Austin Concrete Pros
Concrete Sidewalk Services
When it comes to the ways you can create a sidewalk, we know that the options can feel limited. Its either you choose gravel, stone, dirt or gravel but one material will always stand out from the others, concrete. Concrete has been used on sidewalks since the Roman era and with advancements in the field of concrete, the material has never been better to use!
Have you ever been curious as to how the professionals install concrete sidewalks for property owners? Well down below, you will find our in-depth guide to concrete sidewalks and how our team installs and repairs them.
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Signs Your Sidewalk Needs To Be Repaired
When it comes to sidewalks, the concrete slab is almost always exposed to strenuous conditions that would make most other materials fail with months. From constant exposure to weathering and UV rays to heavy foot traffic, the concrete has to endure hazards daily. Thankfully, the damage that has affected your concrete slab is fairly easy to spot and you can see the damage by simply walking on or looking at the concrete. To make identifying these damages easier, we have outlined the most common forms of damage that concrete exhibits as well as how we repair the damage down below:
Spalling is a form of damage that occurs on concrete that was installed using a concrete mixture that contained too much water or too much water was sprayed on the coating during the curing process. This will cause the surface of the concrete to flake, pop or chip away, leaving exposed aggregate. This damage is most commonly solved with resurfacing but can be patched if affected only in a small area. A pressure washer is used to confirm the affected areas.
Cracking is the most common form of damage that affects concrete sidewalks. From enduring heavy foot traffic to the eventually dropped object, cracks can form in the blink of an eye. If the crack doesn’t break through the entire slab or cause structural damage, the crack can be repaired using epoxy injection, hydraulic cement or when large areas of the sidewalk are affected, concrete resurfacing is a viable option to create a repaired surface that is seamless and uniform.
Settling concrete is a common form of damage to sidewalks that are subjected to heavy foot traffic, especially in the commercial setting. This is caused by the underlying soils being worn down over time, heavy rainfall or simply age. Depending on the severity of the sinking, the damage may or may not be able to be repaired. The affordable way to repair sinking concrete is with mud jacking, forcing material under the concrete. The best way to repair sinking concrete is with PSF, a strong polyurethane material that will never be washed away again!
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The Installation Process
The installation process of a concrete sidewalk is the same as most other concrete structures. It starts with the preparation of the soil, removing the top layer of dirt, compacting the soil and outlining the design of the sidewalk to lay the forms. the forms are made from wooden stakes and 1x4s, level with the desired height of the sidewalk. After forms are set, the concrete is poured from the lowest point of the sidewalk, upwards. After we are sure the forms are filled, we begin smoothing the concrete with a 2×4 and a long-handled trowel and finish the concrete with edgers, corner tools and a broom for the finish.
Maintaining Your Concrete
Whether you are having a new sidewalk put in or have an existing concrete sidewalk, you should know how to maintain it to avoid any damage to the sidewalk. For example, the best way to keep your concrete protected from weathering and UV damage is with a sealer. Sealers come in a variety of forms like urethane sealers, penetrating sealers and acrylic sealers. When it comes to the regular maintenance of your concrete, make sure to get any debris off it by sweeping and mopping the material regularly, dirt can fill the pores of the concrete, wearing it down from the inside out!