Best Way to Install a Sidewalk Over Tree Roots
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re heading on over to Ohio with Bobbie, who cut down a tree but is now wondering what’s going on with the dirt settling and sidewalk.
This sounds like it’s got an interesting story, Bobbie. What happened to the tree?
BOBBIE: Well, it got a disease in it. And they recommended that I cut it down before it falls on my house. So, I had it cut down and they ground out the stump. And now, I was wondering how long do I have to wait for the dirt to settle or if I even have to wait to extend my sidewalk.
TOM: Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to build a sidewalk on top of all of the ground-out sawdust, because that clearly is going to decay away. I think the best thing to do is to try to add some stone to that stumped area. Maybe rake out all of the sawdust and pack it with stone and then make sure the new sidewalk is poured over that stone or even embed some of the stone into the concrete. Because otherwise, you’re going to build a sidewalk on top of an unstable piece of soil and that could crack.
Another option there is to have the mason add some reinforcement to the sidewalk. And make sure the reinforcement straddles the weak area of the soil so that, again, if you do get some additional compression, the sidewalk won’t crack and sink in that area.
You’re wise to raise this question. You do need to work around it and I think a good-quality mason can help you do that.
BOBBIE: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Bobbie. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.