Concrete slab defective or OK?

ktotAugust 12, 2011

I have a new house with a 2 in. concrete slab on the main floor (garage and utility room underneath), with radiant pipes. The floor is defective. The contractor poured the slab, stained it a few days later (water-based stain), and sealed it 11 days later--at a time when the outside temp was around 30 degrees (and the house was not yet heated except by contractor diesel/propane heaters). The three main problems are 1) white blooms everywhere--moisture trapped under the sealer, 2) whole huge areas of stain and sealer peeling up, leaving white chalky calcium carbonate, and 3) serious cracking. On the later, the house is extremely well-built but some of the cracks are almost 1/4 in. wide, and the cracks are numerous in the hall areas, including right next to where deep expansion cuts were made to supposedly minimize cracking.

I have had numerous experts look at the floor and/or photos of it and get extremely diverse opinions. My main concern is does the entire slab need to be removed and repoured, or will grinding up the stain and sealer, then putting down tile (rather than more stained concrete since the concrete surface will then be destroyed), suffice? At least one contractor expressed concern that with the wide cracking on such a new house means the concrete pieces may well rub against the radiant tubes and at some point cause a leak--which would of course be the dead of winter when I'm out of state for a few weeks.

I need to get the floors done right, and since this will be a contractor's insurance issue, need to figure out what must be done soon.

Can tile effectively (and durably) be put over defective concrete that was never allowed to dry and has cracked seriously and has lots of calcium carbonate on the surface now? Or does the whole floor need to come up (meaning removing all the cabinets and a lot more to get at the radiant tubing that will have to be redone)? Remember I need to end up with a top quality floor to go with the rest of the extremely well built top quality home.

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Floortech

I can not comment on the repair, but can on the insurance issue part. It will not be an insurance claim for the contractor. There are several circumstances that will make a claim valid, this is not one of them. This is simply substandard work, or shoddy workmanship and will not be covered. If a misstep was taken causing an event, it would be covered, or if damage was caused arising from something accidental (a la driving through your garage door) it would be covered. The event would something unintentionally used that caused damage to an unrelated item...than the damage would be covered. I have been through this with subs and insurance does not cover faulty workmanship...Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:31PM
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