I have 12 foot x 21 foot concrete patio that cracked down the middle
after 30 days of install thanks to Veranda Homes LLC of Wilmington,NC.
I tried to fill in the crack but it looks bad and the builder won't
Any ideas how I can cover it up with pavers or would the best thing be
to tear it up and replace it?
Why? Well I know why, he doesn't want to pay for it. Were any
expansion joints put in that slab? How thick is it? Did he adhere to
local requirements (if any) for mesh, etc? Many places don't have a lot
of req's concerning non-structural flat work, but it's a shot. I
wouldn't give up yet on making him tear it out and redo it.
Yes, there are two types of concrete: the kind that cracks and the
kind that hasn't cracked yet. Usually the standards for non
structural flat work is pretty low anyway, so I think it is a stretch
to get the builder to tear up and redo. If concrete guys had to go
back and replace every slab that cracked, that's all they would be
doing and the price of a pour would be astronomical. And why won't
the second slab crack like the first one? Cracks can be prevented,
but it takes a lot of money--it takes perfect prep work, rebar, strict
control of water content of the concrete, etc. Cost pressures don't
allow this on residential flat work. You see it in commercial slabs,
but look around and you still see some cracking. So unless the plans
included detail of reinforcement and prep of that patio slab, or
unless you specifically requested and paid extra for such work, your
builder could argue that the slab meets the standards of the trade and
he would be right.
Also, expansion joints wouldn't be used in the slab. They are used
where a slab is butting up to an existing structure, sidewalk, etc.
You are talking about control joints, which basically control where
the slab cracks. Usually, they occur every 12' (take a trip to your
local borg and you will see what I mean). On a residential slab, they
are typically sawed into the concrete within 24 hours of the pour.
They often don't work in my experience--you wind up with cracked
concrete AND saw joints in your slab. Did the blueprints specify
I'd suggest two options: tile it (use a crack isolation membrane) or
live with it for six months and see if it still bothers you.
I have to agree. Live with it for another 6-12 months and see if
If the crack is straight enough, use it as a starting point for
porcelain tile. That way
the crack will remain between tiles.
The concrete patio was poured so it buts up against my elevated
concrete slab foundation with nothing in between. The crack is not
straight it's crooked.
I would like to put tile down but it is an exterior exposed patio with
no cover at the moment.
Whoops there it is. If you pulled a permit, get the building inspector
Now contact an attorney. 20 years of concrete work and one of the top
rules is expansion joints. I don't know what kind of foundation you
pouring an exterior slab directly against it will eventually cause
It is now cheaper for the builder to replace the slab then the house.
You have a 21 ft span with no control joints and an 1/8" crack on a
patio that is 30 days old. That is not normal and I wouldn't accept
it and would get the building inspector out there. This should not
happen with concrete work that is done properly. Is the crack
running approximately perpendicular to the 21ft span? Concrete
shrinks when it cures and if you have a span that long without a
control joint, that could be the problem.
I am always amazed at the number of people who want to holler
about inspectors fixing everything.
Inspectors work with code.
Code identifies construction minimums.
Code is most highly related to life safety issues. Boards must be
a certain minimum size, nails must be a certain size and number.
Foundation concrete needs to meet size and strength minimums.
Handrails, stairs,and ramps need to meet size requirements. Exits
must meet size and number requirements. Things must meet certain
fire ratings. There is usually a footing inspection, framing
inspection, and final leading to occupancy.
Plumbing, HVAC, and electrical inspections do the same thing at an
even more stringent safety level.
There is no inspector/inspection alive that could care less about
a crack in any of your slab concrete. They don't care if your
brick work cracks. They don't even care if your foundation
cracks. They don't care what brand water heater or furnace you
use. They only care that things won't burn down, fall down, catch
on fire, hurt someone else, electrocute someone, contaminate
anyone else or harm city infrastructure.
There is no code requirement for slab reinforcement, jointing,
expansion/contraction control, subsoil compaction, proper fill,
type of finish, or anything else about flat work concrete. These
are all issues that are cosmetic only. Code just doesn't care if
the window or door is crooked, won't latch, siding is crooked,
didn't get painted, has the worst texture job in the world.
This guy's cracked patio is due to lack of proper control joints.
There is no need for an expansion joint at the foundation unless
the concrete is trapped. Re-bar and re-mesh are not required and
may actually do more harm than good. It is too bad there are not
code driven compaction requirements. The slab will probably end
up settling along the foundation due to loose fill and holding
Don't expect code or inspectors to adjudicate or address cosmetic
issues. Ain't happening. This is an issue between owner and
builder. The builder or his subcontractor did not follow industry
guidelines and did not do all that he could have to prevent the
cosmetic problem. If he is using subs that would pour a long
rectangle without joints, I would worry more about all other subs
at every level.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
I have a question about the framing inspection because I have a front
door that is out of square and a sliding patio door that is out of
square. Do inspectors look to see if openings are square or do they
check doors after they are installed?
None of the above. It is not a code issue. A frame would have to
be so far out of square, plumb, or true that is could fall down
before it was remotely a code issue. There is no requirement to
Building inspectors just DO NOT deal with cosmetic or functional
issues. There is no code requiring that your dishwasher
works.There is no code that says your door must latch. There is a
code that your bedroom window must open as a fire escape. There
is a code sizing and numbering means of egress. Code deals with
life safety. Codes are usually the result of insurance industry
losses that have to do with law suit items where there has been
loss of life.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Nonsense. There are all kinds of laws, rules, restrictions as to
what a building must conform to that have nothing to do with
safety. For example, in many areas, you can't build a house higher
than a certain number of feet or stories. That has nothing to do
with safety, as obviously there are other houses in other towns that
are much higher and no one is having problems because of it Or codes
that say homes must have a certain minimum amount of insulation. Is a
house unsafe because it doesn't have enough attic insulation?
You have no way of knowing that there isn't a requirement for control
joints in concrete in his area that says you can't have a 21 ft span
without one. So, he should just sit down and shut up, and not check
with the building dept in his town because you say so?
Codes are usually the result of insurance industry
Who said the discussion centered on national code? You told him
there is no code covering concrete patios in his town that might not
have been followed and which the 1/8" crack at 30 days could be
attributed to and it was a waste of time to call the building dept.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.