Foundation Walls Have Cold Joints

I’m a GC and Homeowner building my new home. A few days ago I had a concrete foundation company pour 5’ concrete walls for my crawlspace. The next day when they removed the forms there were several what appeared to be cracks. For a new home it is not very attractive. They are telling me that it is cold joints because they had to wait on the arrival of the last 2 trucks to arrive. I feel this is unacceptable and could use some information to help me make this right. One of the proposed possible solutions was to use Ardex and then a permanent concrete paint. I didn’t anticipate painting my new concrete walls because I wanted a maintenance free home. Can anyone please provide any knowledge or experience on how to fix this problem? My home is being delayed because I do not want to start framing if the integrity of the walls (cracks or cold joints) are compromised. I also don’t feel I should have to pay for this poor work. Thanks for any help!

Was the concrete properly reinforced?

You mention several cracks. I would question why several cold joints formed. I could understand where there might be one or two based on the manner in which the foundation was poured, but I would not necessarily expect to see several due to a late truck. The one image does appear to indeed be the result of a cold joint, but that is only one. You mention several.

Was the concrete vibrated during the pour?

Is it the position of the contractor that Ardex will improve the strength of the foundation at the cold joints? Also, there could be concern for moisture intrusion into the cracks or gaps. As a maintenance concern, over time this could lead to further issues as any attempt to seal the cracks may need rework/repair from time to time. You do not mention the area you are in and this could be a potential freeze/thaw issue if it is not properly maintained.

Edited to add:

If the contractor was unaware of the cracks before removing the forms, I would suspect he/they did not install any additional reinforcement at the points of the cold joints/cracks. Since the initial design could not have anticipated for the existence and location of cold joints or cracks, I would question the integrity of the pour. I would recommend a written evaluation by a competent contractor or engineer that specializes in foundations. Problems could appear well into the future and the contractor who performed the work may or may not even be around then to seek restitution.

Unacceptable in my book. Have the contractor repair it.
It is his job to cordinate concrete truck deliveries for a pour. Not your problem.
My solution, cut out a section and re-pour it. :slight_smile:

I agree with Marcel, not acceptable.

Never said it was acceptable. :smiley:

However, we have all seen cold joints in concrete work. There is another thread active right now where a 47 year old home has cold joints on the foundation and a structural engineer cleared it and found no issues.

Taking the position of the homeowner/builder, telling the concrete contractor that some guys online told him to have it replaced might not convince them to remedy the situation properly.

Well said, I agree that consolidation was not used. I would have the reinforcement design looked at before deciding on cutting it out and re-pouring…that may make it worse. It is not acceptable and will need repairs, possibly with engineering.

Thanks Brad. I agree. I am of the opinion that possibly the concrete contractor was not really qualified and potentially the entire pour is suspect. That is why I asked the OP for some more information for clarification and recommended further evaluation. This might be a situation where the entire job is substandard and requires replacement entirely. I dont know how a competent concrete contractor would have had such issues on a typical foundation. If just the cold joints are replaced and the rest of the foundation has issues, they might go unnoticed until well down the road.

Agreed. He was aware of the delay in the last two trucks yet he did nothing to address the potential cold joints. That speaks volumes.

Thanks for all the input and suggestions. I’m expecting a phone call tomorrow to set up a meeting. Right now the foundation company who did the forms and poured the concrete are blaming the concrete supplier. So I guess they are going to battle it out. I’m located in Charles County Maryland. They did not vibrate the concrete. I am not accepting it the way it is, I just don’t know what to say or expect them to say. This has definitely put me way behind in schedule.

I do a good amount of new construction inspections, and footings and foundation pours etc… I agree with Marcel and the rest, In My book that is not even worth a discussion with whoever poured it. 100% unacceptable. Tear it all out and redo it and preferably by a different “Qualified” contractor. This company obviously has no clue.

Left as is is a guaranty of future problems, and you can Bank on that.

Jim

Having a cold joint in your wall means that there is a structural weak point. If your wall is going to break, its going to happen on the cold joint.

Unfortunately the delivery of the concrete can be troublesome at times. With so many ways to have a truck delayed it can be difficult to have all your trucks show up on time.

I hope you are able to resolve the problem by either getting a discount on the cost of the concrete from the supply company or having the contractor take some money off the bill.

Vancouver Concrete Connection

Having a cold joint in your wall means that there is a structural weak point. If your wall is going to break, its going to happen on the cold joint.

Unfortunately the delivery of the concrete can be troublesome at times. With so many ways to have a truck delayed it can be difficult to have all your trucks show up on time.

I hope you are able to resolve the problem by either getting a discount on the cost of the concrete from the supply company or having the contractor take some money off the bill.

Vancouver Concrete Connection

I would be curious to know why the picture from the OP looks like it had a form liner to give the wall that appearance or is it just the picture.

A wall with a form liner as suspected would be impossible to patch. :slight_smile:

We have the same problem in a new foundation that was poured this week.
More concerning the contractor was concerned at the time that the first pour was ‘too hot’. We now have a very significant cold joint and a lot of honeycombing. Also, the contractor did not use a vibrator and my husband felt they did not have enough people. Any suggestions?

Don’t pay for it.