– A concrete sidewalk can make your residence or business look more appealing.
– Concrete is a very versatile material, so that you can get creative with your design.
– You will need to factor in the cost of materials and labor when budgeting for your concrete sidewalk project.
– It is essential to hire a reputable contractor to install your sidewalk correctly.
The idea of a beautiful new concrete sidewalk is undoubtedly an enticing one. Who doesn’t love the look of a perfectly manicured concrete walkway? However, before getting too excited about your new project, there are a few essential elements you need to take into consideration to ensure that your concrete walkways come out perfectly.
Brothers Paving & Concrete is one of the most experienced contractors in Manassas, VA. We’re here to present a few tips to make sure your concrete sidewalk is done right the first time.
Why Is Concrete a Better Choice for Sidewalk?
Along with the aesthetic appeal, if there’s one thing we can all agree on, concrete sidewalks are a more durable choice. While asphalt may be less expensive upfront, concrete will save you money in the long run. Even more interesting is that maintaining a concrete sidewalk is much cheaper than an asphalt one.
If you ask your contractor, you will learn that concrete is also an eco-friendly option and much better for the environment. And if this isn’t enough, concrete is a much safer choice as it provides good traction and is less likely to crack and create trip hazards.
So, now that we know why concrete is a better choice, let’s move on to some tips to ensure your sidewalk comes out perfectly.
Step Zero: Planning Ahead
Planning is everything when it comes to construction projects. The process shall begin with measurements and having a clear idea of where and how your sidewalk will fit in with the rest of your property.
You’ll also need to decide on the thickness and width of your sidewalk. Once equipped with all this information, you can move on to finding the right concrete contractor in Manassas.
Step One: Picking the Perfect Place
When it comes to sidewalks, placement is key. You’ll want to situate your sidewalk in a spot that is both practical and visually appealing. It’s essential to consider the amount of foot traffic the area will get and any potential obstacles (like trees) that could get in the way.
Once you’ve found the perfect location, you can start clearing away any debris.
Step Two: Deciding a Design
The next step entails deciding on a design for your sidewalk. Look at the exterior property or hire a design expert if you can afford it. However, if you’re willing, your contractor can help you develop a design that will complement your home. If you’re set on a particular design, take any necessary measurements before beginning construction.
Step Three: Picking the Perfect Concrete Mix
Now it’s time to pick the concrete mix for your sidewalk. You’ll generally find a mixture of cement, sand, aggregate, and water in concrete. The right blend for your sidewalk depends on the weather in your area and the weight to be placed on it. If you’re unsure which combination to choose, do not hesitate to ask your contractor about it.
Step Four: Preparing the Site
Before you prepare for concrete placement, your contractor must remove any existing vegetation or debris from the site. After that, ensuring the ground is level is critical. An uneven sidewalk can create trip hazards and be unsightly.
Step Five: Placing the Concrete
After the professionals have prepared the site, they will begin pouring the concrete. Depending on your chosen mix, the contractor will either pour it or pump it into place.
Step Six: Finishing the Concrete
Using various tools, your concrete contractor will finish your walkway. The concrete will need to be troweled, floated, and edged.
Step Seven: Curing the Concrete
In this last step, the experts apply a curing compound to the concrete, where they’ll leave it for 24 hours without any disturbance. After it is cured, you can start using your new concrete sidewalk! But wait, there are some additional tips we have seen people often neglect.
Some Important Considerations for Concrete Walkways
1. Install expansion joints.
A critical consideration often overlooked is the placement of expansion joints. The joints are essential for accommodating any movement due to temperature changes or ground settling.
2. Make sure your sidewalk is sloped correctly for drainage.
Water can cause many problems for concrete sidewalks. Be sure to have your walkway sloped so that every time it rains or snows, the water will run off to the sides.
3. Use a quality sealer to protect your investment.
While the sealer is mainly associated with protecting driveways, it is also essential for sidewalks. A good quality sealer will help to protect the concrete from weathering and staining.
4. Be sure to have any cracks repaired promptly.
The susceptibility of concrete to cracking is one of its few drawbacks. But, if left unrepaired, those cracks can turn into big problems. When cracks begin to form, water can seep in and erode the concrete from the inside out. So, it’s important to repair cracks as soon as you discover them.
5. Trust only a reputable professional.
Not all concrete contractors are created equal. You want nothing short of the best when it’s something as crucial as your sidewalk. In Manassas, VA, contractors such as Brothers Paving & Concrete have been providing their services for several years.
There are many advantages of choosing professionals: they come with experience and are insured. Also, they will do the job right the first time. You shouldn’t pay for a poor job that you’ll have to get redone later.
Walking over an uneven or damaged sidewalk is not only an unpleasant experience but can also be dangerous. We hope this guide enables you to make the best decision for your needs and budget, and you get to have the perfect concrete sidewalk.
Get your free estimate today!