I just started using form release this year as I had been taught to just use diesel for years! Form release is awesome and I just bought a good sprayer to apply it as needed. Some of us are trying and take this seriously, its just tough sometimes. I have stopped by other guys pours before and just watched but no one is using alternatives really.

The screed demon is real hit and miss for me, keeping it down on the form is a bear and I am not getting the perfectly level screeds I desire, but the old 2x is slow as heck. Tried a "jitter bug" today for something new and hated it, it was waaaaaaaay to aggressive in the shaking and my pour had some grade, it just vibrated it down the slope. After 2' I took it off and we just used the 2x....if is shook a bit slower and in a side to side action it would work soooooooo much better. I have used the a-frame type screeds before but those were for really big, long flat pours (mostly cit steeets) and being able to crown the road is awesome. But they are real big for most pf my residential pours. I'm waitng for the guy that invents a placer, screeder and finishers all to hook onto the front of my bobcat, LOL.

Please keep giving you're 2 cents, I appreciate it (sincerely) and do use you're ideas, so thank you.
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The screed demon is a dang good unit but it was designed as a wet screed. It works wonderfully for that application but it does tend to float when going form to form or form to pipe. We have vibrant strike brand strike offs for going form to form. The attachment configuration is not quite as versatile but the shape of the strike off works better. On your screed demon try letting the front edge dig a little bit and it should force itself down on the form. You won't get the creamy finish behind it but it will be flatter.

Don't rule out a truss screed for smaller pours. We use one on almost any pour over 16 foot wide. We have modified them for fine grading as well so one guy can literally prep and pour any single truck jobs by himself.

Another option for you guys: if you're losing a pour, don't be afraid to throw a trowel out on there. Run your blades as flat as you can, work up a cream and broom right behind it. I know it's not always possible to take a trowel on every job but I've sent a guy after one a time or two.

We had a parking lot pour that we got placed, floated and finished when the clouds opened up. We put the plastic down but we still lost a lot of finish and had bad plastic marks. It rained for 2 hours. While it was raining we went and got all 7 48" trowels and as soon as it quit we trowel ed the whole thing and broomed behind it. That one should have been lost but we saved the finish on about a 140 yard pour.

Don't ever give up. Never let the concrete win.
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Yeah, we lost an entire driveway. We thought we had it and it would set right but we went back the next day and weren't happy with the result. The homeowner was actually ok with it but we weren't. So we broke it up, hauled it away and poured it again.
As PPRI said, don't run your power screeed right on the form, you will get fat rolling out bad messing up your elevation.

You need to take a long screed board and set two wet pads with a level right off the form, then make a wet screed coming off the form about 12", with your wet screed in the center and two good rakers you can zip right down, and then jump back and float the snot off the edge.

Honestly I prefer to get good wet screeds in and get the concrete on the ground as fast as I can and as flat as possible, and then go back and touch up edges if I need to, especially if you can get around the slab on the outside.

But, there are 10 ways to get to Walmart, and all of them will get you there, so just do things the way you are most comfortable and are most efficient for you and your guys.

My help tends to just be warm bodies, so I have to move fast and then do most of the finish work myself, with a good group of guys you could go slower and have float and edge guys right behind you.
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We had a parking lot pour that we got placed, floated and finished when the clouds opened up. We put the plastic down but we still lost a lot of finish and had bad plastic marks. It rained for 2 hours. While it was raining we went and got all 7 48" trowels and as soon as it quit we trowel ed the whole thing and broomed behind it. That one should have been lost but we saved the finish on about a 140 yard pour.

Don't ever give up. Never let the concrete win.
That sounds familiar. Happened to me on 20 yards last year. No rain in the forecast and a thunderstorm rolled in and sat for 2 hours. I had the plastic on it and as soon as it stopped my dad learned what scrubbing means. we would both scrub a 5 ft strip and then get the broom right on it, it was a rough broom, but matched the day before pretty well and the HO was happy with it. If it was a walkway though I would have hauled it off.
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Yeah I'm pretty lazy so I don't like scrubbing and working too hard so we got the trowels out.
The screed doesn't go on the form, I did not know that. Thanks, I'll have to try that
Yeah I'm pretty lazy so I don't like scrubbing and working too hard so we got the trowels out.
That pour is the reason I take a 36" with me on most jobs now. It would have been a 2 hour round trip back home to grab one, I didn't want to risk it.

It's amazing how much work you can get out of a gallon of gasoline.
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