Posted on: 5 February 2015
Concrete walkways offer sturdy pathways through the lumps, bumps and weather accumulation that can happen in our yards. But time and exposure to the elements can eventually leave those walkways looking less than healthy. Fortunately, there are a few relatively easy fixes to cure common walkway problems.
Cracking: Patch Kit and Chisel
Small surface cracks in your walkway are easy enough to fix on your own with a concrete patch kit from the hardware store. Follow the package instructions, work slowly and you should be left with a satisfactory fix.
But if the cracks are deeper, the work load is going to increase. You can still use a patch kit in most cases but you will also want to use a chisel to get down inside the cracks to even out the side "walls" so that you can thoroughly patch the hole. If you have a number of deep cracks, you might want to leave this step up to a concrete contractor like Lift Master Concrete Lifting Inc.
And if the cracks are due to areas of the walkway sinking into the ground, there's a different problem you need to fix first before the cracks are patched.
Sunken Areas: Concrete Lifting
Frequent rains or extra-fertile soil can eventually cause the ground beneath your walkway to erode away in spots. This can lead to sections of the walkway sinking down lower than others. This might be a barely noticeable quarter-inch drop or a treacherous multi-inch fall that causes a crack in the concrete. Either way, the problem can be solved with concrete lifting.
Concrete lifting involves a contractor temporarily jacking up the sunken piece of concrete so that an expanding foam can be sprayed underneath. This all-weather, durable foam will fill the empty cavities where the soil once was and stop when it reaches the solid soil still left under most of the walkway.
When the concrete sections are lifted and the foam has set, the contractor can then go over the top of the concrete to fix the cracks.
Natural Stains: Wire Brush and Calcium Cleaner
If your walkway is still structurally sound but looks messy due to staining, the manner of cleanup depends on the type and age of stain. Common stains that come from the environment include rust, mildew and outline marks where leaves decomposed on the walkway's surface.
For leaf and mildew stains, you might be able to get up the offending mark using a bucket of hot water, a wire brush and some old-fashioned elbow grease. This works best if you only need to clean a small area and/or the stains are fairly recent. It's also easiest done when the concrete still has a good sealer layer on top, though this means you need to be careful not to scrub so hard you damage that sealer.
Need a deeper clean? Head to the hardware store to find a cleaner advertised to take care of calcium, lime and rust. Follow the package directions and use a wire brush to gently scrape away the stains.Share