The felt that was installed in the expansion joint between the gangway
sidewalk and our house foundation has pretty much reached the end of
its useful life, especially in certain spots. Rain water -- depending
on the direction of the downpour -- will sometimes seep through the
basement foundation in a couple spots where the felt is particularly
eroded, so I should probably do something sooner rather than later. I
notice my next-door neighbor has patched hers over the years with a
black tarry substance and it looks really funky. Don't want to go
A friend suggested a rubber caulk used by masons in limestone sills
and whatnot but we're talking a long run and I think that stuff is
Midwest, lots of seasonal thermal movement. Any suggestions on filling
I favor a polyurethane caulk. For a neat application use masking tape.
(on concrete duct tape may be easier to use) and remove before the
caulk has begun to fully cured...a few hours after application.
Make sure to use a backer rod to limit the amount of caulk used. It
will result in a better job.
Before you throw time and money at the situation- does the sidewalk
slope AWAY from the foundation? It is quite common for walkways and
patios that butt up to foundations to frost-heave upward on the outer
edge, since the inner edge is kept warmer by the foundation, and seldom
heaves as badly. If water ponds against the foundation, nothing will
hold up very long as a seal. If it is sloped toward the house,
mud-jacking or replacement are the only real cures.
But having said that- Usual practice for a joint like that, depending on
how wide it is, is clean out all the old gunk, and shove in some rope
caulk (made out of plastic foam these days), and then put the expensive
gray rubbery stuff over that. The rope stuff is cheap, and you only need
a thin coat of caulk over it. The rope comes in different diameters. One
of those heavy D-shaped ice scrapers on a long handle comes in handy
for forcing the rope down into the crack, otherwise you will end up with
a real sore wrist using a screwdriver or putty knife. What you are
trying to avoid is open pockets in there where ice can form and push
Forget the home stores on this and go directly to your local
concrete products supplier. They have a vast array of construction
and traffic sealants that will far outperform anything that you can
get elsewhere. After all, that is ALL that they do.
Here is the Percora website with their supplies, just to get you
Also check with Vulkem, Sonneborn or whatever product your local
concrete product supplier carries.
They will be more expensive, but you won't have to redo it every six
months to keep it looking good. After you look at the staggering
array of products available to do what you want to do, contact your
local supplier. Tell him what you are doing, and he/she will point
you in the direction most suited to your need, quantity, and price
Great suggestions from everyone -- many thanks! It's exactly what I
was looking for.
(The slope is indeed still higher on the house side of the sidewalk
and water drains away from the house, so that's good news for once.)
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