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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Time to talk with Joel in Des Moines, Iowa who’s having sort of a situation with a concrete walkway. What happened? It’s sinking toward your house? Was there something structural? What’s going on?

    JOEL: I bought a foreclosure house and I went away for two years and I come back and my sideway is sinking towards my house.
    TOM: OK.
    JOEL: And then my front yard is also losing – it’s losing dirt also; so I don’t know where that’s going to.
    TOM: Hmm. Sounds like …
    JOEL: And I had some people out there that they guaranteed that they could lift the concrete by, you know, pumping some stuff in there.
    TOM: Right, mudjacking; mm-hmm.
    JOEL: But they couldn’t do anything. They said that it just goes to nowhere.
    TOM: Huh.
    LESLIE: Hmm. I mean you guys – I know that Des Moines has had some pretty bad weather over the past two winters, so I wonder if the freezing and thawing cycle – or pretty much the freezing and freezing and freezing cycle that you guys dealt with for the past two years; which you, luckily, missed out on – I wonder if that had something to do with it.
    JOEL: Yeah.
    TOM: And did you say that you’re getting erosion in your yard as well?
    JOEL: Yeah, it’s eroding my front yard. It’s starting to sink. I can see the dips in it.
    TOM: Hmm. Yeah. Well, look, if your concrete walkway is sinking towards the house and you’ve had some experts in, they say they can’t mudjack it, then there are no other options, Joel, but to tear it out and replace it.
    JOEL: OK.
    TOM: It might be that you don’t want to go concrete next time. Maybe you want to go paver bricks; something that can actually move a little bit more than the solid concrete can. But I would make sure I take a look and try to figure out why the erosion is happening. I’d look at the roof drainage to make sure the gutters are collecting the water and getting them away from the house; not contributing to that drainage. I’d make sure that we don’t have any underground pipes that are broken; that we’re not getting discharge from the neighbors’ yard or anything like that. It might be easier for you to see because you were away for a while then you came back and noticed the differences; but if it’s something that’s more active, we want to make sure that we address it right away.

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