How to Repair Concrete Sidewalk Blocks
Sidewalk blocks are not only strong and can withstand a lot of weight but can they can last, with proper care, for decades. This is only the case assuming the sidewalk blocks have been placed correctly. How the concrete for the sidewalk blocks was mixed also plays a part in the longevity of the concrete. Anything from weeds to seismic activity can cause concrete sidewalk blocks to break and crack. Instead of replacing the sidewalk blocks you can repair them fairly easily and quickly. The following article will show you how to repair severely damaged and broken sidewalk blocks.
Step 1 - Assess the Damage
Prior to going out of your way to repair sidewalk blocks you should first determine if the damage has to be taken to this extreme. If there are small fractures, hairline break, weeds or surface chunks missing then find another way. These types of problems can be fixed by using a weed killer in combination with a concrete repair kit. Repairing these concrete blocks means that large chunks should be missing from the entire block and not just from the surface.
Step 2 - Remove the Damaged Concrete
Remove the smallest portion of the concrete block that has been damaged. There is no need to do extra work than you have to. Use the shovel to dig around the edges of the damaged portion of the blocks. This will allow you to have access to remove the concrete without much effort. Use the shovel to remove the chunks. The chisel and hammer is useful for breaking large chunks into smaller ones. You should also use the chisel and hammer to create a surface that is smoother and straighter so that the new concrete as a good surface to adhere to.
Step 3 - Make and Install a Form
Measure the size of the sidewalk block that has to be placed and transfer those measurements to the 2x4s; cut them out. Connect the 2x4s together to form a box the same size as the sidewalk blocks. Move the form over the block to repair and use the shovel to dig a small trench around the concrete block. Position the form over the block and use the mallet to tap it in place until it's properly seated and level with the ground. Tamp down the earth to create a flat surface for the concrete.
Step 4 - Repair the Sidewalk Blocks
It's important to use the same concrete (or one very similar) that was originally used for the sidewalk blocks. This will make a perfect match. Mix the concrete inside of a bucket with water. Read the bag to determine the proper amounts of water and concrete. Attach the mixing attachment to the drill and mix the concrete until it is coarse and lumpy. Pour the concrete into the form in the void left by the damaged piece. Allow for it to cure prior to removing the form. You can then use the removed dirt to fill in the trenches.