Frost heave wrecking our sidewalk

Come share your ideas for sprucing up your property.

Moderators: Greg, Mark, mhrAJ333, JD

Locked
User avatar
WildIrish
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:00 pm

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:38 pm

We've lived here in the northern Plains for a few winters, with only minimal damage occuring to our sidewalks...except the one leading from the front porch to the garage. Until now.

I've seen sidewalks damaged by everything from frost to tree roots, but I've never seen anything like this before. There are just bulges here and there in random spots on the cement--and they just appeared this week!

I know we're going to need it replaced, and I know we're going to be stuck with some redneck "contractor" doing the work (because the contractors around here hire the rednecks from the smaller towns to do the work). So I'd like some info beforehand, to stop them from doing a slipshod repair. (Case in point, the "contractor" who lives in our neighborhood "repaired" the metal coming off the top of his chimney by weighing it down with half a cinder block. I kid you not.)

So what needs to be done, to prevent a sidewalk from being badly damaged by frost heave? Does the concrete need to be thicker? What could possibly be screwed up, so that I can prevent it from happening?
[img]http://i30.tinypic.com/2v9p75c.gif[/img]


User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5378
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY
Contact:

Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:26 pm

Can you post a few pictures so we can see what you are dealing with?

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

User avatar
WildIrish
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:00 pm

Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:46 pm

Sorry so late posting the pictures, Greg...between the bad weather and being out of town, I haven't had a chance to take photos until today. Our fence is casting shadows, hence the weird stripes. :)

This is a pic of the first part of the sidewalk that began cracking, last year. It was only a small crack, until now:
http://s13.postimage.org/o9ted594n/Sidewalk_A.jpg

This is where the sidewalk meets the driveway. It's like a round speed bump, as if the sidewalk had been pushed against the driveway so hard that it just turned into a lump all across the sidewalk.
http://s14.postimage.org/hqr9xditc/Sidewalk_B.jpg

This one's really weird. I took a picture of this "lump", then a little while later I decided to kick away the loose gravel so my elderly mom wouldn't slip on it. The cement felt like sand when I did so! Tiny little grains, very soft, as if it weren't even made of concrete! Of all the broken-up sidewalks I've ever felt, I've felt nothing like this.
http://s8.postimage.org/aiwlhd5o4/Sidewalk_C.jpg

I hope these pictures are helpful, but...why on earth does this concrete feel so sandy, instead of crunchy like most broken concrete?

And my original question, again, is how can I ensure that the sidewalk can be redone, to avoid such a severe breakdown in the future?

Thanks!
[img]http://i30.tinypic.com/2v9p75c.gif[/img]

User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5378
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY
Contact:

Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:37 pm

It looks to me like it may be an old sidewalk. I can't tell how thick it is, but it almost looks like possibly it may have been mixed wrong. It's possible that you may be able to replace the bad sections, But i'm not sure if it would be worth it.

The key to a sidewalk that lasts is a proper base under it to allow for drainage so the new one does not heave from the frost. You can check a few sites for proper sidewalk installation and possibly do it your self.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

User avatar
WildIrish
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:00 pm

Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:03 pm

We're too injury-riddled to do it ourselves, LOL...but I'll bet you're right about it not being mixed properly. The stuff that's broken feels like sand. We'll have to have the whole thing replaced, as it's all being ruined. Luckily it's not a very long sidewalk.

Could you point me to a site that explains about proper drainage? I'd like to have a better understanding of it, before we hire somebody to do the job this spring.

Thanks, Greg!
[img]http://i30.tinypic.com/2v9p75c.gif[/img]


User avatar
Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5378
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY
Contact:

Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:16 pm

Here's one
http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Proje ... ep-By-Step

Just google "Pouring a sidewalk" for lots more.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

Aaronjohn
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:54 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:54 am

Repair is one way that can help to manage the problem in the sidewalk that be avoided the problem.
Aaron John
www.247torontolocksmith.com

Locked