April 1997 Edition

Sunken Driveway Repair

We have a driveway that was installed over a fill area and one section has settled 2” between the joints. Is there a way to correct the problem without removing the concrete and repouring?
The problem you are having is a very common one. We see it all the time. Some people even try to pour a thin coat of new concrete over the existing concrete but this rarely works. The thin section normally flakes off since the new concrete does not bond to the old.
One method that will probably work is pressure grouting, but today we will discuss “Mudjacking”.
Rain, animals and other variables create voids under existing concrete which occurs when wet ground is washed away or the ground settles from the lack of properly compacted fill dirt. The resulting voids or space lead to settlement and eventually costly replacement of such items as driveways, steps, sidewalks, garage floors, pool slabs, etc.
Mudjacking is a good alternative to complete concrete replacement through a unique procedure. Usually the repair can be done at a fraction of the replacement cost. The average job is done in a matter of hours eliminating form boards, wet cement, and an unsightly yard, not to mention the inconvenience.
Mud jacking
The process consist of drilling 1 3/8” diameter holes at carefully selected locations in the concrete, then pumping a blend of screened (filtered) Georgia clay, sand and portland in the form of mud through the holes with hydraulics, raising the concrete to the original level. Because the “mud” has been pumped using hydraulics and is pressurized, it fills every hole and void underneath the slab and hardens when dry becoming a very stable support for the slab. It will not wash away like loose, unpressurized fill dirt. The holes are then filled and the job is complete.
For more information about “Mudjacking” contact Michael Attebury, Mudjack Concrete, Inc., 770-433-2868.

Wood Floor Problem 

We installed glue down wood parquet flooring in our foyer last summer and now the floor pops when you walk over it and is loose. We cleaned the concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but it does not appear to be sticking very well. Do you have any ideas about what could have gone wrong?                       
It is always upsetting when you slave over a project, follow the installation instructions and still have problems when it is finished.  


 Installing flooring over concrete can be a problem if the concrete has any amount of moisture present. We also see this problem in new homes. Hydrostatic pressure can force moisture up into the concrete from the ground below. The moisture can separate the glue from the concrete and cause flooring to become loose. Unfortunately, if this happens, your best solution is to remove the flooring and start over again.
There is a simple test you can perform to see if moisture is present before you start your project. Tape several pieces of a 24” x 24” square of 6 mil plastic to the floor is different areas. Be sure to totally seal all four sides. Wait 48 hours and then peel back the plastic to check for moisture on the bottom side. If any moisture is present, then a glue down floor is not recommended and you will need to install a “floating” floor system.
A floating floor system is not anchored to the floor and is allowed to “float” over the concrete. Floating wood floors are laminated plank flooring with a veneer finish. Plank sizes vary from 1 to 8 feet in length and 6 inches or more in width. First cover the floor with 8 mil plastic sheeting with the seams overlapping a minimum of 8”. Next you install a thin foam underlayment over the plastic. Finally, you install the planking gluing the tongue-and-groove edges to each other. You need to leave at least a 1/4” gap along the perimeter for expansion. The weight of the floor keeps it in place, but it is free to move with varying humidity. Floating floors are available at most flooring retailers and come unfinished or prefinished. They cost around $6.00/SF. For more information and local dealers contact Harris-Tarkett at 800-842-7816 or Kahrs International at 800-800-8628.

 SOURCE: The Family Handyman 

Staining A Deck

Our deck is looking weather-beaten and we would like to stain it. Since we know little about stains, could you tell us the difference between latex stain and oil-based stain? Which would you recommend for a deck?
If your deck has never been sealed or finished, a stain is a good way to apply an even finish and make the wood look almost new again.



Latex stains are best suited for vertical surfaces such as exterior siding and wood trim. They do not do well on flat surfaces with heavy foot traffic or standing water. They are just not durable enough.                       
Oil stains work well on vertical as well as flat surfaces. The stain has enough pigment to evenly color the wood and the oil soaks into the wood and helps to protect the surface. The finish will not peel or scuff easily. Normally, you would want to re-stain every year or two. Most oil stains are very thin and may be applied with a garden sprayer. Any runs may be soaked up with a paint brush.

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote of the Month



A Tip Of The Hat To:

Connie Garman

Northside Realty

Alpharetta, Georgia

**** Thank You****