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concrete discolouration

  • 17-02-2021 3:01pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Woodie.ie


    Just finished powerwashing footpaths that were poured 9 months. Most areas came up good but some areas have turned patchy black. I have never seen this happen before.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭ eoinzy2000


    Woodie.ie wrote: »
    Just finished powerwashing footpaths that were poured 9 months. Most areas came up good but some areas have turned patchy black. I have never seen this happen before.

    GGBS likely. Sand shortage generally


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Woodie.ie


    Thanks for the reply but I have never seen or heard of that in all my years in construction.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,704 ✭✭✭ Metric Tensor


    eoinzy2000 wrote: »
    GGBS likely. Sand shortage generally

    GGBS is a cement replacement though - not a sand replacement. Unless I'm misunderstanding your post?

    I've seen a fair bit of concrete with relatively high GGBS content but have never seen it turn black.


  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭ eoinzy2000


    GGBS is a cement replacement though - not a sand replacement. Unless I'm misunderstanding your post?

    I've seen a fair bit of concrete with relatively high GGBS content but have never seen it turn black.

    When it is used correctly and with correct mix. GGBS can also be used as a fine particle replacement as well as a cement replacement. If suppliers are struggling to source sand, whcih they have been this last year, a few of them are throwing in sand substitutes. I have had several issues with blackening due to this issues. It took a while to get to the bottom of it, but sand shortage was the answer. My mix designs didnt allow for this alternative, so I was effectively safe, but it caused both blackening and uncharacteristic surface cracking in heavily reinforced structures. Im not saying this is the reason in this instance, but just throwing it in there as a possibility.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,704 ✭✭✭ Metric Tensor


    eoinzy2000 wrote: »
    When it is used correctly and with correct mix. GGBS can also be used as a fine particle replacement as well as a cement replacement. If suppliers are struggling to source sand, whcih they have been this last year, a few of them are throwing in sand substitutes. I have had several issues with blackening due to this issues. It took a while to get to the bottom of it, but sand shortage was the answer. My mix designs didnt allow for this alternative, so I was effectively safe, but it caused both blackening and uncharacteristic surface cracking in heavily reinforced structures. Im not saying this is the reason in this instance, but just throwing it in there as a possibility.

    Interesting. Thanks for the detailed reply.

    What sort of percentages are we talking in terms of trouble?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭ eoinzy2000


    Interesting. Thanks for the detailed reply.

    What sort of percentages are we talking in terms of trouble?

    Never found out quantities at all. The supplier and client came to some arrangement to leave it in, which suited me grand. If I was going to be implicated in any claims, I would have been taking cores and getting them analysed to determine these quantities. I would imagine percentages were high. On one, the surface of the concrete dried out too fast. The concrete supplier started trying to argue with the client that the cracking was due to inadequate reinforcement. This was a floor slab with H25 bars at 175mm crs top & btm. Massive amounts of reinforcement. As soon as the client came to me with that, it was a very quick and easy clarification. Met on site with supplier, folded within first few minutes and admitted their sand pit was depleted and they used GGBS. I wouldnt be surprised if there was no less that 10% of fines as sand to be honest.
    Sand is the second most used natural resource on Earth, after water. Every Local Authority and EPA etc are protecting any natural occuring sand pits as areas of Scenic Amenity etc. Something has to give. Its becoming a huge issue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,704 ✭✭✭ Metric Tensor


    Great stuff - thanks for that. Every day's a school day.

    If the slab was so heavily reinforced it's clearly important. Any worries about strength or longevity? How were the cube results?


  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭ eoinzy2000


    Great stuff - thanks for that. Every day's a school day.

    If the slab was so heavily reinforced it's clearly important. Any worries about strength or longevity? How were the cube results?

    cubes were all good. no strength concerns. longevity, Ive no concerns, but they had to pour a floor hardener/ sealer over it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,704 ✭✭✭ Metric Tensor


    Surface hardener makes good sense.

    The blackening is interesting. A head scratcher at the start I'd imagine! The type of thing you'd like to see out of interest .... just not on one of your own jobs!


  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭ eoinzy2000


    Surface hardener makes good sense.

    The blackening is interesting. A head scratcher at the start I'd imagine! The type of thing you'd like to see out of interest .... just not on one of your own jobs!

    Yeah exactly. importance of notes covering general mix requirement and as much as possible. If I had no notes in relation to it, I wouldve been in a fight.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Woodie.ie


    Thanks for all the great feedback, i had never experienced this problem before.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Woodie.ie


    If GGBS is present in the mix then it is possible that there is iron content which could turn concrete black much in the same way that sulphate of iron will permanently stain concrete, but this concrete has seen plenty rain with no discolouring before the power wash and for some reason the smooth edging left by the edging trowel was not affected.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,704 ✭✭✭ Metric Tensor


    Any chance it's some sort of fungus/mould?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Woodie.ie


    Don't think so, there is some green which the powerwashing takes off but this seems different, the Kilsaran tech guy is gonna have a look at it.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,269 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Any chance of a pic?

    I'm intrigued to see how effective it is


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Woodie.ie


    This looked perfect before the washing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 245 ✭✭ eoinzy2000


    Woodie.ie wrote: »
    This looked perfect before the washing.

    Nothing like what I was describing to be fair. Different proble.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Woodie.ie


    On further inspection it seems to be a fine black grit in the mix that is showing through on the surface. Many promises from Kilsarren to send someone out to inspect it but this never happened.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,269 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Woodie.ie wrote: »
    On further inspection it seems to be a fine black grit in the mix that is showing through on the surface. Many promises from Kilsarren to send someone out to inspect it but this never happened.

    for what its worth, i quite like the effect


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,577 ✭✭✭ greenspurs


    Apologies for jumping , but it seems you guys in here know about concrete.

    I got 2m3 of concrete poured just this morning, i shovelled raked and levelled myself.

    Should i water this concrete? Ive read that i should, and that you shouldnt?

    Thanks in advance.


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