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Alyx 06-18-2010 09:46 AM

Concrete Sidewalk Leveling / Resurfacing?

I own a century old home in Winnipeg Manitoba and am in the process of improving the drainage around my home. The largest problem is the sidewalk next to our front steps slopes toward the house. The area is about 3 feet wide and 6 feet long and the slope is about 4 inches over the 6 feet.

What I am planning on doing is putting a form around the existing sidewalk and pour additional concrete on top. I'm thinking I will have to do it in 2 pours with different mixes for each. I plan on the first pour to contain larger stones but only come up to about a 1/2 inch of the final grade and then pouring a second mix made with sand to finish it.

Removing the existing sidewalk isn't something I am really considering, nor do I think I can pump something under it to raise it unless I plan on replacing the field stone foundation it's next to.

So, my question is, will this work? I do plan on cleaning well and using a bonding agent if one isn't included in the mix.

Thanks in advance for your help and advice : )

handyguys 06-18-2010 01:58 PM

my preference would be to replace it. It might actually be cheaper (maybe), last longer and look better. Yeah, it would be harder (more labor) to do.

Alyx 06-18-2010 02:44 PM

Thanks Handyguys,

I'm not sure how replacing it would be cheaper as now I would have to get my hands on a jack hammer and it would be an extra yard or 2 of concrete. I'm also pretty sure the vibration from the jackhammer will cause my already fragile fieldstone basement walls to crumble. Once I can address the drainage issue I plan to fix the walls but preferably in that order :)

itsreallyconc 06-20-2010 05:13 AM

near as i can figger, that's only 9 bags of conc mix of 2sq yield at 4" thick - sez so right on the bag :D not sure how they do the math in ca but down here, its 6.0 x 3.0 = 18.0 x 4" thick ( .333 feet ) OR 6cu ft - hardly even a cy of conc.

the o'lay method's possible but i'd opt for replacement even tho we know how to overlay & wound never choose what you outline 'cause of its impractibility,,, just rent a bosch brute OR lighter chipping gun - your foundation walls'll be fine.

Alyx 06-20-2010 08:36 AM

LOL ok you got me on the math. I'm not as convinced as you that my foundation will hold up, but I've arranged to have a structural engineer come by and take a look. With out seeing it he thinks it's pretty unlikely I'd do any damage either so I think I'll be going with a new pour : )

Thanks for pushing me to do the job right!

handyguys 06-22-2010 12:48 PM

That small of an area, if you want to avoid going to the gym, could be done (maybe) with just a sledge hammer. Might be worth a try before spending the money renting a jackhammer. Altho, power tools are cool.

Msupsic 06-25-2010 08:27 AM

Like the other guys here, I would say replace the whole thing. Just pouring on top of the old surface is asking for trouble. You will never get a permanent bond between the old slab and the new one. In ten years or less, (ice) water, plant roots and bugs will find their way into that seam and just break it right apart.

Sledge hammer is a real beast - I work out and go to the gym, and even for me using a sledge to break up my concrete steps a few years ago was pure hell. The electric jackhammers really don't shake up too much - they just break the stone under them. So no need to worry about your foundation.

If you can help it, get a jackhammer somewhere. Down here in the States they are easy to rent. I actually had a brother-in-law that had one in his garage, just sitting there. It makes a WORLD of difference, though.

Look in your area for a, "Ready Mix Concrete" company. There are companies out there who will bring a special truck to your site, and they mix the dry ingredients right there on the spot. There is a meter on the truck, and you only pay for what you use. Some places may have a minimum order, like a cubic yard, so plan out other areas where you might need the concrete, or maybe make a few artificial boulders with the leftover stuff ;)

Good luck!

Alyx 06-25-2010 11:16 AM

Ok, the engineer came by and has given me the go ahead for demolition with a small jack hammer. Homedepot rents them cheap : )

I'm not sold on the "Ready Mix Concrete" company in my city. Last year I helped a buddy pour steps using RMC. The first truck arrived hours late and broke down half way through. They ended up sending a second truck 4 hours later leaving one heck of a cold seam. I think just for kicks I'll mix my own concrete with a mixer and save $$ considering it's only 9 bags.

Msupsic 06-25-2010 11:47 AM

Sounds more like an issue of quality with that particular ready-mix operation. I think most of them know what they're doing. The outfit I've dealt with was excellent, would give you any mixture / strength you asked for. The truck operator even helped haul the wheelbarrows and screed the stuff with me.

Sounds like you've got it worked out... good luck!

Alyx 06-25-2010 12:46 PM

One more quick question, is there something I can do to give the concrete an aged appearance? I'm never going to be able to duplicate the texture on the remaining original sidewalk but I would like it to at least be similar in colour.

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