I have a gap in the side walk in front of my condo and I want to know the best way to fix it. you can see where the previous owner had used some type of calking material, but now the gap has opened up to almost 2".
On Monday, November 17, 2014 10:30:54 PM UTC-5, Tony Hwang wrote:
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. That indeed would seem to be the case.
I also agree with Phil, the best solution is to re-caulk it. There is
caulk that is made for concrete, concrete colored, etc. The underlying
problem is likely an insufficient stabilized base for the sidewalk that is
allowing it to settle. If any water makes it's way to that area, eg from
gutters, improper grading, etc, that could be a contributing factor.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 7:19:56 AM UTC-6, philo wrote:
Time: 20 years
The concrete moved away from the step, not sunken below.
My intention is to fill the gap, not raise or move the concrete. yes there
is a water problem where the gutter just empties onto the sidewalk a few fe
et back. I think you are correct, there is probably not a proper base or fo
oter under the walk.
Water problem: You can't see from the picture, but one corner of the step h
as already dropped about an inch. you can see where the brick has already s
tarted to buckle slightly on the front of the bldg.
If I fill the gap and stop the erosion I could probably prevent a costly r
epair and the unsightly gap.
I was told years ago that the association could force me to pay for the rep
air, so I was hesitant to bring it to there attention.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9:04:39 AM UTC-5, Frank wrote:
Agree. The question is who told him that and based on what? The condo
documents would spell out who's responsible for what, but it would be unusual
for a unit owner to be responsible for the sidewalk.
This kind of small thing, no one is probably going to care if he just
fixes it himself. On the other hand, when you have 200 units and everyone
starts doing that, most of them not knowing what they are doing, you can
imagine the problems that result.
I was president of a condo association years ago. While most folks were
reasonable, some were idiots. We had a couple that decided to find and
re-plant a bunch of crap, wild, volunteer trees into the lawn in front of
their unit. You can imagine what that would look like when the rest of the
place has a uniform landscape scheme. I had management
send them a letter, not telling them to remove them, just not to continue
planting more. They went ballistic.
On 11/18/2014 07:52 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If the condo board is not really aware of the problem, you could
probably just fix it yourself and be done with it.
As long as you remove the old caulk and put in something waterproof and
flexible...with a reasonable color match you should be OK.
I'm adding this link just as an example of what product to use
On 11/18/2014 8:52 AM, email@example.com wrote:
What state do you live in? You must have condo documents, bylaws, etc.
which spell out precisely what you are responsible for maintaining and
what the condo assn. is.....our condo in Florida was ours up to the
inside unfinished drywall and patios. All else was the assn.'s. That
said, the assn. doesn't necessarily maintain all that they are supposed
to, and might easily pass a special assessment for non-routine stuff if
they don't have the money in reserves. SO GLAD I no longer live there!!
Do you want to raise up the sidewalk to its previous level, or just leave t
he current sidewalk alone and fill the gap between the sidewalk and the sta
irs? What is going to keep the sidewalk from moving even further away from
the stairs? How long did it take for the current gap to develope, one yea
r five years???
On 11/17/2014 10:10 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Is this a condo as in part of a condo association? Don't they take care
of outside stuff?
Anyway, it looks like more than just a gap. The walk is settling and
probably needs major work to rectify. I see a couple of inches gap t
hat can be filled with a mortar mix, but it also seems to be an inch or
so lower. That is a trip hazard.
Filling is probably a temporary fix as the walk settles more or as the
seasons pass. It probably should be torn out and replaced ona good
On Tuesday, November 18, 2014 11:15:17 AM UTC-5, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
When I first looked at the pics, especially the first one, that's what
I thought too. But from his description and looking closer, I think what
you have is a landing and a sidewalk that meets it. They are not supposed
to be at the same level. At first, I thought they were only an inch or two
different in height. But I think they are actually a good and safe distance
apart, ie normal. I think he's problem is just a ~1/2" gap horizontally
where they meet.
Good photos. Thanks. It looks to me like it is really a vertical gap
only -- meaning that the sidewalk dropped down over time and that caused the
Given what you wrote, if it were me I would just buy a small bag of
concrete, scrape out the old caulk, dig out a little behind the sidewalk
below the sidewalk surface level, mix up the concrete, and use it to fill in
the gap. When you smooth it off, trowel it so it forms a continuation
downward of the vertical front side of the concrete porch. And, if needed,
trowel along the surface of the sidewalk so the new concrete looks correct.
It should be pretty quick and easy to do.
You could also probably use mortar mix instead of concrete if you wanted to
do that. The gap size is such that either would probably work fine for what
you want to achieve. Look and see what they have at Home Depot or Lowes
etc. and pick one. You probably won't need much, and personally I don't
like lugging around big bags of concrete or mortar. So, even though it
would cost more, you could always buy a couple of small 10-pound bags of the
stuff. One bag may do it and you can return the second bag if it is
unopened and you don't need it.
I think any of the regular concrete or mortar mixes will fairly closely
match the color of what is there now. I would avoid any of those special
concrete crack repair mixes etc. because they are often a darker gray color
that won't look right, plus you don't need that.
Let us know how it turns out.
P.S. Since the job is so easy, I am with you and I would just skip even
contacting the condo association. I would just do the fix and forget about
I couldn't quite tell for sure from the photos, but it looks to me that the
gap is not between the sidewalk and the porch. To me, it looks like what
happened is that the sidewalk just dropped down, but it is otherwise in the
same position relative to the porch that it always was, except that its
dropped down a couple of inches. I think that the exposed "gap" that we
see, which is really just the space UNDER the porch -- not a horizontal gap
between the porch and the sidewalk.
If that is the case, then to eliminate the visible "gap", I think that all
that is needed is to fill in under the porch which, in effect would just
hide the vertical gap. In fact, although I didn't mention it before, I
would probably drop a thin barrier (maybe even just a thin piece cardboard
like a pizza box) down to cover the end of the sidewalk. Then, I would put
the concrete or mortar under the porch to fill the gap, and the concrete or
mortar would adhere to and become a part of the bottom of the existing
concrete porch, but it would not bond with the sidewalk due to the barrier.
That way, there wouldn't be any expansion or contraction issues to worry
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