You use sidewalks for essential activities. Here, you meet and greet neighbors. Children use these steps as their playground near home. For the adults, these are functional spaces to exercise, jog, run and then exchange hello with a dear friend.
Make sure that your sidewalks won’t let you meet accidents. Don’t say hello to chipped or pitted surfaces when you come out of your house.
Rule of The Sidewalk
The Seattle Municipal Code, Title 15.72, urges homeowners to take charge of Seattle sidewalk repair and maintenance. Proper care of private and public sidewalks lessen the hazard to pedestrians, especially during winter. You might be wondering, “when should I repair or replace the sidewalk.” Check the details below for more.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Sidewalk?
The extent of damages you see tell you if you need to replace or repair. Two common factors why the sturdy form ebbs away from the sidewalks:
- A ground movement that causes sidewalk concrete to cracks
- Weather changes that injure the porous concrete
Concrete sidewalks can last up to 25 or 30 years. Cracks will usually appear over time due to normal wear and tear. But, if you see lifted or displaced slabs, it’s time to plan and prepare for a repair or replacement.
When to Choose: Repair Vs. Replace
A repair is a good option if you see small chips or cracks and if the damage is less than two inches of concrete. However, replacing your sidewalk is necessary if the concrete slabs are entirely broken. You will see multiple deep hairline cracks begin to surface.
Concrete resurfacing is a decorative refinishing that comes in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns. So, if you want to improve the overall aesthetic of your sidewalk, concrete resurfacing is one way to make it look brand new. A popular design choice from this application would be pavers.
Having concrete patio pavers Tampa or brick pavers adds a nice touch to the outdoor steps. These pavers blend naturally with trees, shrubs, and flowers, making your home or property look homey, viewing from the streets.
5 Easy Steps To Repair Your Sidewalk
If your sidewalk has small holes or surface cracks, you can repair them on your own by following these steps:
1- Purchase and prepare tools and equipment
It will cost around $5 to $100 to repair your sidewalk, so before you purchase anything, make sure to have the following to avoid having multiple tools and equipment. Have your sidewalk-repair kit ready with:
- Wire or Fiber Brush
- Paint Brush
- Putty Knife
- Patching Mix
- Safety Glasses
- Work Gloves
2- Remove Damaged Areas
Use a sledgehammer and a chisel to cut out damaged areas.
3- Brush Out Debris
Loose debris on the surface will weaken your concrete patch. Make sure to brush it out before applying the new patch. Once removed, you can moisten the area with a sponge to dampen the old concrete. Doing this will help the old concrete bond with the new ones.
4- Patching Mix
Prepare the patching mix and smooth it on the old concrete using a trowel.
5- Apply Bonding Agent
You can use a paintbrush to apply a bonding agent. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes until it gets tacky. Afterward, pack anchoring cement into the crack by using a trowel or a putty knife. Finally, cover the patch with plastic to keep it moist until fully cured.
7 Easy Steps To Replace Your Sidewalk
If your sidewalk acquires lifted or displaced slabs, replacing it is the best and safest option. Make sure to talk to your city and obtain the necessary permits required before doing anything. Also, replacing a sidewalk may take some time, so make sure to check the weather and set aside an entire day to finish this project.
1- Purchase and prepare tools and equipment
It will cost you more than $1,000 to replace your sidewalk, but they can cover half of the expenses depending on your city or HOA. You can do more research before starting the project to save on labor costs. If you will tackle the task on your own, make sure to have the following to avoid having multiple tools and equipment.
- Sidewalk repair kit (refer to list above)
- Circular Saw
- Edging Tool
- Steel Rake
- Measuring Tape
- 12-Inch Wood Stakes
- Pressure-Treated Two-by-Fours
- Safety Cones
- Yellow Caution Tape
- Concrete Mix
- Mixing Tub
- Eye and Ear Protection
2- Set Up A Safety Barrier
Use the traffic cones and yellow caution tape to set up a safety barrier. This safety barrier will ensure that the neighborhood knows that the sidewalk will be off-limits for a few days.
3- Remove Damaged Areas
You can use a jackhammer or a sledgehammer to break apart the damaged slab. Then, dispose of the pieces into a rented dumpster or trash receptacle.
4- Clean Out Debris and Prepare Hole
Remove all the concrete debris from the area you are replacing. Rake over the dirt to have a flat surface. Using a measuring tape, check the size of the hole and cut your two-by-fours with your circular saw. Make sure that the edges of the two-by-fours match the elevation of the sidewalk. Use the wooden stakes to hold the two-by-fours and secure them by using the screws.
5- Prepare Wet Concrete
Combine a gallon of water with the right amount of concrete mix and admixture inside your mixing tub. Use a shovel to stir the mixture and shovel into the correct section until it reaches the top.
6- Smoothen The Surface
Use an extra two-by-four to smooth and even out the slab. Drag it across the top properly to avoid uneven areas. Use your shovel to remove excess concrete. Allow the new slab to set for 20 minutes. Then, you can use your edging tool and trowel to smoothen the edges and surface of your new slab. Make sure to apply medium pressure to avoid deformation.
7- Curing Time
Your new concrete slab will need at least 24 hours to dry completely. Once cured, remove the wooden stakes and two-by-fours. When preparing the hole, you can spray WD-40 on the wooden stakes and two-by-fours, making it easier to clear after the curing period.
A responsible property owner does proper maintenance. And yes, it can be a tedious and daunting task, but there are many ways to repair, replace and resurface the outdoor concrete. Step out to a damage-free sidewalk and stop any possible accidents along the way!