Preventing Cracks in a Concrete Stoop
LESLIE: Nick in Wisconsin needs some help stopping the sidewalk from cracking up. Tell us about the problem.
NICK: We just recently put some new concrete walkways in our front yard and we had – because our old stoop had cracked out, water kind of [rained on the awning] (ph) and we’re just wondering if there’s a better option besides taking out our awning with the new concrete, just to prevent future cracking out.
TOM: So the awning was diverting water onto the stoop and that’s what caused the cracks in the first place?
NICK: That’s correct.
TOM: And how old was the stoop that you had to replace? Had it been there for many, many years?
NICK: Yes. It was probably there for at least 10 years.
TOM: Well, so you got 10 years out of it and now you’d like to get at least another 10; is that what you’re saying?
TOM: Well, listen. I mean the awning serves a purpose. I mean it keeps the rain off your house as you’re going in and out of the house. If there’s a way that you can modify it slightly to have a lower volume of water; I don’t know if it – if there’s an upper roof that drains to it that could be diverted, for example, or something of that nature that might reduce the water.
But concrete is a pretty durable material and if you keep it sealed, you know – I think that if you try to keep the water out of it as much as possible; if it was put in properly so it has a slope to it, so the water rolls away; if you’re careful not to use rock salt on it so you don’t degrade it in the winter time, I wouldn’t tell you to take down the awning. I would just consider that normal wear and tear and if you’re lucky you’ll get another 10 years out of this one or more.
NICK: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Alright, Nick? You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
I don’t think you have to give up, I mean just because he got some cracks from this awning.
LESLIE: Well and I feel like if you remove the awning completely and you really feel that the water in the one area is causing the cracking; now, with no awning, don’t you think you would get more cracking? (chuckles)
TOM: Potentially, sure.
LESLIE: Exactly. So keep everybody covered and just seal away.