OK, it may be a sily question, but here goes. My home is 4 years old
and I'm the 2nd owner. The concrete walkway and driveway have the
original wooden splints separating the slabs. Can I take them out?
Some of them are very warped and are now a safety concern. Are the
"splints" only for the drying process or do they serve a purpose after
the cement is completely dry? Thanks in advance.
Large flat areas, or long lengths of concrete placed monolithically, require
contraction joints. These are essentially weakened planes constructed in a
concrete member to provide a reduction in member thickness for the purpose
of controlling shrinkage stresses to that specific area. These are commonly
referred to as "dummy joints", which are place at predetermined points of
possible stress concentration. And:
Installation of a dummy joint is effected after the concrete has been edged,
and prior to float-finishing of the surface. ***Forming strips of wood
(pre-soaked or pre-sealed) or metal may be embedded in the plastic concrete
and carefully removed after the concrete has hardened.**
Sound familiar ?
So yes, free to remove them if they re a safety concern.
You should replace them with some other 'expansion' material depending on
the width of the strips, a few examples of which can be found at:
http://www.apscork.com/expansion.html and other Googled sites
Otherwise, the space will fill up with crud and weeds will sprout
repeatedly. Also, depending on your Winter climate, water may enter these
spaces and depending on the undermine or freeze and raise the slabs.
or more professionally speaking:
EXPANSION JOINT FILLER is designed to relieve compressive stresses which
develop when concreteexpands in either horizontal, vertical or inclined
directions. EXPANSION JOINT FILLER prevents the intrusion of foreign
material into the joint which would prevent the joint from working.
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