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scruffy nerf herder
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Discussion Starter #1
People here are amazing, lawn experts, bug experts, etc etc... I have a problem and was wondering what I should do about it. Who here can tell me what I can/should do for a wavy sidewalk.

Basically, I have a 50ft section of sidewalk that runs along the street in front of my home. apparently either due to erosion, or millipedes (kidding) that the sidewalk has settled and looks kind of bad. It like dips in one place and then I have another part that has sunk. What do I do? The concrete looks fine, it looks brand new, so do I have it some how lifted and put mud or sand or something under there to bring it back to level... or is my only choice to have it cracked up and replaced? Is this something I can do myself?

Just curious... Im trying to prevent stubbed toes and make for a smooth skateboard ride for the kids.
 

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here comes trouble
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I would bust it up more, level it, grout it, maybe paint some of it. Let your kids decorate it.

P.S. Don't take that suggestion seriously unless you wanna look like one of those super crafty uber families.
 

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Sticky Valentine
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I know they make a leveling cement... but I don't know how well it would work on sidewalk. We used it on my grandmas garage floor though, and it seemed to work fine. It just takes forever to dry. Basically what it was was a really thin, liquidey concrete mix that you pour on it, and because it flows like water, it settles level and after it's dry everything is nice and level.

But I dunno....



joe
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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Discussion Starter #4
Ive seen stuff like that, but its pretty weak... the previous owners of the last house I owned had tried to fill in a poc-marked driveway with that stuff and it gave way after the first time I tried to shovel snow on it. Im more wondering if its easier to just re-concrete it, or to lift it somehow and level it somehow with gravel or whatnot.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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If it runs along the street, doesn't it belong to the city? If it is cracked and broken, it's their job to fix it.
 

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scruffy nerf herder
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Discussion Starter #6
Its not cracked and broken, its unlevel and drooping in spots. I really doubt the city will take care of it. I live in a mysterious island of a major metropolis that is completely surrounded by three other completely distinct cities. Plus, this particular city has the annoying habit of instead of fixing holes in the streets, just put a series of 1 inch thick steel plates to cover the holes, until they can fix it where sometimes, they just pave over the top of the plates.... so, Id hate to think what they would do to my sidewalk, or worse when they would get to it.
 

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If it's one section and you're able to lift it as a piece, then filling it in with sand will work. Problem is most cities don't like to use rebar in their sidewalks (harder to recycle) so there's a good chance that if you lift it up, it will break anyway.
Easiest way is to break it out and re-pour it. Of course depending on where you are, there's probably some lamp black in it for slight color so you'll have to find out how much. Second, you may need an encroachment permit to demo and replace the sidewalk
-Rich
 

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The best solution is to bust it up and pour a new one, but that can be quite expensive these days. Even if you replace it completely, you need to figure out why it is dipping. Otherwise, it will dip again. If it is erosion, I would at least try to pound some sand underneath to lift it. Go slowly and work evenly across the edge or you'll break the slab.
 

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Sidewalks

funknuggets said:
People here are amazing, lawn experts, bug experts, etc etc... I have a problem and was wondering what I should do about it. Who here can tell me what I can/should do for a wavy sidewalk.

Basically, I have a 50ft section of sidewalk that runs along the street in front of my home. apparently either due to erosion, or millipedes (kidding) that the sidewalk has settled and looks kind of bad. It like dips in one place and then I have another part that has sunk. What do I do? The concrete looks fine, it looks brand new, so do I have it some how lifted and put mud or sand or something under there to bring it back to level... or is my only choice to have it cracked up and replaced? Is this something I can do myself?

Just curious... Im trying to prevent stubbed toes and make for a smooth skateboard ride for the kids.
The reason its subsided is that the base under it was not compacted enough when it was originally poured. The best thing to do is get a sledgehammer, break it into little pieces, cart it away, add some base material, rent a gas compactor, compact the base material, pour a new square. You can do the job yourself by setting forms, buying bags of the pre-mixed concrete, adding water, mixing thoroughly, pouring it in the hole, level it with a scree, finish with a concrete trowel, don't let anyone walk on it for about three days, and voila! you're done! If you don't have the equipment and don't want to spend the money to rent it, or if you don't want to take the hours to do the work, or to do it again because you'll probably do it wrong and it will crack and you'll have to do it all over again, and if its real important to you to have a flat sidewalk, call a contractor. For the money you spend, it is well worth it. Concrete is easy to work with if you've done it before, but not so easy if you haven't. And even though its the city's property, its your responsibility.

In a past life, I spent summers driving concrete mixer trucks and delivering the stuff. It looks easy, but it's not. And if you mess up, the finished product looks awful. The only way to fix it is with a 9 pound hammer, a shovel and a wheelbarrow.
 

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City Help

In Chicago, the city splits the cost of replacing a sidewalk like that with the homeowner. You might check that out with your own town.
 

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New info

Just today, while reading the Denver Post over a bowl of oatmeal, I saw an ad for a mudjacking company that said "Don't replace it - raise it!" They were talking about sidewalks, driveways, concrete steps and stoops, etc. So there IS a means to do this. I would look up "mudjacking" in your phone book and check it out. I have no idea how much it costs, but it might be worth exploring.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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moneyman said:
Just today, while reading the Denver Post over a bowl of oatmeal, I saw an ad for a mudjacking company that said "Don't replace it - raise it!" They were talking about sidewalks, driveways, concrete steps and stoops, etc. So there IS a means to do this. I would look up "mudjacking" in your phone book and check it out. I have no idea how much it costs, but it might be worth exploring.
Mudjacking? I think I have a very dirty mind.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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There are several companies here in N. Ohio that specialize in concrete leveling. I'd ck in the yellow pages for one in your area.

In the city in which I live, and I believe in most places in Oh., the home owner is solely responsible for the maintenence and cost of the sidewalk running across their property. The city sends out inspectors, who have the authority to cite property owners to force them to make timely repairs.
 

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Just to be safe, check w/the city before you do anything

A neighbor of mine is a custom homebuilder now, but he got his start doing concrete work 20 years ago. He says you need to check with the appropriate government agency (city, county, whatever) before you hit a lick. Sidewalks are sometimes YOUR property when they're broken but CITY property when you do something about it, so they come out and tell you your finished job is an inch too narrow or too thin or doesn't meet some other condition. Then you have to do it over, and they won't pay for it because you damaged it. There are also some liability problems--even if you improve it, if somebody's hurt on it, the city will crawl out from under you because it isn't their concrete.
 

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Cory is right. I had a friend who replaced his sidewalk. He failed to get a building permit & the sidewalk wasn't inspected. Even though he did everything correctly, the city made him tear it up & do it again.
 

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huvia ja hyötyä
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What sort of a climate are you in?
Where I live, the freezing and melting of the ground can do interesting tricks to whatever is under the hard surface, unless everything is done just right. When the ground (and the water in it) melts, everything that can flow away with the water... goes with the water and you end up with a hollow or soft spot under the surface.
 
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