# Concerete walk lifting

• posted on August 13, 2003, 4:34 am
A concrete walk in my yard if lifting due to a tree root. One section has risen an inch above the adjacent section. I want to lay something in to ease the bump which is a tripping hazard. What's best -- cement and sand, brick mortar, a wedge shaped piece of wood glued down with liquid nails, whatever? RB
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• posted on August 13, 2003, 9:46 am
Nothing short of removing the tree and a new walk will work for long. Sorry but this is one of those problems that has no shortcuts.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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• posted on August 13, 2003, 4:31 pm
wrote:

A step in the middle of a walkway? This sounds like a prescription for the services of Dewey Cheatham and Howe.
Rather than removing the tree (a rather drastic and unwarranted solution) I would dig down to the root on the tree side and sever it to stop the problem from getting worse. Then dig on the opposite side and cut it through so you have just a ~3 Ft section of root under the walk. Water jet under the walk on both sides of the root until the root segment is fairly free from soil on both sides.
Lag bolt a connection to the cut end and use a come-along anchored to the offending tree to pull the root segment from under the walk You may need to help it come out by using a long (4'-5') pinch (pry) bar to lever the slab up while maintaining tension on the root with the come-along. You msy have to provide some clearance at the cut end of the root leading to the tree so the root under the walk can be pulled clear. With any luck the walk will settle down into place, if not, jet out more soil until it does. Then wash a slurry of sand under the walk and compact it from both sides with a pry bar to prevent it from settling too low.
A water jet drill consist of a 4 or 5 foot section of pipe with suitable fittings so that a large bore garden hose can be attached to one end. This will "drill" quite nicely even in hard pan by repeated (under full water flow) jamming the open end into the ground and then letting it recoil back. Be prepaired to get thoroughly splattered with water and mud. You may need to dig a shallow trench in the ground next to the root so you can get a decent angle to jet under the walk. Working from both sides of the walk may also help. When you jam the end of the pipe into the ground the inertia of the moving water will cause the water pressure to spike up to several times the pressure in the mains and will blast out most things in its path. It will drill a hole 2 or 3 times the diameter of the pipe.
Regards,
John
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• posted on August 14, 2003, 12:20 am

You're right of course. OP appears to want to save the existing slab and of the choices for fixing the trip hazard only replacement or resetting the slab would be a good long term fix.
Regards,
John
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• posted on August 14, 2003, 3:03 pm
wrote:

True, but the tree should have thought about the consequences. Cutting one root would be very unlikely to kill a healthy tree, but conderation of any target opposite the cut root would be advisable. On the other hand a tripping accident will probably cost considerably more than a lost tree.
Regards,
John
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• posted on August 14, 2003, 3:06 pm

Been there done that. The change in elevation still leaves a trip hazard, most people only lift their feet just high enough to avoid dragging. Any unexpected rise will potentially cause a stumble. I once had to redesign a stair way because the department store installed carpeting which increased the top rise 1/4". After numerous tripping incidents where none existed before they decided it was a problem--the entire stairway had to be adjusted distribute the extra 1/4".
Sometimes there just isn't an easy solution.
Regards,
John
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• posted on August 16, 2003, 7:08 pm
posted:

I've noticed that in myself. Even when I hike in the woods I keep tripping because of this. I'm glad to see I'm not alone.

Wow. A private home with lots of money?

Meirman
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• posted on August 17, 2003, 12:01 am

No the stairs were in a department store from the ground floor to the mezzanine floor. I was working for a company that got the job of fixing it.
Regards,
John
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• posted on October 31, 2004, 1:48 am
posted:

Thanks. I finally got around to reading even my post, and I saw that you had said "department store". It's still a lot of money to spend (but less than one lawsuit :) and they were on notice.)
P&M (14 months later)

Meirman
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• posted on August 16, 2003, 7:07 pm
In alt.home.repair on Thu, 14 Aug 2003 02:49:46 GMT 'nuther Bob

I don't know about OP, but I certainly want to keep my slab. It matches the rest of the side walk. I appreciate all the advice here.
I thought it was sinking because of the big drought we had, but the guy fixing the sidewalks for the n'hood said immediately it was a root.

Mine's a fir tree and I think they tend to send roots in all directions. ?? I'm thinging this is only one out of 6 or 8.
The professional sidewalk guy said there was a rule of thumb, one branch for one root. But he wasn't sure.
I spent a lot of time re-erecting my apple tree. That was pruned very unevenly, even more unbalanced when it had fruit, and only had about 4 big roots, one of which snapped when it fell. It's been tied in place for about 4 years now. To mow the lawn more easily I took out two ropes on the grass side, but still have it tied to the fence posts in two places.
The fir tree otoh is 22 years old and 28 feet high. I'd hate to lose it.

Meirman
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