Concrete Sidewalk Repair: Patch or Replace?

When thinking about concrete sidewalk repair, several factors will influence the decision to patch or replace the concrete sidewalk slab. Read on to learn more about these critical factors in repairing or replacing parts of a concrete sidewalk.

Type of Damage

Small cracks and settling or tilting of concrete sidewalk slabs are easier now to fix than ever before. However, if the sidewalk slabs have completely split from frost or ice, and have been heaved out of the sidewalk path, replacement will be less costly and more effective than repair.

Assess How the Sidewalk Was Lain Initially

If the concrete sidewalk was poorly constructed, without control joints every 3 to 4 feet, it will continue to crack and sink. Control joints provide room for expansion and contraction of the concrete, a porous material. Without them your concrete sidewalk will heave and crack deeply every spring, and should be replaced with a properly laid sidewalk.

Possibility of Future Damage

If tree roots have dislodged your concrete sidewalk, you will need to prune the roots and install a metal barrier near your sidewalk to prevent future damage. If your tree's health is more important, divert your sidewalk around the tree. Try to make this decision before laying a sidewalk within 12 inches of a tree trunk.