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The Importance of Repairing Concrete Cracks in Sidewalks

Concrete Cracks
Concrete Cracks

A concrete crack or uneven sidewalk is not only ugly, but a liability as well. We can repair your sidewalk quickly with polyjacking. Most jobs take only a few hours.

Sidewalks are more than just a path to your front door. They are the first impression visitors receive and a crucial element of your home’s curb appeal. Beyond aesthetics, the safety and integrity of these concrete strips are paramount, especially when it comes to cracks and unevenness.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the critical importance of repairing concrete cracks in sidewalks and why homeowners should not overlook these seemingly minor issues. From the risks they pose to the value they can potentially subtract from your property, understand why addressing sidewalk maintenance is a step you cannot afford to skip. Whether it’s due to weather-induced wear and tear, the relentless push of roots below, or simply the passage of time, the cracks in your sidewalk are more than cosmetic flaws—they’re a call to action.

Sidewalk Cracks Are A Progressive Issue

Many sidewalk problems begin small, but they can grow over time. That is why a small crack in the sidewalk today could become a much bigger issue in the future. Fixing the problem now will help keep it from getting worse.

The progressive nature of sidewalk problems is also why they are often ignored. It is something that many homeowners hope to get to at some point, but that day rarely arrives. The homeowner may also feel the repair is a simple DIY project. The truth is most DIY sidewalk repair jobs are nothing more than temporary fixes. The problem will show up again, and at that point, it may be much more challenging and costly to fix.

What Causes Concrete Sidewalk Cracks

A critical aspect of having a sidewalk fixed is understanding what caused the problem in the first place. Otherwise, the repair may be temporary and cost you more money in the long run.

One crucial fact to keep in mind is that concrete is going to crack. It doesn’t matter if it is a small sidewalk or a large slab; cracks will likely form for various reasons. Those reasons can include hairline cracks that naturally occur with concrete curing or larger cracks that may develop from improper construction techniques. The following are some of the most common reasons why sidewalk repair may be needed:

  • Expansive Soil: When clay is abundant in the soil, it is sometimes described as expansive soil. This is because it expands when wet and shrinks when it dries. This combination of expansion and contraction can cause the sidewalk to buckle and crack eventually.
  • Erosion-prone Soil: Water is often behind the problems we have with sidewalks. This can be seen in the case of soil erosion. Improper drainage or excessive precipitation can cause the soil under the sidewalk to wash away, leaving voids behind. If the sidewalk settles into the voids, it can become uneven and crack.
  • Freeze-Thaw Cycle: Frozen ground can push up on the sidewalk from underneath, and the process reverses as it thaws. This movement can result in uneven, cracked sidewalks over time.
  • Invasive Tree Roots: If nearby tree roots grow under the sidewalk, they can push up on the concrete and cause it to become uneven and crack.
  • Improper Soil Compaction: The ground must be compacted before a concrete sidewalk is poured. If this isn’t done properly, it could cause the sidewalk to settle over time.

Why does Concrete Settle

What Are The Dangers Of Neglecting Sidewalk Cracks?

Cracked sidewalks may seem like a minor cosmetic problem, but some serious issues may also be associated with it, including the following:

  • Trip Hazard: Uneven and cracked sidewalks are a trip hazard. If someone trips, falls, and gets hurt, you could find yourself facing an unpleasant lawsuit.
  • If You Wait, You’ll Pay More: Like many problems around your property, sidewalk repair is likely to get more expensive as the problem worsens. Therefore, you’ll want to fix the issue as soon as possible.
  • Lower Your Property Value: Cracked or uneven sidewalks can hurt your property value.
  • Reduced Curb Appeal: Although liability and safety are the most important factors, the cosmetic issue associated with damaged sidewalks is also something to consider.

Uneven and cracked sidewalks are a trip hazard. If someone trips, falls, and gets hurt, you could find yourself facing an unpleasant lawsuit.

Concrete Sidewalk Repair Using Polyjacking

If you have a problem with a cracked sidewalk, there’s a repair option that can help. The Real Seal offers this service to our Chicagoland neighbors. It involves leveling the sidewalk with polyurethane foam. This sidewalk repair process, commonly called polyjacking, can lift and level a concrete sidewalk in no time flat. Most jobs take no more than a few hours. Leveling the sidewalk eliminates any uneven areas where the slabs come together. It will also close the cracks that may have appeared.

Mudjacking vs Polyurethane Foam Injection

How Does Polyjacking Work?

Polyjacking is a straightforward process, but it is not something you can do as a DIY project. The Real Seal has the equipment and the experienced manpower to get the job done right.

Foam Injection Steps

  1. The first step in polyjacking is to drill small holes (about the size of a dime) in the concrete and insert ports in the holes that allow us to attach our equipment.
  2. Polyurethane foam is injected through the holes into the voids under the concrete. As the foam rapidly expands, it compacts the soil and pushes the concrete up into place. This process is monitored carefully.
  3. Once the proper level is achieved, the ports are removed from the concrete, and a compound is used to patch the holes while closely matching the sidewalk’s color. The sidewalk can be used within about 15 minutes after we are finished.

A cracked or uneven sidewalk is not only ugly, but a liability as well. We can repair your sidewalk quickly with polyjacking. Most jobs take only a few hours.

If you have a problem with a sidewalk on your Chicagoland property and would like more information on sidewalk repair, call the experts at The Real Seal today. A member of our polyjacking team will get back to you shortly to discuss the next steps.


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

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