Asked on Nov 23, 2020

After almost 2 years concrete still dark color with cracks. WWYD?

by Maegirl

I bought a new home in a subdivision which had to be built from ground up, after purchase. When finished, I noticed the concrete had a wierd color to it, very dark, and was told in a few months it would lighten to look like the new concrete is was. Several other new homes around me have the same problem but theirs isn't as bad and others are not discolored at all. Well, almost 2 years later it is still a dark color, a few cracks have appeared and even some spots have crackle patterns. Note that the discoloring affects all the concrete in the front of my house except the sidewalk. I understand there will be some variations in concrete but mines is the extreme and it looks centuries old. My biggest concerned is about quality. Anyone experience this issue and if so were you able to resolve and how? Appreciate the feedback. Thanks

q after almost 2 years concrete still dark color with cracks wwyd

Part of driveway and path to front door. Crack near sewer plate.

q after almost 2 years concrete still dark color with cracks wwyd

Closer look at path to front door.

  17 answers
  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Nov 23, 2020

    You can always get ahold of the concrete company and let them know that the concrete still hasn't lightened and see what they have to say about it. They may be willing to help do something about this discoloration because customer service is huge for a lot of companies, especially now.

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 23, 2020

      Thank you for the reply. The concrete company said there was nothing they could do about the color or cracking (said cracking is normal based on size). They obviously completed a bad job and unfortunately I was the recipient.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Nov 23, 2020

    Calcium chloride in concrete is a primary cause of concrete discoloration. ... The resulting low water-cement ratio affects the hydration of the cement ferrites, which contributes to a darker color. Concrete surfaces that are troweled too early will increase the water-cement ratio at the surface and lighten the color.,surface%20and%20lighten%20the%20color.

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 23, 2020

      Thank you for the reply and possible solutions to removing the dark coloring on my concrete. I'm guessing when the concrete contractor said there was nothing they could do, they wanted to avoid the chemicals? I felt atleast a good wash down and powerspray would have helped but the contractor isn't interested in trying anything. However, I will share the solutions you shared with them. Thanks again.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 23, 2020

    try contacting your builder again and telling him the issues are not better and now you have cracks- give him an opportunity to fix this issue. here is info to help you out

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    • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Nov 23, 2020

      good luck it is frustrating - hope you can get some help with getting this fixed

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 23, 2020

    Hello. I’m not sure I see it in my situation. We have a 5 year old : 200 foot concrete driveway and the sidewalk that goes to the side garage door. We do have some cracks and crumbling at the edges but not a dark discoloration. I hope you find your answer.

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 23, 2020

      Thank you. Perhaps not for others but for me it takes away from the look of what I paid for, a brand new everything. A little discoloration wouldn't have been as much of a big deal but all my concrete infront of my house is heavily discolored. With the coloring, my concrete looks atleast a hundred years old. Oh well, I may just have to come to terms with it but didn't want to just accept it.

  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Nov 23, 2020

    Hi Marie, depending on where you live, most new homes come with a warranty for several years and you should be able to contact the builder of the homes. If everyone is having the same problem then there is probably a problem with the concrete mix. They most likely subcontracted the job out but should replace them... especially if they are starting to crack as that will allow water to seep in.

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    • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Nov 23, 2020

      Oh gosh, I am sorry to hear that. I can see them not wanting to do much if it was just the discolouration but with the cracking you would think it would be obvious to them that something wasn't mixed or applied correctly. If you live where there is snow, the cracks will just get bigger too when the snow melts and freezes. That seems like something they should have to take care of :(

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 23, 2020

    First, you can patch the crack. Check into a product called Sika.

    Next, I wouldn't be terribly concerned about quality because you would have crumbling and worse cracks after 2 years however the mix may not have been proper for the time of year and that may, over a long period of time, cause some issues. Just keep an eye on it.

    Finally, there's not a long you can do about the color other than if you want to stain it or do sidewalk art.

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 23, 2020

      Thank you for the reply. I will take a look into the Sika you recommended, especially as a another option I can ask the concrete contractor about using. I guess I am lucky that it isn't crumbling away but whole thing is disheartening.

  • William William on Nov 23, 2020

    Have another concrete contractor assess the concrete. They may explain the problem and a solution. You may have to sue the builder and concrete contractor

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 23, 2020

      Absolutely, I plan to call in another contractor for an assessment, if not solved,but hope they'll do better. Hoping it won't get to court but won't hesitate if necessary and if it turns out they could fix but will not. Thank you

  • Liz Cairo-Eagan Liz Cairo-Eagan on Nov 23, 2020

    if you have trees anywhere near by, roots can cause the damage as they are seeking water. First deep water all vegetation always, anywhere near the cement and then see if the concrete can be raised - does not sound like rebar was used

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 23, 2020

      All plants near concrete are small and there are no trees or roots near the concrete where crack are plus in this new development all the trees are still small to have roots that traveled that far. I too think it is something they did not do but still researching. Love this forum as I have gotten a lot of good info. Thanks for reply.

  • Morrisbrick Morrisbrick on Nov 23, 2020

    ARDEX cd is the best concrete refinisher little goes along way

  • Jim Jim on Nov 24, 2020

    You don’t say where you live. If in the south it could be mildew. Try pressure washing a small dark section to see if it cleans up. If it does,clean the rest of it and after drying apply some “Wet & Forget”. I live in the southern part of SC and I have to do this once a year.

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 24, 2020

      Thanks for reply. Decided it is time to involve another contractor to check their work and provide his/her opinion as i mentioned power washing before and the builder could have tried using a power washer which they probably already have vs me springing for one.

  • Annie Annie on Nov 24, 2020

    The dark color is fine. Should not affect quality. Im just guessing, but was it raining or wet out right after they poured it?? If so then the dark color may have came from concrete being wet, which is GOOD for concrete...

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 25, 2020

      Is was during rainy times. To me it looks bad but i do hope there are not worse issues later. Thanks for reply

  • Dee Dee on Nov 24, 2020

    First I would try pressure washing with a good cleaner degreaser that you can buy in an auto store. Then I would call the builder and see if your walkways are under warranty. Possible solutions are use ARDEX or get a good concrete stain at Home Depot of Lowes.

  • Maegirl Maegirl on Nov 25, 2020

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. I plan to involve another contractor to check their work and provide his/her opinion but I have all the great suggestions that were made here. Please consider this question answered.

  • Jeremy Hoffpauir Jeremy Hoffpauir on Nov 28, 2020

    A similar situation happened to me. I think you made the right choice by involving another contractor.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Nov 30, 2020

    i would contact your builder again and telling him the issues are not better and now you have cracks-

    • Maegirl Maegirl on Dec 06, 2020

      I have, many times; however, due to a recent conversation, after much persistence, I believe they are planning to address. Time will tell. Problem was that the subcontractor who installed the concrete visited and said there was nothing he could do. I actually expected this and shared proof with the builder that contradicted his assessment. The concrete subcontractor had the nerve to ask if i would be interested in having his company do more concrete work for me! I pointed out the issues I was already having with his work and said my goodbyes. Wow.

  • Heather Fredeking Heather Fredeking on Dec 02, 2020

    It may already have been said but this concrete needs cleaned with pressure met before any one comes out to look at it. Do your neighbors all have dark concrete? As for the crack of is common as ground settles and the seasons change, winter is particularly hard on concrete.

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    • Maegirl Maegirl on Dec 07, 2020

      I understand that the builder expects them to fix their mistake without additional money. Where I live doesn't matter in this specific case as I am surrounded by neighbors whose house was completed in the same month, both before and after during same week, and some have no concrete discoloration and some in varying degrees and places. On my way in and out of subdivision, I barely see the issue but haven't rode around just to look at other blocks. Most importantly to me, the model I visited that sold me on buying one of their homes has no concrete discoloration and I am going to try and hold them to the "picture" they sold me.

  • Kay Kay on Dec 03, 2020

    Is this a licensed bonded contractor? My brother works in concrete this is not normal and the contractor must fix it. Contact the city that issued the contractors licsense and file a complaint. They need to replace the concrete or resurface. A friend of mine had a similar problem sued and the contractor had to replace their sidewalk and garage floor. It will never get better. I will shoe the pictures to my brother he contracts to the city and mag know how to help you resolve legal.

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    • Maegirl Maegirl on Dec 07, 2020

      Oh I forgot to mention that they are licensed.