Today's cold joint in concrete basement walls

One obvious and one a little harder to see.

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Clearly the bottom lift in the first picture was poured pretty soupy. Looks like it flowed quite a ways. Perfect example of what a wall looks like when different slumps are poured. Were you able to follow it beyond the fireplace that looks like it filled the house with smoke a time or two? lol. Walls don’t look like they leak. Either the crew poured faster than the supplier could get them mud or the crew worked too slow.
Thanks for sharing Randy!


A mix containing calcium chloride (used to accelerate the setting time of concrete) results in a darker color than calcium chloride-free, is my guess… or poor workmanship. Thanks for sharing.

A couple of articles

I personally do not make cold joint notes in my report unless I see compounding problems. I would be interested to hear how other inspectors view this.

2nd photo may have moisture issues.

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Seen it, happened to me and in this case, don’t see a structural problem. Looks like it was well consolidated with the underlying layer. The high slump flow is not a good indicator, because they could have used a superplasticizer in the mix which would allow you to pour at a 6" - 7" slump. Since this is most likely residential, that did not happen and the pour could have been a 5" slump and actually helped in the delay of the concrete delivery and enable the pour to consolidate better.
At this point, it becomes aesthetic in nature for me. JMO


Randy, why were you summoned and what was the diagnoses? Yes, we see the joints :slight_smile:

Simon, I was just doing a normal home inspection. Not a structural job.

just asking does the decolorization line up with the grading outside? it kinda looks like that. not the concrete itself.

I would say, No…it has nothing to do with it.

William, no the foundation was about 7 foot deep on both walls.

A low water to cement ratio affects the hydration of the cement which creates a darker color. So at the time of the pour, they might have added more water to one ready-mix truck than the other, thus seeing a variation in color.
An no on the exterior grade like mentioned above.

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