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Unread 11-08-2020, 08:58 PM   #1
jbo_c
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Patch for fresh concrete crack

Big pad with sidewalk. Shrink crack where sidewalk meets pad. Didn’t follow the relief groove. This isn’t a problem with moving concrete. Contractor says any fix will look worse than the crack. My wife and I can’t stand to leave it like it is. What would happen if I patched with a sanded grout that matches the concrete? It’s “white” and any repair material I find is grey.

I can post pics when I get home this week, but just a crack with a couple of chips out(in my otherwise nice new patio).

Looking for ideas that aren’t patch and stain.

Thanks.

Robert
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Unread 11-08-2020, 10:00 PM   #2
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Welcome back, Robert.

I'll wait for the photos.

How long had the concrete cured before the crack was evident?
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Unread 11-08-2020, 10:19 PM   #3
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Just a few days. Then the sod guys ran over it exactly like I told them to avoid at all costs. Concrete guy said he can patch but it will look worse. Also said the patching will be grey, not white. (Why I wondered about finding a color match grout).

Robert
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Unread 11-08-2020, 10:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
Shrink crack where sidewalk meets pad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
This isn’t a problem with moving concrete.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
Just a few days. Then the sod guys ran over it exactly like I told them to avoid at all costs.
I'm having some trouble making that all fit together, Robert.
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Unread 11-09-2020, 12:41 AM   #5
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You can get shrinkage cracks, and you can get movement cracks. Concrete shrinks when it cures, but it will shrink more if it is mixed wetter than ideal. Once things have started to cure, it takes quite a long time to achieve the stated strength, which in the industry is 28-days. A lot of strength occurs in the first few days, and a bunch more in the first week, but there's a reason why the industry calls for 28-days...the increase in strength is almost, but not quite, a straight line at that point. In reality, it continues to gain strength for years.

Green cement doesn't have a lot of strength compared to fully cured stuff. Movement from running over it with heavy equipment also doesn't say much for the foundation prep. If things weren't compacted well, and the proper base material and depth for the soil conditions, a crack there could have occurred even after full curing.
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Unread 11-09-2020, 07:05 AM   #6
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It is a shrink crack. It was there before the sod jackleg ran over the slab. When he did, it caused two small pieces to break loose at the top of the crack, not like chunks breaking in the whole slab(but makes it way more noticeable. Prior to that, I wasn’t happy, but I was willing to live with it.

I’m confident this isn’t a moving slab issue. That’s why I’m wondering if a grout would work as a fill.

I’m capable of doing a topcoat and stain, but I have nightmares of making it look worse.

I’ll get some pictures up tomorrow if I can, but the question will still be, if it isn’t moving, would grout hold up? Obviously, I’d have to grind out the crack a little.

Thanks for the replies.

Robert
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Unread 11-09-2020, 09:15 PM   #7
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Are the two edges at exactly the same height?

To get grout to bond, you need to have some depth to it on the sides of the crack. You may not be able to force any in there unless you mechanically grind and make the crack wider.
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Unread 11-09-2020, 11:37 PM   #8
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Nothing you put in the crack will make it look better. You can experiment with different products, but I think in the end you'll be looking at it and wishing you had left it alone.

But to answer your question, I'd have to see it to even make a recommendation. If you take a picture, put something next to it like a penny or a quarter so we can have an idea of scale.
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Unread 11-10-2020, 06:44 AM   #9
jbo_c
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Yes. The edges are the same height, and, yes, I assume I’ll have to grind it a little deeper for the grout. My hope was/is that at least I could color match the grout and it would be less obvious.

The real issue for me is the chunks the sod guys broke out. I wa ready to just live with it as a thin line.

I’ll see if I can get a pic or two between rain showers this morning.

After more feedback and discussion, I end up starting a new thread on top-coating and staining. (?)

Thanks, again for your time and answers so far.

Robert
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Unread 11-10-2020, 10:20 AM   #10
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Again, I'll wait for the photos, but keep in mind also that if you were able to make a perfect color/texture match today (unlikely), I think it almost certain it would not match a couple months from now.

And if you have further questions about the treatment of this problem, please keep them on this thread for continuity.
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Unread 11-10-2020, 10:52 AM   #11
jbo_c
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Here are pics, if I do it right. Yes. I thought there was a chance that with time and wear the grout might not match.

Again, I was willing to live with the crack until the sod guy ran it over and broke pieces loose.

So what’s the best option short of tearing it up and starting over, which, obviously isn’t happening?

Robert
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Unread 11-10-2020, 01:42 PM   #12
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I'm no concrete expert, so take this with a grain of salt...

IMHO, if it were a shrinkage crack, I think it would have broken where the score line was made during the pour, which would have been the weakest point in the pour.
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Unread 11-10-2020, 03:27 PM   #13
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That’s a cut. .

Crack formed earlier.

Robert
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Unread 11-10-2020, 06:43 PM   #14
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Inside corners in concrete almost always crack as the pour shrinks. Did I read correctly that what I think looks to be a score line is actually a cut? And the crack formed before the cut was made? Usually cuts would be made as soon as practicable after the concrete firms up, but before it gets into the cure/shrink phase to relieve the stresses. I prefer these inside corners to be either a cold joint or a deep cut to encourage the crack that we know is coming.
Either way, it’s there. I agree that color matching grout will just fill the crack for a while and eventually just come out in chunks and the concrete color will change with weathering different than the filler, regardless of what you use.
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Unread 11-10-2020, 08:41 PM   #15
jbo_c
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You understand correctly.

10% chance of rain and it happened as they finished so they covered and came back to cut the next morning.

So, suggestions on options to make my patio look better?

Is topcoat an option?

I’ve also wondered about a repair(of some kind) and staining the whole patio to minimize the visual impact. Especially with the broken pieces, it’s just too noticeable for me to want to live with it like it is.

Thanks, some more.

Robert
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