Concrete Leveling For Sidewalk and Walkway Slabs
Sidewalk and walkway slabs, like any concrete slab, are heavily dependent on the soil beneath them. If the soil isn’t properly compacted or has been weakened by erosion or other problems, chances are the slabs will begin to sink and settle. When this happens, it is time to contact a concrete leveling contractor before the concrete becomes too damaged or the tripping hazards too great.
Childers Brothers offers polyurethane foam concrete leveling solutions in Northwest Texas, serving cities such as Amarillo, Lubbock, Abilene, Midland and Odessa. We also serve portions of Eastern New Mexico, including Roswell, Hobbs and Clovis.
Why a Sinking Sidewalks are a Problem
When the soil beneath it can’t provide consistent and adequate support, it places stress upon concrete slabs. This stress can cause cracks, and if the underlying cause of the cracking isn’t solved the cracks can grow and weaken the slab.
What’s more, you are likely creating several different types of unnecessary hazards.
- The Cracks Themselves: Concrete cracks, unless they have been fixed, tend not to be smooth and level. When a sinking slab is at fault, there will almost certainly be an elevation change on either side of the crack, leading to a trip and fall hazard.
- The Expansion Joints: One common place where sidewalk or walkway concrete can become unlevel is at the expansion joints. It isn’t uncommon to see elevation changes on either side of the joints. These can become trip and fall hazards for anyone walking on them.
How to Level a Sidewalk or Walkway
Assuming that the problem is portions of the sidewalk slab sinking, you have two main options.
- Re-lay the Concrete: This is the only method that will completely eliminate any cracks by itself. It is also the most extreme and the most expensive. Also, if you don’t fix the underlying soil or drainage issues that caused the slab to sink in the first place, the new concrete could simply start to sink again.
- Raise the Concrete Back to Level: In this method, a substance, these days usually an expanding polyurethane foam, is injected underneath the concrete, filling any voids and gaps in the soil while also lifting the sidewalk or walkway back to level. This, by itself, won’t fix any cracking, but it will both remove the trip hazards and eliminate the sinking stress that would inevitably make the cracking worse.
What if the Sidewalk Isn’t Sinking?
Sometimes, however, the problem might not be the concrete sinking. That’s why it is a good idea to make sure your concrete leveling contractor doesn’t just use the same solution for every job. Sometimes, especially in areas with active clay soils like the Texas Panhandle, the walkway might no longer be level not because it is sinking but rather because of soil upheaval raising a portion of the slab.
In this case, soil stabilization might be necessary rather than concrete raising. Childers Brothers offers a scientifically proven soil stabilization method that severely limits soil’s shrink-swell cycles, stopping upheaval problems in their tracks.
How We Level Walkways With Foam
While each project will vary slightly depending on circumstances, if your walkway needs concrete leveling, we first we inspect the site to determine the correct places to inject the foam.
Next, we drill a small, coin-sized hole at each injection site. The small size limits the overall damage done to the slab during the lifting process.
After the holes have been drilled, we inject the expanding polyurethane foam. We are constantly monitoring the injection during this time. Sloppiness can lead to overlifting, which would bring its own set of problems.
Finally we clean the site, removing any excess foam and filling in the injection holes, leaving a level sidewalk behind.
Contact Childers Brothers for Sidewalk Lifting Services
Whether your sidewalk or walkway is suffering from settlement or upheaval, Childers Brothers has the scientifically-proven solutions to bring it back to level. Contact us today for more information on our concrete leveling services.