Concrete Floor

Originally Posted By: mpatton
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I performed an inspection yesterday on a new home approximately 3,200 sq ft. $350,000 price range. The customers are from out of town and the home was fully constructed prior to the sales contract.


All was well until I entered the basement form the interior stairwell and the following is what was observed and would appreciate some input.

Bottom of the steps (finished stairway with a door to the left of the basement floor landing exiting under a support beam) Here is the inspection comments.


Quote:
Basement floor slab, the existing slab has the appearance of being a second layer approximately 2" thick. Framing members are recessed flush with the floor, a 4" core drilled hole also indicates the top portion of the slab as being a second poor. I suggest finding out from the seller /builder what has occurred to require the second poor, this reduces the basement ceiling height proportionately. Current condition the basement is unfinished.

At the bottom landing of the basement stairwell the slab is lower than the basement floor surrounding it. At the threshold the floor is sloped with an approximate rise of 2" over 12" . The door has been cut down to approximately 75 1/2" (standard door height 81") This is not typical construction methods.

Bottom of the steel in the basement is approximately 6'-5" from the slab and the bottom of the floor joists are approximately 7'-4 1/2" from the slab. Check with local building codes for minimum finished heights in the event that you finish the basement in the future. Information only.


Now the customer called back today after meeting with the builder and the customer is not satisfied with the builders answer. Per the builder the slab was pored during the winter months and prior to curing the slab froze. The result was spalling of the top surface and an imperfect floor.

The house had been framed with the stairwell and walls around the stairs framed in, the furnace and the hot water heater had already been set also. The pored to the top of the soll plates and raised the furnace and hot water heater and set them on the top of the new slab.



Quote:
The builder chose at this point to "top coat" the existing floor with 2" of concrete to correct the imperfect floor surface.


No photos or other information can be provided by the builder. The customer has spoken to a concrete "expert" and he is not buying the story and suggests if this was the case they would have top coated with a thin set concrete "toping" and been done with it. He is concerned that if another problem was encountered that the basement slab is subject to deterioration as the original was.

My personal opinion the hole thing smells. The one issue if I am correct is that the bottom of steel (with a finish) within a finished space is 6'-4". I am not certain that the builder didn't do exactly what they say they did but it seems like a poor decision.

The customer and builder are meeting again tomorrow to discuss further any help would be appreciated.

Any input or watch outs that may not be obvious?

Thanks in advance


--
Michael Patton
AA Home Inspection
Serving Northern KY & Greater Cincinnati OH

AA@AAHomeInspection.net
www.AAHomeInspection.net

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Sounds like the builder should have removed the original slab.


I can see many problems with the second poor - framing, stairway, head room, etc.. I'm not a basement guy (I've seen 3 in South Florida, cut into coral rock), but yesterday's inspection had a family room which was a rear porch, was enclosed, and the floor was poured to the level of the main house. The problem is that the door to the rear was now only 5' 11" (not a typo, five feet eleven inches) high and the ceiling height was 6' 6". I'm only 5' 6", so I did not have a problem, but some of you guys and gals may not have been able to stand up in that room, much less go through that door.

Least we forget, the minimum ceiling height allowed is 7'. ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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It sounds sort of fishy to me…but without seeing everything first hand it’s hard to give advice. I think you’ve got it covered fairly well and getting other expert opinions is what is needed (ones that will put whatever they say in writing for the client.) After that, it’s up to the client to decide.


On another sidenote, and I'm not meaning to be a smartass or anything of the sort, but you need to get a spell checker. You have a pile of spelling errors in your report above. I am just aware that people appear less credible when they have many spelling errors in their report. Just trying to help a fellow HI out.

Good luck and let us know how it comes out!

Kevin


--
Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC

Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: roconnor
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jpeck wrote:
Least we forget, the minimum ceiling height allowed is 7'. ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)

Carefull there ... that is for "habitable" space, and projections for girders and such are usually allowed. For non-habitable space the IRC requirement is 6'-8", and not less that 6'-4" at girders and projections. And those are just model code provisions (KY is on the IRC statewide), where there may be state/local restrictions.


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: Randy Mayo
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Michael


You did a good job reporting your findings. As a structural engineer I have seen several floors and wall that have frozen. None of which were worth keeping. Concrete cures through a chemical reaction called hydration, which generates heat, but this heat rapidly dissipates on thin slabs due to the large amount of exposed surface area. Also as the air temperature drops the rate at which concrete cures also drops. Once the concrete temperature reaches 32 degrees curing stops because the water needed for hydration is locked up as ice crystals. As the temperature continues to drop the ice crystals grow expanding by as much as 10 percent. This expansion breaks the bond between the cement paste and the aggregate reducing the strength of the concrete. In a severe case the concrete is so weak it can crumble in you hand.

So the first item I would need to know is what is the compressive strength of the frozen slab. Depending upon the size of the floor I would recommend six or more cores be taken and sent to a lab for testing.

The second concern I would have is how well is the new concrete slab bonded to the old slab. If the first floor had the typical smooth finish I doubt if the second floor bonded well without the use of an epoxy-bonding agent. I is highly likely the second floor will crack and become debonded from the first floor.


Originally Posted By: mpatton
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Thanks for the replies.


Robert you stated that KY uses the IRC, this property is in Ohio. Do you know what code they follow?

Randy, thanks for the short version of the cause and effect!


Anyone else have any thoughts?


--
Michael Patton
AA Home Inspection
Serving Northern KY & Greater Cincinnati OH

AA@AAHomeInspection.net
www.AAHomeInspection.net

Originally Posted By: roconnor
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



… good background comments about damage from frozen concrete. Many don’t realize the serious effects that has on strength and durability. Seems like we are on the same page with getting some cores too … go figure since we are both engineers. But I don’t want to steer these guys wrong, and would leave that up to the engineer responsible for the evaluation now … icon_wink.gif


Mike ... OH has adopted some ICC codes statewide (like the IBC), but not the IRC statewide ... yet. Residential codes are on a local level for now (many/most counties have adopted the IRC). But the IRC is still an excellent guide for an HI. The engineer will need to check local codes anyway, so leave that up to them. There may be local restrictions (MRLS's) anyway. Suggest that they also comment on the ceiling height issue, and possible future conversion to "habitable" space.

Just my 2-nickels as an SE also ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong