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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Cracked patio

aranmcfarlandDecember 29, 2012
I have a large stamped concrete patio that is cracked and cannot be repaired. Looking for ideas on how to cover if with something else.
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Deborah Butler, Brickwood Builders
It would appear that maybe the ground was not properly compacted when the patio was put in. The cracking and settling will continue so going over the top with another surface will make the top layers crack as well. Possibly pavers can be laid in sand on top - I haven't seen it done. They will also settle though as the concrete continues to shift.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:25AM
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What part of the US do you live in? This may have been caused to the freeze thaw cycle seen in changing climate states. I had a similar problem In where concrete had to be broken up and poured again. :( an alternative would be to go over it with decking at a few inches higher than existing, cheap but not recommended due to future water issues. Lastly would be to go over it with mortar and flagstone, but that too may not be permanent.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:31AM
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I think the area is too large and "unstable" to pour such a large area in one sheet without reinforcement (re bar or netting) or joints. You'd be better off having it removed and replaced with either jointed cement or pavers, something with more give . I don't think there is any way to go over the cracks with another material without it eventually showing "lumps and bumps" if not more cracks - though decking over it, with clearance, should work., but that is the same as replacing it with decking.
We have the same issue in our driveway. They used one pour, on a slope, and obviously, should have done it in 3 sections ...
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 8:46AM
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Break up the concrete and make a broken concrete patio with pebble gravel in between. It will resemble flagstone. Use the underside of the concrete or the upper side whichever looks best to you. I have a broken concrete path with small pebbles on a side yard & it looks great. The guys put the smooth side up, but I think I would have preferred the rough, underside up.
Sonoma Residence · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 9:11AM
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There are some wonderful polymeric sands you can use to "grout" pavers too. Easier than doing a mortar and more flexible. The hard part is getting your ground truly level to accept the pavers. Of course, we have flagstone bits in our yard, with ground cover between,
but they are all different depths - nothing level here!
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 10:23AM
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No permanent solution over an unstable base. Remove, compact properly, reinstall to your liking.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it. The patio was indeed done with no reenforcement rebar as the contractor said it was not needed as there was "fiberglass" added to the concrete. Needless to say the concrete cracked the first winter and he strung us long promising he would fix it. After no luck with the BBB we finally too him to court and found out that he strung us along until just after the statute if limitations was up.

Since there has been no movement in the last 5 years in the 1/2 closes to the house I was thinking about creating a frame reseting on the 1/2 closest to the house and out to posts in concrete to cover the entire thing. Outside of the PT sitting on the concrete for the stable 1/2, what else is wrong with this plan?
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 8:20AM
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Not quite sure what your plan involves. Framing (permanently?) the unbroken area near house, and re paving over? But on the front portion???
Here is a visual of what a what a wood framing of the entire area might be like - then use the broken bits of the stamped concrete with some filler in between. Using pebbles/sanded filler. You have a downslope on the front area that appears to break towards right and left. Best to keep a bit of that so you don't have drainage/flooding (or more shift/cracking).
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 11:49AM
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Faulty installation; remove it and do something else - what ever you do to fix it will reappear after the next frost/defrost. You will be happy you did not trow good money after bad money. Hurt a little now and have a smile on your face next.
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 12:06PM
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If, and it is a big "IF", there was fiber in the concrete it does help the concrete but that is not the problem. It is the base/dirt underneath the concrete. Let's put it this way, if the base had been done corectly, you probably would not need rebar or fiber.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 7:10AM
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