Concrete Sidewalk Repair & Leveling
Keeping your concrete sidewalk or walkway intact and level preserves the look of your home or business and prevents falls and injuries. If you’re considering repairing a cracked, sunken or uneven sidewalk, this guide explains why leveling the concrete offers a far easier, and cost-effective solution than tearing it out and replacing it.
Sidewalk Leveling of a stamped concrete sidewalk using an environmentally-friendly limestone grout mixture pumped beneath the concrete. This creates a rock-solid base ensuring many years of level concrete, eliminating trip-hazards and restoring the beauty to the home.
Sunken concrete worsens with each season as the lower concrete slab collects water. This results in soil erosion between and underneath the concrete slabs. The freeze and thaw of one winter-summer cycle is enough to move and crack entire concrete sidewalk slabs.
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Jump to a Concrete Sidewalk Repair Section
- The Basics of Concrete Sidewalk Repair
- Concrete Sidewalk Leveling
- Choosing a Concrete Sidewalk Leveling Contractor
Concrete is one of the most durable construction materials around. But concrete sidewalks still deteriorate over time. Exposure to the elements, repeated freeze-thaw cycles, poor water drainage, and ground movement, all take their toll year after year.
If you’re dealing with an uneven sidewalk and are ready to make a fix but are unsure whether you should repair or replace it, consider a few points to help you make an informed decision based on the nature of your damage.
Sidewalks can get out-of-level for a number of different reasons. But the primary cause of sunken, or uneven concrete sidewalks is water.
Whether it’s water running under the sidewalk from a downspout or water getting under the slabs and freezing and thawing, causing the concrete to heave, a reliable service provider will always recommend ways to stop your concrete walkways and sidewalks from sinking in the future during an assessment—ensuring you’ll have beautiful, safe concrete for years to come.
Another common issue is cracking. Sidewalk cracks come in all shapes and sizes. Some are just eyesores. Others are safety hazards. Many cracks can be fixed without needing to replace the sidewalk, either through sealing and caulking or leveling.
- Sidewalk Sealing and Caulking: Properly sealing and caulking the cracks in your concrete sidewalk greatly reduces water's ability to penetrate the concrete's surface, which in turn dramatically increases the beauty, and lifespan of your concrete sidewalks and walkways. This process starts with pressure washing the surface to lift and remove contaminants and surface stains before applying a sealant. Then, the cracks in the concrete are caulked with long-lasting caulking to prevent water from penetrating within and beneath the concrete. This lessens the impact of the freeze/thaw process and, along with sealing, is an important step to maintain the integrity of your concrete.
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Learn more about concrete caulking »
- Sidewalk Leveling: In some cases, a crack may be causing part of a concrete slab to become uneven. This is where leveling can be used to pump under the lower portion of the slab, raising it up to be flush with the other side and closing the crack in the process. This can eliminate trip hazards while avoiding a long, grueling, and expensive replacement project.
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Often, an uneven sidewalk may be the result of a slab being raised rather than sunk. This, too, can create a hazard, especially when left untreated. Whether it’s a tree root or some other object pushing up on the slab, expensive replacement is not your only option.
Instead, most raised sidewalks can be fixed faster and far less expensively by using sidewalk leveling to raise the slabs on either side of the affected slab. When carefully leveled by an experienced professional, this creates a gentle, even slope—again, avoiding replacement while thoroughly fixing the issue.
Other times, an uneven sidewalk can resemble a teeter-totter. One side lifts up, while the other sinks down. This is another case where a professional sidewalk leveler with the right tools and experience can know exactly where to drill holes and fill to a precise level in order to raise one side back to its proper position.
Sidewalk replacement will almost always be more expensive and labor-intensive than repairing it through our sophisticated leveling process.
In short, sidewalk repair requires less labor, time, and materials than replacement. Replacing entire concrete sidewalk slabs means hiring a crew to break it up, remove it, set the foundation, and repour the concrete. This means you get stuck paying for quite a bit of material and hours of labor across a team of professionals. You also have to wait days and sometimes up to a week or more before it’s fully set. By contrast, the fast, easy process of sidewalk leveling can save you up to 70% less than replacement. It’s also ready for use immediately.
Concrete sidewalk leveling involves floating the slab up in small increments, which allows a controlled lift and provides the best protection for the concrete. This is best handled by experienced professionals that understand the right mix of materials and equipment to use in order to protect the integrity of the concrete without any damage to nearby structures.
Here at A-1, our concrete sidewalk leveling process has been refined to a science. We drill a series of 1-inch diameter holes through the slab and hydraulically pump a limestone-based slurry beneath the slab. This material flows into all the voided areas and reestablishes the subsurface, effectively creating a new, stable sub-base. Once any void is filled, our professional technicians slowly, and precisely raise the slab back into place. The concrete can be used immediately after the job is done.
Not only do we provide a level concrete surface, but we also stabilize the base under the slab. This helps prevent settling in areas where freeze/thaw conditions are prominent.
Other than seeing our work in person, there’s no better way to get a sense for what this process can accomplish than to look at some before and after photos. Take a look at these examples below to get a sense for how our concrete leveling process works, and the results you can expect.
Concrete Sidewalk Leveling
Uneven sidewalks can be a major trip-hazard. Let A-1 Concrete Leveling even your sidewalk up without the expense of replacement.
Sidewalks can be leveled without bothering the surrounding landscaping.
Even afterwards, nothing has moved with the plants along the sidewalk.
Concrete Sidewalk Leveling and Repair
It's critical to keep your front walkways even and trip-hazard-free. A-1 can lift and level your sidewalk, keeping friends, family, and delivery people safe.
Sidewalks can develop uneven sections anywhere along the walkway. A-1 will often move several slabs on either side of an uneven break to make sure the sidewalk is smooth all the way along.
A-1 was able to level the front walkway with our patented lifting technology returning the walkway to like new. Notice the trip-hazard is gone, and the step to the stoop has been raised back to its original position.
Costs for your concrete sidewalk leveling job can vary depending on a number of factors, including:
- How many sidewalk slabs need to be leveled?
- How far has the sidewalk sunk?
- Are there any large voids under the sidewalk?
- Is the sidewalk close to other concrete, like driveways or steps?
So, although we can’t give you a specific cost for leveling your sidewalk, we can tell you that most of the time, it will be significantly less than other options.
Unlike some repair projects that are simple and easy enough to do yourself, DIY concrete leveling is almost never recommended for a few reasons:
- It requires specialized, heavy-duty tools. High-quality concrete sidewalk leveling requires equipment and materials that simply aren’t what most home or business owners have laying around. It involves a specially-outfitted truck using a pressurized hydraulic pump to inject a precise amount of pulverized limestone through a hose into a 1-inch hole. While alternatives like foam leveling are attempting to become DIY-friendly, the equipment is still prohibitively expensive and simply not feasible for most people to own themselves.
- It requires expertise and a specialized skill set informed by experience. It’s not enough to have the right tools. You need to know how to use them, too. But knowing how and where to drill and inject the material is only half the battle. You also need to know how the slab is going to move once you start filling. Concrete sidewalk slabs seldom behave the way you think they will without a trained, experienced eye. This is what makes professionals so well equipped to do the job right the first time. They carefully inspect the sidewalk and place their holes strategically and fill precisely to a precise level to avoid lifting the slab too far, which can threaten the whole project and require replacement.
The terms “concrete sidewalk leveling” and “mudjacking” are often used interchangeably, but they’re in fact two different processes.
Mudjacking typically uses one of a few different mixtures consisting of topsoil, water, and sand or cement and often requires far larger holes to be drilled (typically 3 inches in diameter).
A-1’s concrete sidewalk leveling process, by comparison, is a much faster and lower-impact process that uses a pulverized limestone slurry that offers far more compressive strength and only requires a 1-inch hole.
Sidewalk leveling, when done right, is very often a better alternative to tearing it out and replacing it. But the key phrase there is “when done right.” Make sure your contractor checks all the boxes below to make sure you’re getting the best possible service:
- 25+ years of experience
- Can save you 70% off the cost of replacement
- Leveling services are covered under multi-year warranty
- Their technicians have years of experience
- Not selective about large or small jobs
- Materials and processes are eco-friendly
- They’re a fully-insured contractor
- They use patented, state-of-the-art concrete leveling equipment
With so many newer service providers, we can’t stress the importance of experience enough. Very often, home and business owners contact us to remediate poor first attempts from other, often far less experienced, providers––costing them more after all is said and done.
Our service providers not only have the experience to diagnose your specific sidewalk leveling issue, but also prescribe the specific fix that’s right for you.
Uneven sidewalk slabs present one of the bigger concrete nuisances, for both safety and aesthetic reasons. Fortunately, with A-1 Concrete Leveling, even multiple sections of problem sidewalk slabs in one location are typically a straightforward, one day fix.
Our effective concrete sidewalk repair is usually done at a fraction of the cost of tearing it out and replacing it. We provide an efficient and high-quality concrete sidewalk repair process that, in most instances, can be used immediately after the repair.
FEATURED TEAM MEMBER
Andy has been leveling concrete for almost two decades, as such he is one of A-1 Cincinnati's concrete leveling experts. He understands intimately how concrete slabs move, and what it takes to get them back in the right place. If he is on your job, you know it’ll be done right.
We had heard good things about A1 Concrete Leveling, but had just never got around to calling for a quote. So glad we did! These guys were great at explaining what could be done, getting us scheduled quickly and the 2 guys that actually did the work- FANTASTIC! They made the front of our house look amazing again! They were that good! Thanks A1!