Concrete sidewalks are typical in everyday life. Your chances are you pay very little attention to them unless they are falling apart, you have tripped or your colouring on them with your kids. Have you ever wondered what they are made of? Concrete sidewalks are made up of only a couple of raw materials that provide you with a low cost stable surface to walk on when mixed. Concrete sidewalks consist of Portland cement, aggregates and water. When these components are a mixed with a few admixtures and air is added, bam you have what everyone calls concrete. While the standard in the industry is the plain grey broom finish product, The Concrete Doctors have many decorative options that we can offer as well.
Next, you have what is called the base prep. Base prep is what the poured concrete is going to rest on and be supported by. Naturally, it is the soil with either sand or road crush added and tamped solid. Sometimes if there has been excavation or sinkage concerns, steel or concrete baring piles are added to ensure the concrete sidewalk is sitting on a solid base. The compaction consistency is essential for the concrete sidewalk and reduces the chance of crack development. Rebar and control joints are added to ensure that minimal cracks and shifting ours. Cracking in concrete is natural and to be expected; however, if severe cause an investigation should take place to figure out the root cause.
Our climate in Canada is very tough on concrete. We have 100’s of freeze-thaw cycles in a typical year, and due to safety concerns, most homeowners use chemicals and deicing agents to free ice from the surface without knowing the damage they are causing.