White Powder on Concrete Surface

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Q: My builder built our house in Massachusetts and it was cold outside when he poured the concrete floor. I think the top layer of the floor is weak because we have had a dusting and sandy grit problem that comes off the top of the floor. The builder put a sealer over the floor called Cure and Seal, which he says will do the trick. Have you ever heard of a problem like this? Any answers you could give would be greatly appreciated!

A: Because your floor has a dusty and sandy grit problem that comes off the top of concrete poured when it was cold outside, the concrete expert I contacted said the concrete may have frozen and the whole thing may need be replaced.

However, before you bring out the jack hammer, have the floor tested for concrete strength. This test involves drilling a six-inch diameter piece core from the floor (which will then be replaced) and having a concrete laboratory test the strength of the concrete.

I would ask the builder to have the floor tested. If he doesn't know who to contact, have him ask a structural engineer for a referral for a concrete lab in your area. If he refuses, you may have to have the test done yourself, in order to have proof that he needs to replace the floor (and reimburse you for the cost of the test!). If the floor turns out to be sound, at least you will have the peace of mind to finish installing the carpet and enjoy your room.

For the names of reliable structural engineers, or any other type of home improvement specialist, visit Home Advisor to be matched with the ideal service professional in your area.

by Kathy Maynard, reprinted courtesy of HomeAdvisor.com

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