Common Sidewalk Defects and Acceptable Repairs

PROBLEM: Vertical Separation

If the sidewalk has a vertical separation of more than one-half inch (1/2”) between any two panels of sidewalk. Many factors cause vertical separation in sidewalk panels, with the most common being tree roots raising the sidewalk or settlement of a utility trench.

Vertical Separations

Acceptable Repairs

  • Remove and replace affected panel(s).
  • Mudjack or lift panel manually.
  • Grind down affected panels (not recommended when caused by tree roots because the roots continue to grow and raise the sidewalk).

Note: Grouting cannot be used to repair vertical separations or spalling.

 

PROBLEM: Horizontal Separation

If the sidewalk has a horizontal separation of more than one-half inch (1/2”) in width between panels or at a crack.

Horizontal Separations

Acceptable Repairs

  • Filling of cracks with an epoxy crack filler is acceptable for separation widths up to one and one-half inch (1 ½”).
  • Separations wider than one and one-half inch (1 ½”) or panels with multiple cracks need to be removed and replaced.

Note: Grouting is not a recommended repair because panels can move and break the grout out of the crack.

 

PROBLEM: Holes

If the sidewalk has holes or depressions of three inches (3”) or more in diameter and one-half inch (1/2”) or more in depth.

Holes

Acceptable Repair

  • Hole(s) may be filled with grout or an epoxy crack filler. Proper preparation of the affected area prior to the use of these materials is a must for proper adhesion.

 

PROBLEM: Spalling

If a sidewalk has spalling over fifty percent (50%) of a single panel of the sidewalk with one or more depression of one-half inch (1/2”) or more.

Spalling

Spalling is the condition where the cement has deteriorated and the aggregate below the surface of the sidewalk is exposed.

  • Repair of this condition requires removal and replacement of the affected sidewalk area.

 

PROBLEM: Multiple Cracking

If the sidewalk has cracked in such a manner that no part thereof is greater than one square foot or is cracked in such a manner that it constitutes a danger or potential danger to the public.

Multiple cracking is the condition where panel(s) have more than a single random crack running through it. This condition is judged on the severity and the walkability of the affected panel and the normal longevity of the sidewalk when this condition exists.

Multiple Cracking

Acceptable Repair

  • This condition generally requires the removal and replacement of the affected area.

 

PROBLEM: Missing Sidewalk (sections/pieces)

If any part of the sidewalk is missing to the full depth, replacement of the missing panel is required.

Missing Sidewalks

Acceptable Repair

  • Repair of this condition requires removal and replacement of the affected sidewalk area.

 

PROBLEM: Ponding Water on Sidewalk

If the sidewalk has settled allowing water to pond to a depth greater than three-quarters inch (3/4”), replacement of the affected panel is required to restore drainage.

Ponding