If you live in an area where you are responsible for the sidewalk in front of your home and it has started to wear down, you may wonder it may be time to have it repaired so that no one trips and falls on your property. If so, look for the following signs that the sidewalk in front of your home has become a fall hazard and needs replacing.
Surface Is Chipping
One sign that your sidewalk is becoming a fall hazard is when the concrete on the surface starts chipping away. When pieces of the surface come off, the interior of the concrete is exposed to moisture and drastic weather changes.
This exposure then accelerates the deterioration of the sidewalk, which results in even more damage. As this damage occurs, the surface of the sidewalk becomes uneven. If a person's foot becomes caught by one of the depressions in the sidewalk, this could make them fall.
Even if you find only small areas where the concrete has chipped away, look carefully to see if the surrounding concrete has become loose. You can do this by using the end of a flathead screwdriver and hitting the edges. If more of the concrete breaks off, you may want to have it looked at by a concrete contractor to see if it needs to be patched or replaced.
Slabs Are Sinking
Another indicator that your sidewalk has become a dangerous liability as a fall hazard is the presence of sinking slabs. If the ground beneath the concrete slabs has become soft or has shifted, one end of the slab may raise up while the other end pushes into the ground.
When the slab becomes uneven, your sidewalk becomes hazardous in one of two ways, depending on the direction a person is walking, If they are walking toward the raised area, they may trip over the concrete that is sticking up.
However, if they are walking toward the depressed section and do not realize it, they may step down unexpectedly. This unexpected movement may either jar their leg and back or make them lose their balance and fall.
Either way, a person could hurt themselves on your sidewalk, possibly making you liable for their injuries. If you have one or more slabs that are uneven, you should have a contractor remove and replace them.
If you notice any of the signs above, your home's front sidewalk may need to be torn up and replaced with fresh concrete. If you believe this may be the case, contact a concrete contractor to have them inspect the sidewalk to determine the extent of the damage. Then, they can discuss with you whether you should have them replace either sections or the entire sidewalk. To learn more, contact a company like E & H Concrete.