Replacing a damaged concrete sidewalk section is no one's idea of a good time, but it is necessary to curb the deterioration of your property. While concrete is strong and incredibly durable, over time cracks may form and eventually, large chucks will come loose. When this happens there is nothing you can do except replace the damaged concrete sidewalk section. The following article will show you how.
Step 1 – Damage Assessment
Broken concrete is a fact of nature that can cause you more grief than not. Before replacing a damaged concrete sidewalk section you should always determine if that is actually the needed course of action. Hairline breaks and superficial surface cracks can all be repaired without going through the expense and effort of replacing an entire section. If large chunks of concrete are missing or broken off then replacement is in order. If the damaged concrete sidewalk section is raised then it should also be replaced.
Step 2 - Remove the Damaged Concrete Section
In order to achieve a uniform look, you need to remove the entire section of the damaged sidewalk. You could remove the largest portions of damaged concrete but doing that and creating a form and filling it will only accentuate the fact that it was replaced. Removing the damaged concrete is not a difficult job but it is hard because the slabs are very heavy. Dig around the edges of the damaged concrete sidewalk section. Start to remove the smaller pieces of broken concrete by hand or with the shovel. Use the hammer and chisel to break away the rest of the concrete as trying to lift large chunks of concrete can be dangerous.
Step 3 – Ready the Hole
Replace the earth you removed from the edges and use the tamper to flatten the area. Use the measuring tape and measure the size of the hole. Use these measurements and cut the 2x4s to the proper lengths. You will essentially be creating a square out of the 2x4s that will fit inside of the original hole. Nail the cut boards together to create the sidewalk form and place it in the hole. Use the mallet to tap it down slightly into the earth. This will prevent concrete from flowing out of the form and into the perimeter.
Step 4 – Replace the Damaged Concrete Sidewalk Section
If you can use the same concrete for the new sidewalk section as was used for the others it will dry and cure relatively the same. It will be a near-exact match. Pour the dry concrete into the wheelbarrow and consult the bag for how much water to use and add it. Use the rake to mix the concrete to an oatmeal consistency. Pour the concrete into the wooden form you created. Use the rake to spread the concrete out and level it off with an extra piece of 2x4 the same width as the newly poured concrete sidewalk section.