Help! My Walkway is Ugly!
Help! My Walkway is Ugly!
The walkway is an often overlooked feature of our outdoor living spaces, yet it plays a critical role in our daily lives. Sidewalks, porches and walkways not only provide a safe pathway for pedestrians to walk on, but they can also enhance the curb appeal of your home or business. A well-maintained sidewalk looks aesthetically pleasing and can improve the property’s overall value.
In contrast, a cracked or deteriorating sidewalk detracts from the curb appeal of your property and presents a potential safety hazard to pedestrians. A well-maintained sidewalk has many benefits, but sometimes cracks appear despite all your best efforts.
Regular sidewalk maintenance can go a long way in preventing damage to a sidewalk and increasing its longevity. Debris, leaves, and dirt can trap moisture in a sidewalk and increase the risk of cracking. By clearing the sidewalk of them routinely, you can reduce that risk.
In addition, sidewalks should be periodically checked for signs of damage, such as cracks, uneven surfaces, or raised edges, since those can lead to new or worsening cracks and damage.
What Can Cause Cracks and Damage in a Sidewalk?
Even if you perform the preventative measures mentioned above and practice diligent sidewalk maintenance, there’s still a chance that cracks in your sidewalk may appear. Several factors can contribute to this likelihood of damage. Understanding these factors can help you and other property owners take additional steps to prevent damage and ensure the safety of your sidewalks.
The first thing to consider when attempting to deduce the cause of the cracks in your sidewalk is the range of weather conditions and daily wear and tear. Temperature change is especially impactful because it causes most materials to expand and contrast.
That includes the concrete that your sidewalk is made out of, as well as the soil lying underneath it. As the weather heats up, the concrete starts to expand. Then, as things begin to cool down again, cracks are formed within. This, combined with the shifting earth underneath that results from weather changes, can lead to more serious damage over time.
The third leading cause of sidewalk damage can be tree roots. Trees planted near sidewalks can grow roots that extend underneath the concrete, quickly leading to it lifting and cracking. Besides causing visible damage that can reduce curb appeal, this can create another pedestrian tripping hazard.
The tree roots don’t just grow outward underneath the sidewalk. They can also grow upward in some cases, causing them to push against the underside of the sidewalk. This, in turn, causes the sidewalk to buckle and crack over time, or it can even lift certain sections of the sidewalk.
Removing the section of tree root growing underneath the sidewalk is the most surefire way to prevent this, but it should be noted that there’s a high likelihood that doing so would lead to the tree's death. Alternatively, you could try adjusting the path of the sidewalk so that it doesn’t go over where the tree roots are growing, or you could try trimming back certain roots here and there.
Resurfaced concrete entails using the base layer of concrete but fixing it so that the top layer is pristine. This also offers the perfect opportunity to change the color, style, and design of the walkway. One the old surface is cleaned and prepped, a new layer of concrete is place on top and left to dry and adhere.
Resurfacing is more affordable and less invasive than complete replacement, but it’s not suitable for severe cracks and sidewalk damage.
Do I Need Concrete Replacement or Concrete Repair?
With our exclusive MasterPro Repair and Restore™ products, we can patch and fix most cracks, chips, and dents in nearly any concrete surface. We prepare the surface so that the repair mortar bonds correctly, giving you a like-new sidewalk in days instead of weeks or months.
For larger cracks or sections of concrete that have shifted or settled, removing and replacing the damaged area may be necessary. This involves cutting out the affected section, preparing the area with a new base layer, and pouring the new concrete down on top to match the existing bits of sidewalk. Concrete replacement is more complex and costly than resurfacing or repair.
Leave it to the Professionals
No matter which concrete repair or replacement method you choose, hiring qualified and experienced professionals, like the ones at Concrete Craft, will more accurately be able to assess the extent of the damage, recommend the best course of action, and ensure that the repair is completed safely and correctly. Regular maintenance and repairs can extend the life of your sidewalk and keep it looking great for years to come.
Other Concrete Services
While it’s true that Concrete Craft can offer you expert concrete repair and enhancement services,we do so much more. In addition to being able to resurface or replace your concrete surfaces, we also offer a variety of decorative concrete design and installation options, as well as consultations if you aren’t quite sure what it is you’re looking for yet.
Whatever your style, we’ve got something for just about everyone. Whether for your sidewalk, driveway, patio, pool deck, or even in-home, we’ve got a pattern to fit any environment. Our concrete specialists can create custom surfaces resembling stone, tile, brick, wood, and more.