Cement question

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A contractor had to cut into my basement floor, and filled the gap with new cement. Where the new cement meets the old there's a thick brown line. He said this is impossible to avoid, it's a moisture issue when the cement cures.
Right or wrong?
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On Jan 20, 8:11 pm, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

How about a photo?
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Okay, it's here:
http://www.brainchampagne.com/Comedy/tempphoto.jpg
The new cement is on the top of the photo, below the drain, then the brown line, then the old cement.
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On 1/21/2012 2:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

Looks like either dirt or perhaps some iron or other soluble contamination was in the region at the edge and got floated to the top...
It's not owing simply to moisture/water; the color is not that of the concrete/cement (as you're aware and why you're asking).
However, it's highly unlikely that it's going to do any harm and while somewhat visually distracting I doubt you'll have any luck at all getting the guy to break it out and redo it (at least w/o paying him for the labor) as I don't think it is serious enough of a defect to justify or be able to win if you have to try to force the issue.
You might wait a while 'til it finishes curing then try a little etching and see if it is only a very thin surface layer if you'd like to minimize the color difference. A sweeping of just plain portland cement over the top w/ a little damp could also help camouflage it as well simply like face powder to fill in the tiny pores a little w/ some lighter-colored material.
All in all, I'd not worry about it.
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On 1/21/2012 3:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

How long has it been since the new "concrete" (not cement) was done?
By the way, from the little I can see, the drain looks like he did a nice job.
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On 1/21/2012 2:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

I assume you just had an intake drain installed in an existing slab or driveway. The workmanship looks top notch to me. How long ago was this done? You do know it takes concrete 28 days for the initial dry. This is looking like moisture wicking at the joint, quite normal in my experience. I may have been inclined to run an edger on the new work just to disguise the joint and to make it easier on me rather than the obvious time spent getting a good finish between new and old. The new concrete and the old concrete will never bond, there will be at least a hairline crack at the joint. Again, it looks like good work to me.
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I had a clogged p-trap. pulled by the plumber I ended up working for. He used a diamond saw to cut straight lines. If the poster's plumber had done that the line would be less noticeable. Cosmetics. But I agree it looks like good work.
--Vic
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It's been a month and a half.
And as far as not doing any harm, it may be cosmetic but it's my house! The floor looked fine before this. Otherwise they seem to have done a neat job, but I wasn't watching and have no idea how good a job they did under the cement.
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On Jan 21, 6:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

You have to be a f***king troll...
Short of breaking up your entire basement slab and pouring a new one after whatever work was done with that drain it will never look "just like it did" before the floor was cut open to do the work...
That looks like an excellent job...
The old concrete and the new were made in different batches with different water sources at different times making them slightly different in color -- seriously if you are that uppity about it looking all the same it is time to call a different contractor out to coat the entire floor with grey epoxy paint... ~~ Evan
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On Jan 21, 3:29 pm, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

A few comments & questions......
Looks like you had some sort of drainage system installed.
It's in the basement not the living room.
Cement is a constituent of concrete, cement is the glue that holds all the aggregate together. The basement floor is made of concrete not cement.
Matching the "look" from batch to batch of concrete is difficult.
I agree with dpb .............. "Looks like either dirt or perhaps some iron or other soluble contamination was in the region at the edge and got floated to the top... "
The drain install looks decent (from the single photo provided), It looks to me that the contractor broke the concrete out rather than doing a saw cut , so (imo) cosmetics were a secondary consideration below speed & cost.
Again, it's an unfinished concrete floor in a basement, not an oak floor in your living room.
Did you competitively bid the job out? Was this guy the low bidder? DId you beat him down on his price?
Ckeck this like out........ How to remove stains from concrete... good luck.
http://www.structuremag.org/article.aspx?articleID=512 cheers Bob
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No, a troll is a guy who uses nasty words to indicate that he didn't read the original posting and is just trolling for a fight.
Couple of things:
1. NOT the lowest bidder. Possibly the highest one- I went with a reputable contractor because I wanted the job done correctly. I've already learned my lesson that the lowest bidder is often the lowest bidder for a reason! I sometimes have to compete with low bidders in my business and I say something like "Yeah, you can get a car for $500, too..."
2. I know the difference between cement and concrete, and when I called it concrete they corrected me and said it's cement, there's no aggregate in what they used.
3. They did tell me the color wouldn't match- but of course they told me that when they started the work, not when they bid the job.
4. I'm not talking about slightly different color between old and new (although why they wouldn't at least try to match I have no idea- when I've stained wood I've mixed stains together to try to match). I'm talking about the brown line between old and new, and maybe the photo doesn't reflect it well but it looks horrible.
5. As far as whether it's my living room or basement? It's a finished basement and it's up to me to decide whether it needs to look nice. It's still my house. I'd paint the floor but I asked about that and they said that due to moisture it would have to be redone every three or so years, and there's no way I'm doing that.
6. If dirt was in the region and floated up, couldn't they have put a piece of plastic underneath to prevent that? They told me this ALWAYS happens and I've never heard of it before. For what it's worth, the photos in their brochure don't show a brown discoloration between old and new.
Thanks for the help.
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On 1/23/2012 12:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote: ...

photos in their brochure don't show a brown discoloration between old and new.
Well, more than likely it was actually on the face of the broken old work and yes, they _could_ have cleaned it more thoroughly but they didn't.
The thing is, it's not a material defect so your choice is to either pay to have it redone or see if you can clean the present surface, cover it w/ either paint or a surface coating or live with it.
--
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After the concrete has cured for a couple weeks you could try using some of the rust stain remover products availabe at HD, hardware stores, etc. Looks like some kind of iron presence to me and that might take it out.
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On 1/23/2012 2:24 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: ...

My initial thought/suggestion as well as the likely culprit causing the particular coloration.
--


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On 1/23/2012 1:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

Didn't see who called you a troll, but you didn't strike me as one.

No aggregate? Not even pea gravel? Not even sand? Well then I change my opinion of the guys work! Sounds like crap to me. Sounds like it will be falling apart soon, so the dark stain is the _least_ of your problems!
Actually I find it difficult to believe it's just cement and water. Not saying it's not possible, but I've never heard of such a thing done by a professional.
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On 1/23/2012 3:00 PM, Tony Miklos wrote: ...

I'd be quite certain it isn't...maybe only sand mix for the patch to make it easier to finish, but certainly they wouldn't have paid the bill to mix it w/o any aggregate at all--that would be quite pricey, comparatively.
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Maybe sand, not aggregate.
And as far as how bad it is, I wouldn't call it an 'immaterial defect.' It may be cosmetic, but if an electrician opened a wall to add an outlet and said he'd make it look like it was always there and didn't paint the wall, well, I'd say that's wrong. The difference is, it's easy to paint a wall...
And the floor isn't smooth, either, there's small bumps and valleys in the concrete they poured. I probably can't do a better job, but it's not what I do for a living (FYI these guys pretty much ONLY install drains into concrete floors).
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On 1/23/2012 4:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

Sand _IS_ (a form of) aggregate...

That means it is _not_ material defect. It doesn't prevent the poured portion of the floor from performing its intended function in any way.
If you think it is material, file in a small claims court and see if you can convince a judge. Good luck w/ that.

There you're again probably on shaky footing...did the contract specify the level of finish, specifically? If not, unless you trip over it or it doesn't drain, unlikely a small variation will be considered a defect by an impartial judge.
There's no point in belaboring the point here any further; from what we can see it doesn't look significant enough that you're going to get much sympathy and even if did it doesn't solve your perceived problem. If the contractor doesn't think there's a problem and the work functions per intent, I really do think you've no recourse but the small claims court and there's just no chance you're going to win based on what you've shown.
--
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On 1/23/2012 5:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

Sand is simply small aggregate. Often called a "Sand Mix" type of concrete. The cement is only the glue. Only using cement is comparable to building a bookshelf only using wood glue but no wood.
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On Jan 23, 5:17 pm, snipped-for-privacy@brainchampagne.com wrote:

NOPE... Electricians never paint a wall to match -- if they cut a hole they will patch the hole... The wall covering and finish is up to the homeowner to restore to its "original condition"... No one ever uses the phrase "will restore to original condition" contracts clearly state that all work will be done in a workmanlike manner...
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