Walkway construction and repair or
Walkway this Way?
Construction and Repair Basics
Walkways are great way to improve the value of a property. They have a very long service life ― up to half a century! They are pleasing to the eye and a statement of order. A walkway guides our guests to the “Welcome” mat, and separates a well kept lawn from a flower bed. They are a common feature of American architecture. In our cities and suburbs, walkways make the landscape more interesting and are the places where we can interact with our neighbours and create a sense of community.
A Walkway for Everyone
Depending on local materials, walkways can be constructed in many different ways. Traditionally, bricks or rocks joined with mortar have been used to build walkways. These could be straight or winding, they can be regular or tapering. It is really a matter of taste.
Nowadays, it is common to build walkways out of concrete. This has many advantages, such as widespread availability and affordability. The characteristics of concrete make it a great material for this type of construction.
A Few Words on Construction
The most important factor to consider when constructing a walkway is ground preparation. A granular material should be placed on the ground and thoroughly compacted before placing the concrete. This can make the walkway more regular and it will prevent the walkway from cracking.
You also need to keep an eye for vegetation. Tree roots can crack a concrete walkway easily. Consider that a tree that is young and unintrusive now, could spread its roots in a couple of years. Also, some grasses and weeds could damage your walkway.
Transverse control joints should be cut into the walkway. Your contractor will decide where to place these. A good rule of thumb is to cut one every four feet. Control joints are a very good way to relieve pressure from the walkway, which will prevent cracking. Skilled contractors can integrate control joints with walkway decorative details to give a seamless effect. Ask your contractor what he can do! You could be pleasantly surprised.
During the curing period, you should protect the walkway from freezing temperatures at least five days after construction. If the weather gets hot and dry, wet curing is necessary to avoid cracking.
In Case of Repair
Traditional walkways can be repaired with common tools. The simplest ones need only a shovel. To repair a simple walkway, you need to clear the vegetation that could be growing over it, tidy things up a little and simply put the stone or brick back in its place. If these were joined with mortar, then the clean up will be harder and to get the best results you should approach your contractor.
Concrete walkways are tough, but they can also crack or sink. It is possible to simply fill in the cracks, but to achieve the best finish, and to preserve decorative details, your trusty contractor is your best bet.