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Thread: cracked concrete during stamp process - help!!

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    cracked concrete during stamp process - help!!

    Having a pool built (Premier Pools and Spa/Earthscapes is their concrete sub), not going well and need advice. Its a gunite pool with stamped/colored concrete for the coping/band. We have had to have the coping done FOUR times because the quality was so poor...
    On the fourth pour (June) the coping cracked in at least three places - all starting at the water barrier strip/tile and proceed up the side of coping and nearly travel the whole width of the band (the largest ones anyway) while they were trying to apply the stamp pattern - the concrete was too set up and it was hot that day - seemed to get away from them...
    The builder and sub said ''live with it, enjoy your pool, the CSLB will say it meets industry standards, we will guarantee the cracks wont grow larger for three years or else they will replace, etc'' but we decided to file a complaint to arbitrate our case anyway. We dont want to pay for shoddy, substandard work and have issues a few years down the road! Please take a look at my pictures and give advice - the builder has put a lien on our home and we cannot refi the house due to a botched title. We need this resolved ASAP!! appreciate the feedback/advice/knowledge in this area of expertise. (this is a seriously condensed version of our issues with the builder - we started this pool in March).
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: cracked concrete during stamp process - help!!

    Make sure they put any promises to repair/replace on paper and that a person authorized to make those decisions signs it. I would also try to get 2 or 3 independent inspections done. They will either reassure you that the work is structurally o.k. or it will give you ammo to fight with if needed.
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    stever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Escondido, CA (near San Diego)

    Re: cracked concrete during stamp process - help!!

    These are shrinkage cracks. While they will not harm the strength of the concrete significantly, they are unsightly and may get a little longer. All concrete cracks, but the correct mix design and placement of control joints (usually tooled into the concrete, but sometimes cut) will minimize the cracks and force (encourage) them into areas you don't notice (the bottom of the tooled joint). Hot weather will greatly increase the possability of cracks and good concrete contractors have proceedures to deal with it. In our case, our contractor called off the pour twice.

    I am very anal when it comes to cracks -- don't like them one bit. I paid for a stronger concrete, thicker slab, a lot of joints, and heavy reinforcement. I still have 2 cracks -- and while small, they highlight the fact that you cannot always conrol them.

    This will be a hard fight. You can ask for their hot-weather procedure for pouring (doubt they have one), but the lack of this proceedure only helps in court where they will bring up that all concrete cracks. Yes, but did they do reasonably well and preventing them? That's the argument.

    I hate these situations because they probably could have done better, but it's a hard case to win. (And by case -- I really don't mean lawsuit, as I hate that direction).

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