LESLIE: We’ve got Pam in Arkansas on the line who’s got a question about rotting wood that divides driveway pavement slab. What’s going on at your money pit?
PAM: My driveway is about 15 years old and the wood that divides my pavement slab is totally rotting out. And I want to know how to replace it, what to replace it with. And can I do something that will not rot?
TOM: How big are the gaps between the seams of the concrete? Is it around a ½-inch or an inch that this rotting wood that divides driveway pavement slab is stuck into?
PAM: No, they’re much bigger than that but it’s more like, I’d say, 2 inches.
TOM: Oh, really? It’s quite wide.
PAM: It’s probably too wide, yeah.
TOM: It’s quite wide, hmm. Are they 2x4s stuck in? That’s a really big gap for spacing between different parts of a slab.
PAM: Well, that’s the way they did it. My sidewalk, as well.
TOM: Well, here’s your options. You can pull out the rotted wood that divides driveway pavement slab and place ground-contact wood back into that space. That would be pressure-treated lumber. And you would find it the same width. If it’s 2×4, it’s about an inch-and-a-half. If it turns out that’s it’s a bit narrower than that, the other way to handle this is you could press a backer rod into those gaps. And that’s kind of like a foam tube. And you want to press it in there so that it’s at least about a ½-inch below the height of the – of what you want the finished surface to be.
On top of that, you would pour a flowable urethane, which is sort of like a liquid caulk that would find its own level and create a seam that would prevent water from going in there. Either way, you would prevent moisture from getting into that space and that’s – in addition to, you know, not being unsightly like the mold, that can help preserve and protect the concrete. Because all that water in there will freeze and push up and then break and that’s just not a good thing. Does that make sense?
PAM: Yes, that makes sense. Thank you.