Concrete may seem like an infallible and sturdy material, but even those tough and resilient sidewalks are susceptible to damages if exposed to the right factors. And while some veterans may know better, others not as versed in proper sidewalk repair may feel the need to replace an entire slab of sidewalk before that becomes truly necessary!
So what exactly constitutes a situation that calls for repairs and a situation that demands replacement? That’s precisely what we plan to cover for you today! Read on for a few common issues residential and shared sidewalks can be notorious for and learn when the opportunity for replacement is truly necessary.
An important distinction many will have to learn how to make is the difference between aesthetic damages and foundational damages. Aesthetic damages can be overlooked without jeopardizing the safety of pedestrians while foundational ones need to be addressed quickly in to prevent injury.
With that in mind, it helps to know that cracks wider than ½ an inch usually indicate a major problem with the stability of a sidewalk slab and need to be fixed quickly. It’s often recommended that slabs with these deeper cracks be replaced entirely to avoid further degradation down the road. When it comes to cracks less than ¼ inch wide, replacement can be opted against in favor of simple and more affordable repairs.
Tiny hairline cracks can usually be repaired without much consequence and without a grand scale replacement. However, extensive hairline cracks that spider web out can prove a different beast altogether. Wide-spanning cracks that start in the middle of the slab can still prove a foundational risk despite the shallow chips in concrete. In these cases, the smarter option would surely be to replace the slab outright.
Concrete may be strong, but it’s no more resistant to the degradation that comes with time than we are. As sidewalks age and are left exposed to the elements, they can begin to lift and shift out of place, making for an uneven walking space that can easily trip up passersby. If you notice the height from one section of sidewalk to another differs by about ½ an inch or more, replacement becomes a worthwhile endeavor. You could hire a slab jack to shift the segment back into place, but that will ultimately lead to it shifting again. Your best bet may just be paying to replace now and avoiding the regularly occurring repairs in the long run.
When it comes to proper maintenance for your property’s interior and exterior, knowing what makes for worthwhile repairs and replacements can save you quite a bit of time, money, and stress! No need to become an expert! Brush up on the small tells and invest in the maintenance that actually matters.