Camoflaged concrete or horrible mistake?

Old 09-30-03, 10:45 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Angry Camoflaged concrete or horrible mistake?

Last December, right after two weeks of nearly solid rain, a local (San Diego) landscaper called in a crew to pour concrete in the yard of our newly-built house. The soil here is mainly clay, and it was absolutely soaked when the "San Diego Buff" (a light beige) cement was poured. After several weeks, the color of the concrete was very uneven as shown in these recent (last week) pictures...

My landscaper has insisted that moisture is just trapped in the cement and needs to be released. Even though this summer saw several weeks of 100+ degree weather in our neck of the woods (20 miles inland in Chula Vista), she has continued to come over and drop thin sheets of plastic or paper around in hopes that the moisture would "sweat" out of the cement. Of course, the concrete hasn't changed a bit.

Now is it just me, or does this look like a situation that's way beyond a paper blanket? Any comments are most appreciated*

*Translation: A $50 gift certificate from my company ( for whomever submits the best answer.
Old 10-01-03, 08:12 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hello kgreenlee,

Sorry to hear about your concrete. We were in the same situation here in San Marcos with the driveway of our new home. I can't seem to attach pictures at this site but if you PM me with your email address I can send some to you.

I had several people out to look at our driveway and here is the consensus report. The discolored patches are referred to as efflorescence. You can do a internet search on that word (+ concrete) to get more information. Basically, it occurs when too much water as applied during the pour. This generally happens when contractors have waited too long to pour/finish the job and in an effort gain time, water is added to the concrete, which changes the water/concrete ratios, effectively slowing and/or stopping the natural chemical bonding process.

The resulting effect was that our driveway was left with large discolored patches, substandard edge finishing, and noticeable deviations in both surface height and texture. I was advised that our driveway would most likely experience excessive cracking due to a lower compressive strength as a result of the added water.

It sounds like you might have the same situation but I would have some 3rd party concrete people give you an assessment of the job. The end result for us was that we complained enough to the builder that they agreed to pay for the demolition and removal of the existing driveway so that we could replace it at our own cost. FYI - I don't like concrete due to cracking so we elected to have the driveway done in paverstone.

Anyway, that's all I can offer at this point. Like I said PM me and I will send you some pictures of our driveway for comparison. Good luck!
Old 10-01-03, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,261
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
To provide a photograph, post it to a web site and link to it from your post here.
Old 10-01-03, 02:05 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Ok I created a public photo album at the following URL

Go there to see a picture of what our driveway looked like. Thanks

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: