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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    5

    Question Chips in new driveway

    Last year, while the village was reconstructing our street, I hired the same contractor to replace our asphalt driveway with concrete.

    Over the winter I noticed some chips in the concrete.

    When the snow melted, I found that there are a lot of chips (20+) in various parts of the driveway.

    The contractor gave me a 5 year warranty on the new driveway.

    The contractor has told me, without looking at the driveway, that the chips are due to the wide temperature variations we had this winter ... and that they recommended that I have the driveway sealed (they didn't, but indicated in the contract that having it sealed was my responsibility).

    I've got two questions ...
    1. Is this at all normal for a new driveway? I'm thinking not, but I have no experience in this area. I would like to get the contractor to fix it, but don't think I can make any arguments to convince them that it's not normal.
    2. Can the chips be repaired at all? If so, is it something I can do?


    Thanks for any suggestions?

    david
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: Chips in new driveway

    To repair the chips, you can always stick some cement mix in them, after you paint some kind of bonding agent on the chip. It's 50/50 whether they'll stay in however, as it sounds like your weather is rather severe.

    Keep in mind, the driveway is a structural component. It's meant to support the weight of vehicles as they move about or park. Driveways aren't normally looked upon as things of beauty, other than the architectural design of it. Chips come with the territory.

    If the chips develop into cracks, that's also part of concrete's behavior. If the cracks are small and tight, don't worry about them. If they keep opening until they're about 1/8" wide, I'd invoke the 5 year warranty clause in your agreement with your contractor and invite him out to your house for an inspection.

    Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Chips in new driveway

    Thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,189

    Default Re: Chips in new driveway

    I'm inclined to agree with ma2804. The chips could be repaired, but it will look like you've had your driveway repaired, drawing more attention to the damage than just leaving it alone. Things could be blended together by painting, epoxying, or staining the concrete, but still I think you're going to far more effort and expense than is necessary. IMHO, it's a driveway and a few pock marks aren't going to be noticed as the slab ages and accumulates dirt and oil stains. If it really bothers you that much, you can have an asphalt seal coat put over the top which will hide the damage and seal the surface against further degradation.

    I would also recheck your contract and warranty information. I suspect that there is a clause that unless there is a seal coat, and that it was applied by the original contractor, there is no warranty. The reason is, the contractor can claim the deterioration is due to lack of seal, or that the seal wasn't properly done so he's off the hook for any damages that have occurred. He's not responsible for other peoples work.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Chips in new driveway

    It is from weather. Pockets under the surface popped with weather variations. If the pockets could have been avoided is another question, but it's a very subjective one and hard to prove because it's a driveway and that's the nature of concrete. Not what you want to hear, I know.

    I can tell you that sometimes it's better to leave concrete alone than to try and fix it.

    Don't seal it yourself. You want it documented that a professional installer did it in a timely manner. What A.Spruce is saying is right, except they've already waived liability by saying it's the owners responsibility to have it sealed. They're already claiming responsibility only on their own workmanship installing it.

    That's not a wrong thing, if they're a concrete construction company sealing would be another subcontractor as specified by bid process/contract. It's probably their standard contract.

    You made a big investment, it's worth getting it sealed if it's recommended for that application regardless. The sealant contractor may also want to give you a (written) prognosis on what sealing it will and won't do for the problem. And document your complaint to the company and their recommendation to have it sealed.

    You won't win a fight to have something like this fixed at this time. Right now everyone is right in this, you and them, and it might be just fine by having it sealed. But on down the line if further problems develop you want to make sure you have a leg to stand on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Chips in new driveway

    Quote Originally Posted by fallingrock View Post
    Last year, while the village was reconstructing our street, I hired the same contractor to replace our asphalt driveway with concrete.

    Over the winter I noticed some chips in the concrete.

    When the snow melted, I found that there are a lot of chips (20+) in various parts of the driveway.

    The contractor gave me a 5 year warranty on the new driveway.

    The contractor has told me, without looking at the driveway, that the chips are due to the wide temperature variations we had this winter ... and that they recommended that I have the driveway sealed (they didn't, but indicated in the contract that having it sealed was my responsibility).


    I've got two questions ...
    1. Is this at all normal for a new driveway? I'm thinking not, but I have no experience in this area. I would like to get the contractor to fix it, but don't think I can make any arguments to convince them that it's not normal.
    2. Can the chips be repaired at all? If so, is it something I can do?

    Thanks for any suggestions?

    david
    Sounds to me more of an issue of either questionable mix or application and finishing.

    Sealing concrete really only provides a resistance for staining and making cleaning easier.

    Look at the street this contractor had done .... is it marked up ?
    It went through the same weather conditions as your driveway and I doubt they apply sealers to the streets in your town.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Chips in new driveway

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Sounds to me more of an issue of either questionable mix or application and finishing.

    Sealing concrete really only provides a resistance for staining and making cleaning easier.

    Look at the street this contractor had done .... is it marked up ?
    It went through the same weather conditions as your driveway and I doubt they apply sealers to the streets in your town.
    What Canuck says is true, because it's not cost effective to order a truck and crew for one residential driveway if you're doing a bigger job. That's why they can give a price break, it's a good deal for both sides.

    Walk down the sidewalks in the neighborhood too, if they were doing the sidewalks. Those would be close to the same mix/volume/finishing as your driveway. If they included the driveway with the sidewalk pour instead of the street pour, which would make sense, it might be a different mix or finish than the street.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Chips in new driveway

    From the pictures it appears to be what is commonly called 'Pop-outs". Soft aggregate near the surface absorbed moisture and during the winter froze and expanded causing the surface directly above it to pop out.

    ASTM allows a small % of "Chirt" and other soft agg to be within specs. If this amout is in excess then you have recourse. Start with the contractor who installed the driveway...next the concrete supplier.

    If there is a widespred occurance of this...it is not normal nor acceptable. If it were me, I'd be looking to get it replaced.

    Vince

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