Real Estate

let’s talk: CONCRETE

Touching on another learning from Project Philadelphia today and that is CONCRETE. Now, I will start by saying I did NOT having any hand in putting in our new concrete BUT I did watch! So let’s talk why we decided to replace the existing concrete, how the site was prepped and what went into consideration during the process. 

So, as we do, let’s talk Real Estate, let’s talk WHEN, WHY, WHAT & HOWs of CONCRETE…

Now, as always, I want to start by saying I am not a concrete expert, I am just sharing what I have had the opportunity to learn regarding concrete on this project! 

WHEN IS IT TIME TO REPLACE EXISTING CONCRETE?
There is no true time frame, but rule of thumb states that concrete sidewalks should last anywhere from 25-30 years. 

If there is large-scale damage to your sidewalk i.e. holes, large cracks, or any other large-scale damage, it may be time to replace it.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THE CRACK IN MY CONCRETE IS COSMETIC OR STRUCTURAL?
If the cracks widen past about an eighth of an inch, issues can start to arise. 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REPAIR OR REPLACE DAMAGED CONCRETE?
#1 reason – safety hazard. The concrete in the front and back of your house is your property. If someone trips and falls due to a crack in your concrete, you CAN find yourself slapped with a lawsuit. Trust me, I have seen this before. In some locations, if your concrete sidewalk is truly that bad, the city may fine you.  

LET’S SAY YOU DECIDE YOUR CONCRETE SIDEWALK OR BACK PATIO CAN USE SOME SERIOUS HELP. WHAT NEXT?!

#1 – Repair
If the cracks have not spread or are not deemed dangerous, spot treatment is doable! Note that with spot treatment, you may have discoloration amongst your concrete blocks so if that is something that bothers you keep that in mind! You can fix small cracks or holes using products like QUIKRETE found at your local home improvement store. Warning, I once personally tried to fix a front step using this stuff and was unsuccessful but that was a reflection of me and my concrete pouring skills not the product. The product was pretty easy to whip up!
 
#2 – Replace
This is what we did. While we did not technically need to replace all of the sidewalk in front of our house, as only some of the blocks were damaged, I opted to replace all of them for cosmetic purposes. I wanted everything to look uniform.
 
QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE STEPS THAT WERE TAKEN AT PROJECT PHILADELPHIA 
#1 LAY OUT YOUR AREA. 
Decide where you want your new concrete sidewalk/ walkway / back patio to be!
 
#2 BREAK IT UP. 
The existing sidewalk / back patio had to be broken up before we could remove them.
FYI you may want to call a licensed professional for this part. You would be surprised to know how many utility lines sit just underneath the surface.
 
#3 CLEAN IT OUT.
We had to clean out all of the rocks, leftover cement, roots, grass and any dirt / trash – you want a smooth surface before you pour. I got to semi assist in this! (semi… there was a TON of trash in the backyard so they basically told me to find another project to work on lol but I helped!)
 
#4 LAY THE FRAMEWORK.
 So we are putting in a new sidewalk out front, a walkway on the side of the house, and a patio in the back. In order to create the walkway and back patio the team needed to frame out the area with wooden 2x4s. The concrete would be poured within this framed out area. If you are installing a fence it is helpful to put the posts in the ground before any concrete is laid. This can help with framing out the space. In order to install the posts, the team dug holes into the ground and kept the posts in place by pouring cement into the hole before immediately sticking the posts in.
 
#5 ITS POUR TIME. 
Pour the concrete into your framed out area.
 
#6 SMOOTH IT OUT.
 Immediately begin leveling and smoothing it out. You can use a concrete roller or even a wooden 2×4. It is important to smooth immediately post pour while the concrete is still wet. Run the smoothing tool of your choice back and forth over the surface until all is level and smooth.
 
#7 FINISH IT UP.
It is time to create your joints. You can do so by using the 2×4 wooden board and an edging tool to help create that straight line. Each square is typically 4×4 but this can absolutely vary depending on the size of the area you are working with!
 
Hope this VERY lean and simple overview proves helpful to any of you out there doing your own home reno! While I personally did not do the concrete at our project, it was helpful to watch! So if you are like me and need a visual tutorial, know that YOUTUBE is a GOD SEND and there are SO MANY DIY tutorials out there!

To end today’s LTRE, I want to take a second to pray for and honor the heroes and the victims of 9/11. We will never forget.
Thank you,

Erin


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Data Sources for Today’s Content: 

Me – this is based on my own personal experience!

https://tonysmasonry.com/why-concrete-repair-becomes-an-important-concern/

http://teamnbi.com/Is_Cracked_Concrete_Bad_News.htm

https://aaaconcreteraising.com/how-often-should-you-replace-your-sidewalk/

https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/structures/how-to-pour-a-concrete-walkway

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