Sidewalks Problems and Maintenance: Definitive Guide

damaged sidewalk

Sidewalks may be private or public. Private ones require the property owner to do regular maintenance as a Seattle sidewalk repair. Revamping this part of your home adds to the overall curb appeal side by side with the concrete driveways.

These areas are the first to come into view when guests and neighbors visit your place. It’s time to turn your eyes on the sidewalks and get on with routine maintenance.

Here is your sidewalks’ definitive guide.

Common Sidewalk Problems and Tips to Stop Them

First, know what the most common issues that exist on a concrete sidewalk are. Do not delay once you notice them, and give it first aid to prevent the worst from happening. Damaged concrete steps on the sidewalks lead to severe accidents. Worst case scenario is when it is not just you that suffers but also other folks in the neighborhood.

uneven sidewalk

Watch out for those common surfacing issues. There’s four:

  • Trip hazard loss and uneven slabs
  • Holes on the slabs bigger than an inch
  • Water collects on the surface when raining
  • The surface loses its anti-skid finish

Causes of each sidewalk problems


Focus on these common problems. Most issues appear at the onset of what is mentioned above. To treat these common sidewalk issues, know what causes them. 

Early detection of the causes will help you aid the damaged surface immediately. 

When tracing the cause of problems on the concrete outdoors, there are two you must consider:

Man-made Causes

Include under this list faulty installation, overuse, constant wear, and wrong choice of finishing.


Look at each closely:

  1. Faulty installation 

An installer may use the wrong concrete mix thickness. Or that the compound did not cure properly. Also, look for the surface condition. It might also be due to a moist slab. Before the last concrete mix was installed, the installer failed to check if the 

The compound used is not with the right consistency. A fault on the concrete appears when the material is weak. That condition will lead to the slabs breaking easily with little impact on the crumbly concrete break-in pieces.

2. Wrong type of finish

People meet and greet on the sidewalk. A quick meet-up can lead to accidents when the sidewalks are slippery. 


Slippery sidewalks happen when the wrong finish is used. A broom fish is the most recommended application. This type of finish does not need any decorative element to do it. 

Using a broom, thin, linear patterns or grill-like marks serves as the non-skid design of the outdoor steps.

3. Overuse 

Overuse and constant wear are common since they are for both private and public use. But it does not have to remain this way. Even with heavy foot traffic, a concrete surface can withstand heavy impacts. You can prevent the damaging effects of wearing by providing regular maintenance.

damaged sidewalk due to overuse

Natural Causes

Up -next is natural causes. Weather, temperature, and ground movement. Keep these three terms in mind. Let’s tackle each:

  1. Weather changes

Rain, frost, and extreme heat affect the ground every day. Add here natural disasters such as storms and hurricanes, depending on where you live.

No man can stop these from happening. These are situations when you cannot do anything else but repair the slabs.

weathered sidewalk

2. Temperature 

Natural disasters and weathering will have a lot to do with the temperature. When talking in terms of this factor, two events come into mind.

These are contraction and expansion. They cause the size of the slab to shift. Expert sidewalk installers provide an expansion joint when installing sidewalks to prevent these events from damaging the slabs. 

Doing that will let the materials have space to expand an inch and contract without compressing the concrete materials.

3. Ground movement

Last is ground movement. The ground beneath the topsoil moves even without an earthquake or natural disruption. The earth below is in constant move slight movement can cause the surface to break and crack.

earthquake damaged sidewalk

Our Clients:

University of Washington
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