How Concrete Sidewalks Are Built


Learn how concrete sidewalks are built.

When planning walkways for your home or property there are several options you can choose from. Paving stones, slate, cobble and gravel all can be excellent choices, but concrete sidewalks are one of the best. Concrete, when installed by a reputable company, can last for decades and is one of the best options for accessibility. Concrete was first used hundreds of years ago, and the evidence still exists, many of the first concrete buildings are still recognizable! Concrete is also non-slip, and is easy for those with mobility issues to traverse, making it accessible to everyone regardless of the weather.

How Are Concrete Sidewalks Built?

Concrete sidewalk construction is relatively simple, but it must start with the correct base. Underneath the sidewalk you will find compacted ground and subgrade, this helps to form a stable, even base on which the sidewalk will be constructed. While you can pour concrete over this, it’s best to add a layer of granular subbase between the two. This subbase will minimize any defects on the subgrade and help in case of soil shrinkage due to moisture loss.

Why Do Concrete Sidewalks Have Joints?

If you’ve ever noticed the regular use of joints in concrete sidewalks, located at least every four feet, you may have wondered what purpose they serve. Joints are an essential structural feature of concrete sidewalks as they prevent cracking. Joints are made to ¼ the thickness of the overall slab and can be made in decorative or stenciled patterns to help disguise them.   

Are There Any Weaknesses?

In the hands of a skilled contractor, concrete won’t have any weaknesses aside from time, but there are a few considerations you should note. Concrete installation can be affected by extreme temperatures, in severe cold freezing must be prevented for up to five days after installation. Meanwhile, in extreme heat, the dry time can be overly shortened. It’s best to save concrete installation for mild weather to prevent any unnecessary risk. It’s also worthwhile to note that tree roots may affect the long-term lifespan of your sidewalk. Large trees have been known to uproot entire slabs, and hey can also cause cracks. Removing the roots may cause damage to the tree if possible keep a distance of two sidewalk widths from the base of large trees.  

Concrete Repairs You Can Trust from PTG Enterprises

Located in Linthicum, MD, PTG Enterprises has been in the commercial concrete, masonry, asphalt installation, repair, and paving business for more than a decade. We offer our services throughout Baltimore, Harford, Anne Arundel, Howard, and P.G. Counties. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 636-8777. For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Flickr.

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