How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask John D Your Own Question

John D
John D, BS Degree in Engineering.
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9659
Experience:  Math, science and 25 years experience in computer programming
53785
Type Your Question Here...
John D is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Correcting Cement stairs

Resolved Question:

I recently had cement steps and deck poured at my cottage. The deck and stairs were also stamped to look like slate and colored.
When they removed the forms, the steps were 13 inches long with a 7 inch rise,I had requested the stairs to be15 inches long with a 7 inch rise. Now the contractor has broken off the front 3 or 4 inches of the steps, on almost a 45 degree angle, and is going to repour the steps and also repour and additional 2 inches on the deck and stairs.
Is this proper procedure for such an expensive mistake?
Have you ever heard of such a procedure and is this the way to fix this problem?
Should he be using some sort of stainless steel anchors in the front of the steps and should there be some sort of adhesive used on the existing cement before the new cement is poured ?

Thank-you VERY much !!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: General
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
Expert:  John D replied 8 years ago.

There are two basic problems with the suggested procedure, structural and appearance.


The tread nosing (the outer edge of the step) is the most vulnerable part of the stair. This small over-hanging edge is where most of traffic load is concentrated, and it is where most of the impact occurs. Joining concrete in such weak-point area is not recommended, even if special measures when joining concrete subjected to stresses, such as placement of steel dowels (to resist tensional stresses which the concrete by itself cannot resist), special bonding agents, and most importantly, the areas to be joined should be large enough to enable the new and old concrete to hold together. Because of the small size of the added part and the concentrated stresses such measures are not practical and cannot be properly applied to the step nosing.


The second aspect is an aesthetic one. The joint between the old concrete and the new cannot be fully concealed. It will always have a 'line' and the colors will not fully match.


Making a mistake in the size of step by 2 inches is in my opinion a serious one, and you should not accept anything short of replacement the entire stair.


Hope this helps and good luck.


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to John D.'s Post: I think there is a little confusion....The contractor has broken off almost HALF of each of the stairs already and is going to pour over the entire stair not just the remaining half. He will be pouring 2 inches over the entire stair with the cement flowing into the new stair forms.The cement will also be flowing to form 2 inches over the deck that was poured .Nothing is being joined by butting fresh with new, the whole area is being poured over.There will be 2 inches of fresh concrete being poured over everthing at this point to avoid different cement colour concerns. I understand the stress points on the stair nosing but is it O.K. to chip away Half of the stair,leaving half of the stair intact and just repour over everything again with another 2 inches of cement?
Expert:  John D replied 8 years ago.

I see. So

he intends to pour concrete using vertical forms covering the entire 7" height of each step, at a distance of 2" away from where the old edge used to be. If that is the case, then it should be ok, provided:



  • The thickness of the new concrete at any point should not be less than 2", preferably 3"

  • All surfaces of old concrete in contact with the new should be chiseled to produce a relatively rough surface.

  • Place wire mesh along the entire surface.

  • Apply good concrete bonding agent to the old concrete surface before pouring.

  • Use extra strength cement mix.

  • Cement mix should not be just a cement mortar (i.e. cement and sand only). It should have fine to medium gravel as well.

  • If you want to go an extra step, you can ask him to place steel dowels at say 18" apart - (drilling in the old concrete and placing special steel anchors which would extend into the fresh concrete and be tied to wire mesh).

  • Ask for a two year warranty.

If he follows the above procedure, you should be ok. Otherwise, like I said before, this is not just an oversight or a simple mistake in dimensions. It is indeed a serious one and he should fix it to your complete satisfaction.


Please let me know if you need further assistance.


John D, BS Degree in Engineering.
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9659
Experience: Math, science and 25 years experience in computer programming
John D and 78 other General Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21786
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FO/fordguy4u/2011-12-17_222940_HPIM1257.64x64.JPG Ron's Avatar

    Ron

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    21786
    23 years with Ford specializing in drivability and electrical and AC. Ford certs and ASE Certs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/lyeung1/2010-07-25_032152_tn_IMG_0241.JPG Dr. Y.'s Avatar

    Dr. Y.

    Urologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    18791
    I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/docjohn174/2008-12-13_170143_johnask.jpg John's Avatar

    John

    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    13453
    Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8681
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dermdoc19/2010-09-30_160749_Photo_122807_015.JPG dermdoc19's Avatar

    dermdoc19

    Dermatologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3957
    30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BI/birddoctor/2012-6-22_173214_birddoctor.64x64.png Dr. Pat's Avatar

    Dr. Pat

    Bird Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3464
    25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3425
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
 
 
 

Related General Questions

Chat Now With An Expert
John D
John D
108 Satisfied Customers
Math, science and 25 years experience in computer programming