Plants Could Spell Trouble For Your Sidewalk

December 22, 2021 Baird Foundation Repair

While it’s nice to see a little flower growing between the sidewalk concrete, it can spell trouble. The sidewalk cracking can come from many things – for example, plants and roots growing under a concrete slab can cause expansion underneath. Other troubles are freeze-and-thaw cycles and concrete upheaval. 

Plants can certainly affect the quality of your concrete sidewalk. However, Baird Foundation Repair has some ways to prevent plants from growing through and damaging your sidewalk. 

How Do These Cracks Form?

Existing Cracks

Plants and weeds don’t actually have the strength to push through and crack concrete sidewalks. They go through the existing cracks, looking for exposure to grow from. However, when they grow, it can cause the concrete sidewalk to be uneven and can be unpleasant to look at. 

The cracks on your sidewalk also cause the soil underneath to wash away. This can cause the sidewalk to look uneven due to the earth underneath being shifted.

Root Expansion

If there are trees near the sidewalks, there’s a high chance that the roots are underneath the sidewalk. When the roots need to expand, they continue to grow underneath, causing the sidewalk to crack. 

Sidewalks will also crack more with constant foot traffic. The tree roots will also continue to expand and rise – lifting and cracking the sidewalk, eventually turning it into a tripping hazard. If you notice there are tree roots expanding the cracks on your sidewalk, there are a few different options to repairing:

  • Cut the roots
  • Shave the uneven sidewalk areas
  • Concrete leveling
  • Rebuild the sidewalk

How Do You Prevent It From Cracking?

Concrete sealant is one of the most common ways to prevent a sidewalk from developing new cracks. Sealing your concrete prevents any moisture from entering any cracks and ruining your leveled sidewalk any further. But how does it work?

When applied to concrete, the sealant permanently bonds to the concrete, preventing any type of moisture from expanding the ground below. The concrete sealant also prevents ice from sticking to concrete as well in the chillier months!

However, when a sidewalk is a little too cracked for a coat of sealant, concrete leveling is the way to go.

What is Concrete Leveling?

Concrete leveling is a less expensive concrete repair option where you don’t have to replace the whole sidewalk. This process consists of drilling a hole into the concrete and filling it with high-density foam to lift the concrete back up. This process prevents moisture from getting into any existing cracks and washing the soil underneath away. Once your sidewalk has been leveled, the concrete will usually look like there were no cracks in the first place!

What About Concrete Sealant?

Another option to consider if you aren’t looking to fully replace your sidewalks is concrete sealant. Concrete sealant is applied to sidewalks, driveways and pool decks to prevent moisture from getting into the existing cracks and washing away the soil underneath. Another benefit of this sealant is that it will make your sidewalk looks new and pleasing to look at in a single coat!

Contact The Professionals

If you’re dealing with uneven sidewalks, contact us at Baird Foundation Repair! We offer expert services such as concrete sealant, concrete leveling and foundation repair. 

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