Why is My Sidewalk Sinking and Heaving?
Those cracks in your sidewalk? They’re definitely not supposed to be there.
Perhaps you noticed them on your way into work one day, or maybe you literally tripped over one. Either way sidewalk cracking is not something you want to ignore.
If your sidewalk has cracks that cause the surface to slope down, then you have a problem with sidewalk sinking.
Sinking is often a result of soil erosion, which is caused by too much rainwater or precipitation during Winter.
Standing water is one of the biggest culprits of soil erosion, so examine your water drainage system. Because too much moisture can lead to instability, you want to keep up with gutter and downspout maintenance, or you risk erosion.
Temperatures have an impact on soil stability as well. Sidewalks often crack in the Spring after enduring the harsh Winter.
In freezing temperatures, the soil expands. When it warms back up, the soil contracts. As a result, the weight of the pavement becomes too heavy for the ground below and causes the sidewalk to sink.
If one side of your sidewalk sinks and the other rises, you’re dealing with heaving.
Sidewalk heaving is often caused by the expansion of clay-based soils beneath the concrete. The most common source of expansion is rainwater absorption, but it can just as easily be caused by burst pipes, sewer drainage, and water runoff.
Keep an eye on trees growing near concrete. Their roots can grow under the pavement. When the root system gets large enough, it can cause cracking and heaving.
There are some precautions that you can take to prevent sidewalk sinking and heaving. But often this issue is unavoidable because you can’t see what’s happening beneath the concrete.
Luckily, it can be fixed.
How to Fix It
Concrete doesn’t always need to be replaced entirely, but you should bring in a professional to determine how severe the damage is. In some cases, tearing up the concrete and starting over can be cheaper than continual maintenance.
For sinking sidewalks, you may be able to fill in the cracks with concrete to level out the area.
Heaving is a more complicated fix. Sure, you can fill in the cracks with concrete, but that doesn’t take away the hazard that your sidewalk poses for passing pedestrians.
In cases of sidewalk heaving, one fix is to saw off the elevated surface of the sidewalk to remove the tripping hazard and then fill in the crack. Another option is concrete grinding, which will level the surface and make it smooth again.
The quickest way to figure out what your specific needs are is to call a professional.
Why You Should Fix It
You may be tempted just to leave the problem unchecked, but sidewalk sinking and heaving is a serious issue. It can cost you a lot of money if left untreated.
If your hazardous sidewalk causes an injury due to a fall, it can lead to a lawsuit. The average payout for a fall from this situation is $40,000, and that doesn’t include legal fees and insurance premiums.
Choose to repair your sidewalk before this happens and it will come at a much lower cost.
Who to Call
You probably demand the best from your contractors. Sidewalk heaving and sinking is already a headache, and we know that you want the repairs done correctly the first time.
Limitless Paving always ensures the highest quality work. We take pride in what we do, so if you’re not satisfied, we’re not satisfied.
Call us today, and we’ll get to work!