It’s easy to forget that concrete sidewalks are an important part of your home or business. If you have a cracked sidewalk, it can be dangerous for pedestrians and increase the likelihood of someone tripping and falling. If you’re not sure when to replace your old sidewalk, then this article is for you!
A good rule of thumb is if there are any cracks in the concrete or if it has sunk more than 2 inches below ground level, then it’s time to take a look at your options.
Who’s Responsible For What?
In New Jersey, homeowners who have public sidewalks adjacent to their home are directly responsible for maintenance and upkeep. These rules are mainly for safety of pedestrians.
Your Sidewalks Longevity
On average, you can expect a sidewalk to last about 20 years in ideal conditions. There are steps you can take to maintain and help keep your sidewalk in as best of condition as long as possible.
Don’t plant trees nearby that have surface level roots systems. These types of trees slowly destroy the immediate and nearby stretch of sidewalk that they’re planted next to. If you’re looking to plant a tree adjacent to your sidewalk, do some research and make sure that you aren’t setting yourself up to pay for unnecessary sidewalk repairs a few years down the line.
Small cracks in your sidewalk can lead to larger cracks, fissures, and points of failure in your sidewalk. Over time, water can seep into your concrete sidewalk and lead to small cracks. Once the cracks have been established, repeated intrusions and weather such as snow and ice can and will continue to widen the cracks. Along with temperature changes, stress from constant use, or heavy loads being placed upon them, cracks can quickly enlarge. A resurfacing job can help remedy this problem by patching and sealing the cracked sidewalk before they become more of a concern.
You may also choose to Keep your sidewalk clean with power washing. Something like this is more of a cosmetic treatment more than structural. Something such as shoveling the snow and ice from your sidewalk in the winters makes more of an impact on the longevity of your sidewalk.
Repair or Replace?
For many homeowners or businesses, you may just need to repair the segment of sidewalk that is affected. What to look for when needing to repair is:
- A shallow crack can be described as a surface or cosmetic crack. A crack like this may only go down into the concrete an inch or less.
- If your sidewalk is no longer even, or the top layer has become gravel-like, and no longer has a uniform finish. When your sidewalk has become like this, it may be best to refinish and seal it instead of replacing entirely.
When your sidewalk is experiencing any of the problems listed below, it may be best to replace, as repairing wouldn’t be viable, or would only be very short term until the problem resurfaced again.
- Large pieces of sidewalk separated from itself or adjoining sections
- Deep cracks, gouges, or fissures reaching more than 2 inches into the sidewalk
- Sunken section of sidewalk with more than 2 inches of difference compared to connecting sidewalk section
- Large root systems causing the sidewalk to lift or become drastically uneven
If you are looking for a contractor to install or fix your current sidewalk, Almand Bros should be your one-stop destination. We are one of the experienced concrete and masonry building companies in New Jersey and have been delivering high-quality construction projects since 1985.
Our services include concrete and masonry installation and repair, custom stonework, basement waterproofing, grading and watershed, and snow removal services. You can call us at (856) 310-1390 to get a free estimate. You can also fill our online contact form to get in touch.