Building Concrete Sidewalks
Sidewalks are an important part of any community. Concrete sidewalks provide an area for people to walk and run promoting greater activity and better health. The average life of concrete sidewalks is 20 to 40 years if the sidewalk is built properly. Many problems can arise during the concrete sidewalk construction process due to a lack of attention to detail. Our team of experienced concrete installers know what to look out for during each stage of the construction process helping to avoid delays and future problems such as cracking, popouts, scaling, spalling, discoloration and erosion.
Concrete sidewalk construction begins with preparing the land area where the sidewalk will be constructed. The land must be cleared and grubbed to remove all vegetation and roots. Then the subgrade must be analyzed to determine the type of soil. Any unsuitable materials such as clay and mud must be removed from the jobsite to get it ready for new subgrade material (builders’ sand) to be brought in and graded to the elevation level indicated on the plans. Then the builders’ sand will need to be compacted to create a uniform subgrade that will diminish the settlement of the concrete sidewalk and reduce the future development of cracks.
Next the forms are built for the concrete sidewalk to shape the area where the sidewalk will be poured. A form release agent is applied and then the concrete is poured into the forms. Once the concrete sidewalk has been poured, the team will level the area and apply the desired surface finish. Then, the concrete is protected from any weather condition that could affect the outcome of the curing process. After the curing process has been started and the concrete is close to drying, the control joints will need to be cut.
Control joints are cut in intervals across the sidewalk and where it buts up to another structure. The control joints are saw cut about one quarter the depth of the slab to allow the sidewalk to move independently without damage. This helps to prevent cracking. Another important thing to consider is tree and shrub locations. The roots of large trees and shrubs can damage sidewalks by causing uplifting of the slab.
Call O’Steen Brother for your next concrete sidewalk construction project.