Austin's Newest Swimming Hole

kicksavedave

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Looking for input from anyone who has had integrally-colored concrete decking poured -- do you remember the color being very uneven in the early days? We're now 5 days post-pour and the color seems to be all over the place. PB says that it takes a month for the concrete to fully cure, and the color will even out by then. Does that line up with anyone else's experience?
Thats inline with my experience. Even plain gray, uncoclored concrete, can be color splotchy in the first month as it cures.
 

JimMarshall

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 5, 2017
755
Oil City PA
What I'm seeing I would consider normal color variations. The area you're seeing heading towards your coping and house I don't think is as much a color variation as it is a texture because there was a concrete slurry right there with none of the salt texture. How soon are they coming to wash the salt out?
 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
That's a good question - they've never said anything about washing the salt out, I didn't know if it was something I was supposed to do myself or wait on them for. I'm going to ask the PB.
 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
I will contact them about pressure washing. As for sealing, I don't think we were planning on having it sealed as my wife thinks sealed concrete is going to be too slippery. Our existing salt-finish concrete patio isn't sealed, as far as I can tell. Since we don't get a lot of freezing and thawing over the winter, is it necessary?
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,048
Morris Cnty NJ
are you going to have retaining walls on the edge of the patio where the grade changes quite a bit? I see they have form boards they put up but its holding in the sub-base for the deck as well. when those boards get stripped the sub-base will erode you need something there to hold it all in. otherwise it looks really good and you did a good job of tieing it into the existing fireplace area I like the flagstone too nice color
 

JimMarshall

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 5, 2017
755
Oil City PA
I will contact them about pressure washing. As for sealing, I don't think we were planning on having it sealed as my wife thinks sealed concrete is going to be too slippery. Our existing salt-finish concrete patio isn't sealed, as far as I can tell. Since we don't get a lot of freezing and thawing over the winter, is it necessary?
I'm going to decline to comment on the "best practices" on sealing concrete in a climate I'm unfamiliar with.

There are sealers, and sealer additives, that you can use that provide additional "grip"
 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
are you going to have retaining walls on the edge of the patio where the grade changes quite a bit? I see they have form boards they put up but its holding in the sub-base for the deck as well. when those boards get stripped the sub-base will erode you need something there to hold it all in.
I think you're talking about the far end of the patio - they came out yesterday and did stucco on all the exposed concrete including that edge after removing the form boards. As you can see, it runs all the way down so the sub-base isn't exposed. (Basset hound in photo for scale :p) But I don't think it matters anyway, when we get the landscaping done I'm planning on having them grade the yard up a bit at that point so there will only be about 3-6" of difference between yard and top of decking.

 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
One more progress photo - they just finished what PB called "second round masonry" on the stairs and ribbon connecting to the original patio. I think that's it for the construction. Next week is cleanup and fence, once that passes inspection we should be ready for plaster!!!

 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
So I guess we were due for for a hiccup or two in what has so far been a problem-free install. Over the weekend we got a couple inches of rain and it exposed a couple problems I'd like thoughts on. The first is probably more minor, we've noticed that there are several places in the concrete decking where water pools, most noticeably on the concrete steps (see photo below). We don't have much in the way of freezing issues here in Austin but I'm worried that long-term standing water on places like the stairs might cause the concrete to degrade faster than normal. Is this something I need to be concerned about? If so, what can be done at this point?



Second, and more troubling, is that the rain caused the backfilled area next to the gunite shell where the Bobcat accessed the dig to settle considerably. Wouldn't be a problem except the edge of our decking extends out over the backfill, and now there's a 1-2" gap between the concrete and the ground that extends a foot or two back. (I've tried to capture in the photos below, not sure how well they turned out.) Clearly, this is an issue and I've let the PB know, but I don't know what I should ask him to do about it. Any ideas?

 

keithw

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2007
304
Virginia Beach
I would want the steps redone. I wouldn't water to pool. They should have sloped forward slightly I would think. On the void I would put crush and run in to probably. I would want it done carefully so that it is packed all the way back into the recess. But what is the black corrugated pipe that comes out there? Is that drainage of some type? If so that is going to keep happening until that area is built up enough to where it slopes away from the deck area. But overall your pool looks very nice.
 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
So what you are saying is that that gap goes back in underneath your concrete that is poured right there?
Yes, it runs back underneath the edge of the patio. I was able to stick a piece of rebar in there for almost two feet before I hit anything.

What is the black corrugated pipe that comes out there? Is that drainage of some type? If so that is going to keep happening until that area is built up enough to where it slopes away from the deck area.
Yes the corex runs from a drain on the other side of the patio. It's going to need to be extended across the yard a bit further and then graded over, I was told that's something they do last during the cleanup phase.
 

Winnie-the-Pool

Gold Supporter
May 31, 2018
183
The Sandhills of NC
So I guess we were due for for a hiccup or two in what has so far been a problem-free install. Over the weekend we got a couple inches of rain and it exposed a couple problems I'd like thoughts on. The first is probably more minor, we've noticed that there are several places in the concrete decking where water pools, most noticeably on the concrete steps (see photo below). We don't have much in the way of freezing issues here in Austin but I'm worried that long-term standing water on places like the stairs might cause the concrete to degrade faster than normal. Is this something I need to be concerned about? If so, what can be done at this point?



Second, and more troubling, is that the rain caused the backfilled area next to the gunite shell where the Bobcat accessed the dig to settle considerably. Wouldn't be a problem except the edge of our decking extends out over the backfill, and now there's a 1-2" gap between the concrete and the ground that extends a foot or two back. (I've tried to capture in the photos below, not sure how well they turned out.) Clearly, this is an issue and I've let the PB know, but I don't know what I should ask him to do about it. Any ideas?

First of all let me say that I like that your PB took such good care to protect the surrounding shrubbery and area during the pour.

You are correct to expect that both the treads of the steps and the slab should be finished so that they have fall and do not hold water. Those issues are simply poor workmanship or lack of experience screeding, floating and finishing the concrete.

I only counted 5 pieces of rebar (maybe 6, it was hard to count even zooming in on the pictures and I think I saw one in one picture that wasn't in another) tying the pool wall and the entire slab together, that is not enough to support that slab if it were to be undermined.

It appears the corrugated pipe in the picture is coming from the downspout off your house, correct?

I think beside the fact that the fill was not adequately compacted, the poorly placed downspout pipe and the negative grading also contributed to the erosion of the fill. There may also have been a good bit of sand in that area of fill. You can see in the photos, that appears to be where the sand pile was. Sand does not make a good foundation, as it is prone to wash out.

It is very important that the downspout pipe be properly directed and the area be graded to achieve a positive slope away from the slab after the erosion is remediated.

I believe the slab was poorly prepped and finished, what concerns me more than the compaction issues is that the rebar is lying on and in some places buried in the fill. The rebar needs to be elevated so that the concrete is poured around it NOT on top of it. Did they do any further prep before the pour? Did they use any concrete wire or just the rebar? I also don't see any grade pegs, which are used to keep the surface flat and ensure fall when finishing. It doesn't appear to be a very wide slab, so they may not have needed them, it's hard to tell from the photos, but using them may have prevented the puddles you are seeing.

Also I don't see ANY expansion between the house and the slab?!? Perhaps it's there and I just can't see it in the photos. Does water flow freely away from the house where the slab is against it? That would be my biggest concern. Try spraying with a hose to make sure NO water is running toward the house as that could really give you issues in the future.

The second issue is going to be much easier to remediate than the first, especially if there is an issue with the expansion and rebar placement.
 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
I only counted 5 pieces of rebar (maybe 6, it was hard to count even zooming in on the pictures and I think I saw one in one picture that wasn't in another) tying the pool wall and the entire slab together, that is not enough to support that slab if it were to be undermined.
I think that's right. As is being discussed in the other thread, the rebar connecting the decking and the shell isn't going to prevent independent movement. I guess the bright side is that it's only about a foot, maybe a foot and a half, of the decking that's over the settled area, but that's still enough that I'm going to ask the PB to shoot some sort of fill in there.

It appears the corrugated pipe in the picture is coming from the downspout off your house, correct?
No, the corex is from a drain they installed in the far side of the decking in a section where it's bounded by the house and the pool. The PB says it needs to be extended when we get the landscaping done, apparently that was outside their scope of work. Of course, in the meantime it meant that rainwater was dumped right in the area that was backfilled.

I think beside the fact that the fill was not adequately compacted, the poorly placed downspout pipe and the negative grading also contributed to the erosion of the fill. There may also have been a good bit of sand in that area of fill. You can see in the photos, that appears to be where the sand pile was. Sand does not make a good foundation, as it is prone to wash out.
It's not sand, that's what our soil looks like around here, it's mostly limestone after you get down about a foot. What you're seeing in the photos is the soil they excavated when they made the ramp for the bobcat. Now, that soil may settle just as poorly as sand, I don't know, this is all new to me.

I believe the slab was poorly prepped and finished, what concerns me more than the compaction issues is that the rebar is lying on and in some places buried in the fill. The rebar needs to be elevated so that the concrete is poured around it NOT on top of it. Did they do any further prep before the pour?
I was concerned about this as well, so I watched them as they poured the deck. They raised the rebar as they poured.

Also I don't see ANY expansion between the house and the slab?!? Perhaps it's there and I just can't see it in the photos. Does water flow freely away from the house where the slab is against it? That would be my biggest concern. Try spraying with a hose to make sure NO water is running toward the house as that could really give you issues in the future.
There's an expansion joint between the house and the deck. And it drains away from the house in that section, and also away from the pool. That's the section that has the drain in the middle that I mentioned above.

Thanks for all your thoughts on this! Meeting with PB today, will report back with what they end up doing.
 

delrayser

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2018
52
Austin, Tx
Met with the PB and he agreed to fill the void under the edge of the decking. As for the steps, I showed him that the puddles on each step were about nickel-deep and he said the best way to deal with it is to score a drainage groove down the center of each step from back to front, so I guess that's what we're going to do. Not sure how that's going to look. Does anyone else have a groove like that in their concrete stairs?

In happier news, the cleanup crew has come and gone, we got the fence repaired, and today passed our safety inspection. Pebble and plaster are due to be installed tomorrow, acid wash Thursday, and then we fill!
 

Winnie-the-Pool

Gold Supporter
May 31, 2018
183
The Sandhills of NC
Met with the PB and he agreed to fill the void under the edge of the decking. As for the steps, I showed him that the puddles on each step were about nickel-deep and he said the best way to deal with it is to score a drainage groove down the center of each step from back to front, so I guess that's what we're going to do. Not sure how that's going to look. Does anyone else have a groove like that in their concrete stairs?

In happier news, the cleanup crew has come and gone, we got the fence repaired, and today passed our safety inspection. Pebble and plaster are due to be installed tomorrow, acid wash Thursday, and then we fill!
I've never heard of anyone scoring a groove down the center of a step tread for drainage. That's just an easy way out for him. It's going to look like a mistake, because it is. The steps should have been framed and finished with the appropriate fall (1/8"-1/4") to allow for proper drainage.

As soon as I saw this response, I thought the best solution (least out of his pocket and most satisfying for you) would be to cap the steps with the same stones you have on the rounded steps and pool coping to achieve the correct fall.

Ironically, as I scrolled back looking through the photos I noticed in the rendering of your design in your first post, it shows those steps as capped. Why weren't they capped as shown in the design?

Hi TFPers,
Here's the design (© our PB) and some details on the build, I'll add some photos in the next post showing progress so far.
View attachment 83875

S
What are they going to do where they cut the white board off that bordered your existing patio at the top of the steps?