Sidewalk Maintenance: When to Repair or Replace Concrete

Does your concrete sidewalk need to be repaired or replaced? If you’re not sure, you’re about to find out.

What follows is a complete guide that we’ve written to answer this very question. In it, you’ll find many examples of common types of concrete damage and other sidewalk issues. This includes various types of cracks, uneven slabs, and crumbling along the edges.

For each scenario, we’ll explain whether you need to repair or replace the sidewalk concrete and why. Plus, you’ll learn the specific factors that determine which solution is the most effective.

Ready to learn more? Put all your questions to rest by reading this guide.

Small, Minor Cracks

Generally, cracks that are as wide as 1/4 of an inch are not a big problem. Cracking of the concrete is inevitable and usually controlled via control joints.

Control joints are intentionally-included weak points in the concrete that guide the way that these inevitable cracks form. This way, the damage is less likely to be unpredictable or extensive.

Such small, hairline cracks needn’t even be repaired in most cases. If you wish, though, you can have them patched up.

Wide Cracks

Cracks that are wider than 1/4 of an inch should definitely be patched up. However, if the crack is wider than 2 inches, it’s most likely beyond repair and should be replaced.

Long/Deep Cracks

If the crack runs all the way through the slab, the slab is completely broken. You may also notice plants growing up through such cracks.

When cracks are this deep, they let moisture trickle down into the sub base. Then, the whole sidewalk can start deteriorating very rapidly. If you see any such cracks, replace the slab and have the sub base inspected.

Many Cracks

Numerous cracks that look like spiderwebs are a sign of failed concrete. That is, the cracks obviously aren’t following along the designated control joints. The only thing you can do about this is to replace the slab.

Crumbling Edges

Small areas (less than half an inch) of crumbling along the edges of a slab are a repairable issue. However, if you notice large/numerous crumbling areas appear in a very short amount of time, you have weak concrete. In this case, get it replaced.

Uneven Slabs

When certain slabs lift higher than others, these uneven slabs are a tripping hazard. The key to fixing this, however, is to determine why it’s happening. 

For instance, if moisture is collecting underneath the raised slab, find out where it’s coming from and divert it. Or, if it’s being pushed up by a tree root, have the tree removed.

Old Concrete Slabs

Before you repair any of the minor damage on this list, consider the concrete’s age. If it’s several years old, it’s probably more cost-effective to get it replaced.

Repair/Replace Your Concrete Sidewalk According to These Guidelines

After reading this guide, we hope that you now have all the answers you were looking for. If you still aren’t sure whether you need to repair or replace your concrete sidewalk, we’re here to help. Contact us via the email address or phone number at the top of this page so we can answer your questions.

On the other hand, if you do know which type of service you need, we can help with that, too. Follow this link to schedule your free estimate now.

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