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Ugh Diesel to Finish Concrete Slab

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42 replies to this topic

#26 akulapanam

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 10:01 PM

Is this pad going to stay open air or is it getting an enclosed building on top of it? If it is going to be enclosed that smell could come back. You just cant notice it now because its open to the outside and the fumes dont get concentrated.


I’m definitely concerned about that. It will be open air for 5 weeks before being covered

#27 GoFish

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 10:42 PM

<rant>

 

Another vote here that using diesel and letting it escape into the surrounding environment is a TERRIBLE idea.  Beyond terrible. Unbelievable. 

 

Hopefully your contractor has general liability insurance. I’d be talking to an attorney about steps needed to force the contractor to

  • Remove the slab
  • Hire a qualified firm to certify there is no actionable contamination in the soil or groundwater
  • Pay for a qualified remediation contractor to clean things up if found to be necessary

My very limited understanding of environmental law is that you could own any remaining contamination forever. Even after you sell your property and move on you might be responsible for fixing it if discovered in the future. 

 

After highway wrecks, a crew comes out and puts absorbent material on diesel spills on the pavement, and then digs out any soil around the shoulder that got contaminated by the accidental spill. They check nearby drainage ditches to make sure the diesel didn’t get into the surface water or groundwater. All the absorbent and soil is then sealed in barrels and taken to a licensed hazmat landfill. IOW, they go to lots and lots of trouble to deal with the spilled diesel. 

 

And now we hear about a bozo contractor who intentionally goes around creating spills on all his projects mad.gif

 

</rant>



#28 TxStars

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:27 AM

I would guess the reason diesel was used is because it is cheep and most contractors have it on hand in their trucks already.

The diesel oil that is now in the slab is going to prevent you from painting or sealing the surface for a very long time.


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#29 nmoushon

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:44 AM

I would guess the reason diesel was used is because it is cheep and most contractors have it on hand in their trucks already.

The diesel oil that is now in the slab is going to prevent you from painting or sealing the surface for a very long time.

This is actually a really good point. Well not that you should ever paint your floors lol but sealing it or putting any epoxy flooring down or gluing any type of tile flooring down will surely be effected. 

I do strongly suggest getting in contact with a local architect or structural engineer. Both these professions know a lot of the specification of materials and how they SHOULD be installed properly. They will give you the best insight you can get on this and be truly non-partisan with it. I'm sure most would do this for free from a quick phone call or an email.



#30 jcj380

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:54 AM

https://www.concrete....aspx?faqid=851



#31 TxStars

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:27 PM

Key words from that:

 

While diesel oil was once commonly used, it’s now prohibited because the associated volatile organic content (VOC) emissions contribute to smog.

(Note: In the United States, form release agents have to meet federal VOC limits of 450 g/L [3.8 lb/gal.] and may have to meet more restrictive limits of 250 g/L [2.2 lb/gal.] in some states.)


Edited by TxStars, 16 January 2020 - 12:27 PM.


#32 akulapanam

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 02:22 PM

Went on Yelp this morning and called the top 5 vendors under a local search for concrete. Two have called me back so far and the results are a disheartening:

- vendor #1 (another landscaping company) also uses diesel in the winter only as a curing agent. Don’t use it in the summer because it degrades too quickly.
- vendor #2 (concrete and foundation contractor) “is not the right chemical, they don’t use it, don’t recommend it, but is the equivalent too the correct chemical and commonly used in this area” Noted that petroleum based cures are fairly common.

Neither said I would have long term issues with the concrete or sealing it.

I guess the lesson here is ask before you have concrete poured:-(

#33 mark77

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 02:54 PM

I STRONGLY recommend concrete epoxy sealer.  It cannot be applied for at least 4 weeks after pouring of the concrete.

 

On old garage floors, it is required to use muriatic acid to clean any petroleum residue on the concrete to allow the epoxy to stick

 

Homedepot sells a "green" version of this.  It is easy to use and safe.

 

https://www.homedepo...75006/202690263

 

I think that using this should remove any diesel residue and allow the epoxy to stick.  I might go so far as to do it twice.  Do the scrubbing and rinse and then wait a few days and do it again.



#34 Lola Bruce

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 05:50 PM

Muriatic acid will not de-grease period. It is used to etch concrete. A good soap will work and is much more friendly. A quality sealer after the concrete has cured out will help keep down the moisture inside the observatory and mitigate the possibility of the diesel fumes.

 

Some of you guys need to chill out!

 

Bruce


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#35 SonnyE

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 02:58 PM

Sheesh!

Half you guys act like this is the Exxon Valdez!

It's ~500 cc's peoples. 1/2 of 1 liter.

Don't freak out. A lot more than that gets spilled at a gas station daily.

Get out some garlic and rub it under your nose. What do you smell?

No diesel.

 

Give it a week and I'd bet you couldn't smell a dam thing.


Edited by SonnyE, 21 January 2020 - 02:58 PM.

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#36 GoFish

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 03:19 PM

... he uses about a half liter to liter of diesel to finish all his pads. 

Agree, even if 1 liter it isn’t the end of the world. But it is just such a bad idea to intentionally introduce diesel contamination into a residential yard. 

 

Yes, there are are a lot of small spills, and a few larger ones, around gas stations. And for this reason, gas stations are big flashing neon signs when it comes to redevelopment of that property, or acquisition of gas station property for use in public right of way. 



#37 greenstars3

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 05:02 PM

Put some sawdust around the soil surrounding the pad, the microbes in the soil will eat the diesel and the sawdust. the sawdust keeps the microbes happy because the straight diesel diet it a little much for them. This is how petroleum contaminated soil is treated at haz decon sites.

As you poured this slab in Aug it should be fine after a washing with a strong soap as others have suggested, if you are going to coat the pad to seal it, a wash with hydrochloric acid (called muriatic acid in lumber stores, please use proper PPE and add the acid to the water not the other way around) then a flush with water, (can neutralize the acid with baking soda, end product is water, CO2, and NaCl) should be good.  

 

Robert  



#38 T-Rexs

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:36 PM

SonnyE, I'm not concerned about it getting spilled in soil, my concern is this guy put diesel on finished wet concrete (which is soaked into the top layer). What does that do to the long term of concrete, does it degrade it faster, I don't know. They make curing agents for curing concrete, not diesel. I think  akulapanam needs to find that out.

Troy   



#39 T-Rexs

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:47 PM

 akulapanam, 

 

I've sent a message to a  Concrete Engineering Consultants, I will show you a reply when I get it.

 

Troy



#40 GoFish

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:59 PM

 akulapanam, 

 

I've sent a message to a  Concrete Engineering Consultants, I will show you a reply when I get it.

 

Troy

I’ll be interested to hear what you learn from them.

 

My speculation is that the diesel applied to the surface after initial set does not really mix with the paste, and probably does the concrete no harm. 


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#41 T-Rexs

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 11:41 PM

gofish, I'm with you, I hope the same, I really want them to reply and say no problem



#42 greenstars3

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 01:00 AM

akulapanam I would seal the pad to keep the faint odor of diesel out of your ops, I meant to state that in my first post.

 

Robert

 

ps: along time ago (about 40 yrs) when I was working on bridges we would add and mix diesel to the concrete curing compound that we would spray on the finished bridge decks to help with the curing process, this method has been replaced with better and saner methods, your contractor should have followed the updated methods   



#43 Edward Swaim

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 07:56 PM

When I spent a couple of summers in the early 1990s building precast bridge beams, we put used motor oil from the road department trucks and equipment on forms as a release! Nasty and dangerous in hindsight. We never used any agent when screeding or floating.
 

Ed




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