Raising a concrete sidewalk is a common solution to address issues such as unevenness, sinking, or settling. Over time, factors like soil erosion, poor compaction, or water damage can cause concrete sidewalks to sink or become uneven, creating tripping hazards and aesthetic concerns. Here's a general guide on how to raise a concrete sidewalk:
- Assess the situation: Begin by inspecting the entire length of the sidewalk to determine the extent of the issue. Identify the areas that are uneven or sinking and consider the underlying causes. It's crucial to ensure that the concrete itself is in good condition and structurally sound.
- Choose a method: There are a few methods available for raising concrete sidewalks. The most common approaches include mudjacking (also known as slabjacking) and polyurethane foam injection. Both methods involve injecting a material under the concrete to lift and level it. Mudjacking uses a mixture of cement, sand, and water, while polyurethane foam is a lightweight and durable alternative.
- Hire a professional: While some homeowners may attempt to raise a concrete sidewalk on their own, it is recommended to hire a professional concrete contractor or a company that specializes in concrete leveling. They have the necessary equipment, expertise, and experience to perform the job safely and effectively.
- Preparation: Before the actual raising process, the contractor will prepare the site by clearing any debris or obstructions from the sidewalk. They may also create access points or drill small holes through which the lifting material will be injected.
- Injecting the lifting material: The chosen material (either the cement mixture or polyurethane foam) will be injected beneath the concrete slab through the access points or holes. The material fills the voids and lifts the concrete, gradually raising it to the desired level. The contractor will carefully monitor the process to ensure an even and controlled lift.
- Finishing touches: Once the concrete is lifted and leveled, the access points or holes will be patched or sealed. The contractor may also perform any necessary repairs, such as filling cracks or addressing any damage that occurred during the lifting process.
- Post-repair care: It's important to follow any guidelines provided by the contractor regarding the curing and maintenance of the repaired sidewalk. This may involve avoiding heavy foot traffic for a certain period or applying sealant to protect the surface.
Raising a concrete sidewalk is typically a job best left to professionals due to the specialized equipment and expertise required. Hiring a reputable concrete contractor ensures that the work is done correctly and helps prevent further issues down the line. They can assess the specific situation, recommend the most appropriate method, and provide a long-lasting solution to restore your sidewalk's functionality and appearance.