basement wall imperfection

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Old 08-05-12, 08:12 AM
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Question basement wall imperfection

can anyone tell me what might cause a "hill like" imperfection in a freshly poured basement wall (picture attached - kinda hard to see - but easier in this pic than the closeup I took)? perhaps the pour started and stopped for some reason and the concrete set up a bit before they continued? or maybe the truck ran out, and the mix in the next truck was slightly different?

up close, there are no cracks. I can go take another pic if needed, the issue seems minor in the attached picture, but is quite noticeable in person...

just wondering if this would pose a structural issue of any sort down the road...

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Old 08-05-12, 10:55 AM
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It looks like a cold joint, like when a different mix was introduced. You have rebar running throughout this monolith, so I doubt it will cause major problems. They are going to properly waterproof the exterior, and not just dab on tar, right? You got a lot of water that is gonna hit this wall , so it needs to move away quickly. Do you know what your contractor has planned for that? Get all this stuff under belt before the track hoe moves in. What did your contractor say about the ill pour??
 
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Old 08-05-12, 11:10 AM
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The picture shows what appears to be a "cold joint" in the concrete's placement. The contractor initially dumped a bunch of rather stiff concrete in that location, but then for whatever reason experienced a delay in continuing the placement. Could have been a delivery delay, a temporary pump breakdown, or possibly something else (lunch break?). When the placement was continued, the guy on the spud vibrator neglected to drop the vibrator deep enough into the older concrete, which would have intermingled the fresh concrete on top with the stuff under it that had started its initial set.

If that's the biggest problem with the foundation, consider yourself lucky. Assuming you're the owner, as opposed to just a sidewalk superintendent or nosey neighbor. I personally think I'd be more concerned with the steep fill in the back yard, just waiting for some wet weather to turn itself into a landslide.
 
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Old 08-05-12, 11:20 AM
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Arrow drainmax foundation drain

thanks for the replies!

I am the owner btw, not a nosey neighbor...

they sprayed this membrane on the exterior, with a drainmax foundation drain at the bottom (see attached picture). to my novice eyes, it looks like they did a good job. however, I am not quite clear at the moment what would keep silt from clogging up the drainmax drain... maybe they come back with some fabric later and put some stone on top of that?

you are quite right that the backside of the house will see lots of water. there is a hill with the wrong slope behind the house. my guess is that they intend for water to shed to either side of the house (drainmax and corrugated drain pipe?) and continue towards the street...

we talked to several neighbors prior to purchasing, and no one has mentioned any issues so far... this is not a topic I know much about, just trying to be careful. appreciate any and all feedback!
 
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Old 08-05-12, 11:28 AM
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oh, and I have not yet spoken to the contractor. I will do so this week.

thanks for helping me understand what a "cold joint" is and the tip on the potential landfill slide.
 
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Old 08-05-12, 12:20 PM
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Others on the forum may have additional comments about the spray on waterproofing, so hang in there for that. Personally there is no such thing as overkill on stopping water, so IMO a single spray may be less than perfect. Yes, they should lay in mesh or sock along with stone over the drain. Hopefully before your next rain, as that hill will start it's own backfill without the trackhoe.
 
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Old 08-05-12, 07:46 PM
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There are things that can be done to prevent or at least minimize the likelihood of the steep slope crashing into your house when things get soggy. The pretty shrubbery your neighbor planted on his slope are a good start, but not the most effective way to deal with potential slope movement.

I bought a house in NM 20 years ago that had a similar back yard situation--being a buyers' market, I had to pay more than the asking price to beat out the 2 other offers made the same day as mine, so I couldn't quibble about the steep back yard. But the house's builder (tract subdivision) had taken the effort to build a series of benched terraces to mitigate the steep slopes in all the back yards on the block. The terrace walls each consisted of 4 or 5 courses of concrete blocks (filled with concrete) and tied to concrete footings with vertical rebar. I learned first-hand about how they were built when building a series of steps to get up to each terrace level (they made great compact garden areas). Most of my neighbors dressed up their walls with either stucco or stone facing, but mine remained ugly for the duration I was in the house. The terrace walls performed extremely well when the area received a record 9" rainfall during one 24-hour period while I lived there--had some water in the hot tub room off the back yard, and a bit of garden soil washing down over the tops of the walls, but no major slope movement at all.
 
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