Concrete Deck with Dangerous Gaps (Best Material/Method to fill)

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Old 12-08-13, 11:11 AM
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Concrete Deck with Dangerous Gaps (Best Material/Method to fill)

Greeting everyone! My name is Justin and I am totally a construction novice from head to toe. I have been told admitting my problem is the first step LOL:helpme 2:

My Problem(Pictures Below):

My backyard concrete patio originally was designed with wood inserts between each slab of concrete. When we moved in I discovered these wood inserts were termite ridden and creating a termite "path" into my house. So of course I removed them.

I am now left with 3 inch deep gaps between each concrete slab. Not only are these gaps very unsightly, they are also very dangerous for my toddler son.

What material/method would be the best remedy in filling these gaps?
Are there any materials that would be flexible enough not to crack over time?
What tools would I need to complete this job?
And of course...would a complete novice like myself be able to complete this job?

I thank everyone in advance for your time and knowledge.
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Old 12-08-13, 01:11 PM
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why not put back what was there originally ? expect it was either cedar or redwood - they weren't uncommon to use as slab dividers,,, how wide are the jnts ? joint sealants need support from underneath as they're neither foot nor traffic resistant,,, that's why they're never finished flush w/slab tops
 
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Old 12-08-13, 09:02 PM
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Yeah that was my first idea as well...but here is the catch. Where I live their are an abundance of Subterranean Termites. I was told by my pest inspector that the wood dividers attracted the termites over time. Because the dividers rested against the house, it was likely they were a traffic path for the termites.

The joints are 2 inches wide and about 3 inches deep.

I appreciate your time.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 03:15 AM
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sounds like a 2x4 to me,,, IF it were me, i'd liberally ' dose ' the jnt area next to the structure w/anti-termite magic dust 1st then replace the cedar/redwood dividers - IF it were me & we have termite issues @ both places ! remember both woods're pest-resistant !

ok - so let's try this - fill jnts w/vermiculite to near proper depth ( 1/2" ) then install sika polyurethane jnt sealant properly tooled against CLEAN jnt sidewalls,,, no thicker than 3/8" tho - best results in afternoon of a sunny day when jnt is narrowest
 
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Old 12-09-13, 10:53 AM
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Ok, so if I understand correctly...

Fill the bottom crack with vermiculite to level it out..(do you mean 1/2" thick level of vermiculite?)

Once bottom is level then trowel the jnt sealant along the side of the walls to no thicker than 3/8ths.

Then insert the cedar or redwood dividers? Should I seal the top of the wood with anything?

Do I have this correct?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 05:28 PM
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nope, you don't but that's probably my fault,,, 1st, pick either jnt sealant OR wood,,, IF sealant, fill the space w/vermiculite to the necessary depth that will allow 3/8" sealant depth,,, sealant to be applied per directions w/caulking gun,,, that still leaves 1/8" from sealant to top of slab,,, IF wood, estimate the rqd wood strip height, saw what you need, & tap into place,,, i'd pick wood IF it were ours
 
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Old 12-09-13, 05:46 PM
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I would not recommend useing Ceder or Redwood in contact with the ground. I would only suggest using green treated lumber that is rated for ground contact. Ceder and redwood will rot within 5 years. Treated lumber is also termite resistant.

Or just fill it with pea rock.

BTW - Welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 12-09-13, 06:02 PM
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good point ! i only suggested cedar/redwood as they were the jnt fillers on 1 of the 1st conc hgwy jnt/crk sealing jobs nysdot ever did - rte 9w in the hudson valley - 30yrs of cedar/redwood & all original,,, maybe they had different trees back then ? matter of fact, that job was so long ago silicone hadn't yet been accepted as a jnt sealant - showing my age
 
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Old 12-09-13, 09:39 PM
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Thank you everyone for all of your help!

I think I will be going with Green Treated Lumber. There seems to be some original concrete at the bottom of the joint that has cracked and worn away over the years. It is very irregular and not very flat...

Should I chisel it all out so that the wood lies flush with the ground? Or should I just shorten the wood height so that the wood does not go all the way to the bottom?

Thanks,
Justin

Oh and thank you very much for the warm welcome. This forum is going to be so helpful.
 
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Old 12-11-13, 06:29 AM
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suggest a baling/hay hook to remove as much original wood as possible, level it w/polymeric sand, then cut & fit your wood filler for best results - good luck !
 
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Old 12-11-13, 09:17 PM
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Slab appears abnormally thin, and undermined in a few locations. Any plans to address that? If so, now's the time, instead of after filling in the joints.
 
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Old 12-12-13, 06:43 PM
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Yeah possibly. Can you be a bit clearer on what you are referring to. Sorry i am still learning the jargon.

I am a complete construction novice. We moved into this home about 9 months ago. And since then we are noticing all types of "home handyman" projects. A lot of what was done was done "well" but not correctly... So now I am trying to fix things as they come up.
 
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Old 12-13-13, 06:05 AM
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bdge may be referring to pic # 3 which shows a spot where conc appears to be missing,,, who knows why ? easiest way is to fill that spot w/rapid-set conc ( yellow bkt ) avail @ your local apron/vest store,,, just don't make a mess IF i understand his post correctly,,, then again, i may not & he will correct me shortly
 
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