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RE: Concrete slab topping

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Rich
  If the construction methods in Kenya are anything like those in Malawi,
the builders probably used about 10 gallons of water.  The attitude there
was "the more water the better".  When I tried to limit the water they just
laughed at the crazy "enzengu" (sp?  my Chichewa is VERY rusty).   The
conversation went something like this:

Me: "Please don't add any more water to the concrete after we dump it from
the mixer."

Local Labor: "How are we supposed to spread it around?"

Me: "Use your trowels and move faster."  (Have you encountered the East
African definition of "Now"?)

LL, grabbing hose going at 3/4 full and laughing:  "It's much easier this
way.  When we get done, we will scrap the excess water off the top."


I actually tried to argue the point a little more the first time.  I didn't
get anywhere.  From then on, I controlled the water hose going into the
mixer and reduced the water there.  Boy, was that a stiff mix from then on.
I figure we got down to 3 extra gallons a load.


You will probably find that rocks (don't even think of them as aggregate)
will have all settled to the bottom covered by your nice layer of fine dust.


Mark Jones
Sometimes ADRA volunteer
Sometimes world traveler and equal opportunity slaughterer of languages.


-----Original Message-----
From: richard lewis [mailto:rlewistx(--nospam--at)juno.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 12:59 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Concrete slab topping


I sent this a month ago and didn't get a response.  I would appreciate
some insight on this slab repair. Thanks!

I have a concrete slab the is severely dusting on the surface.  By severe
I mean the top one inch is turning to powder.  It was built in the mid
80's out in the bush of Kenya.  I must assume it was prematurely finished
and probably overwetted during the finishing process.  I am not sure what
else would cause that much of the surface to deteriorate.  It is an
interior condition.
 
What I would like to know is a recommended mix design for a topping slab
of about 1" thick.  It will be mixed by hand at the site.  What is
recommended for aggregate size and proportions of aggregate and portland
cement?
 
As far as surface preparation, my thought is to remove the dust down to
sound concrete.  I hope we can find some!  Then, wet the surface and add
a topping.
 
Thanks for your help.
 
Rich
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