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Other stories by Jay%20Meunier

  • Compacting Stump Holes

    I'm about to pour a slab on a site where several stumps were removed, leaving 2- and 3-foot-deep holes about 4 feet across. The backhoe operator went ahead and filled in the holes with dirt from the site (sandy loam, pretty good stuff), drove over them a

  • Various Forming a Brick Shelf in a Concrete Foundation

    Q. I'm planning to form a simple 4-foot stem wall foundation for a single-story garage using plywood, snap ties, and walers. It needs to have a brick ledge for the top 10 to 12 inches, which will show above grade. What's a simple, effective way to do this

  • Adequate Compaction

    Q. When compacting a gravel base for a slab, how can you tell when the gravel is compact enough?

  • Q&A: Reinforcing a Slab Over Disturbed Soil

    Q. I need to pour a thickened-edge slab foundation for a two-story garage apartment across a recently dug 2-foot-wide utility trench. The backfill over the trench has subsided, and I'm concerned that the foundation may sag and crack at that point. Can I add rebar to the slab to span this area, or...

  • Q&A: Various Stucco Over Concrete

    Q. I'd like to finish the above-grade portion of a poured-concrete foundation with a color coat of stucco. The broken-off snap-ties are visible and are slightly rusty. Do I need to treat these with anything before I apply the stucco to prevent a rust stai

  • Q&A: Is It Necessary to Compact Slab Sub-Base?

    Q. We need to pour a 24x24-foot concrete slab for an attached garage next to a precast foundation. The precast walls are 9 feet and 4 feet tall (see photo). Unfortunately, the trench overdig is 7 feet deep and as much as 4 feet wide in some places. We would prefer to avoid backfilling and tamping...

  • Q&A: Excavating in Frozen Ground

    Q. What’s the most cost-effective way to thaw a site for excavation? We are building a 16x24-foot addition with a crawlspace underneath, and the frost is already 12 inches deep.

  • Q&A: Spalling Concrete Floors

    Q: Here in Minnesota, many garage floors suffer from spalling. What causes spalling concrete, and is there any cure?

  • Q&A: Rebar in Sonotubes

    Q: To support a beam for a residential deck, does a Sonotube pier need any rebar?

  • Q&A: Sealing Garage Floors

    Q: Is a concrete sealer effective at protecting a garage floor from road salt damage? If so, what is the best product to use — a floor paint or a clear waterproofing sealer?