Safe Ways To Renovate A Dangerous Sidewalk

Caroline Nixon Caroline Nixon
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When you do not periodically maintain your sidewalk, it can become a hazard for unsuspecting passersby. You might face a personal injury lawsuit if somebody is injured due to your negligence. You will have to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any lost wages caused by the plaintiff's inability to work. 

If you own a sidewalk, it is your responsibility to ensure it is safe for pedestrians. The Law Offices of Brown & Gessell confirm that slip and fall lawsuits can be expensive. Ensuring that you periodically maintain your sidewalk can spare you precious time, money, and stress.

Depending on the degradation of your sidewalk, you can opt for various ways to repair or replace it. Additionally, you can hire professional services to maintain the sidewalk for you.

Types of Maintenance for Your Sidewalk

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When it comes to infrastructure, you can categorize maintenance as temporary, short term or long-term. Temporary maintenance lasts for a maximum of one year. Its purpose is to reduce tripping hazards. When you make a temporary repair, you ensure that no unfortunate accidents happen before you perform a permanent repair. The purpose of short-term maintenance's is to prolong the sidewalk’s duration for one to five years. 

After this period expires, you might have to replace the sidewalk. Although many communities use techniques such as grinding, mud-jacking, and horizontal cutting as a solution, this type of repair is only somewhat reliable. Although they might fix tripping hazards, horizontal cutting, for example, will leave some sidewalk panels with warped transitions between them.

Common Problems and How to Fix Them

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When your sidewalk shows signs of damage, such as minor gaps and broken corners, it is time to do some patching. Depending on the climate, you can use asphalt patching or concrete. In some parts of the U.S., asphalt is rarely used due to its incompatibility with high temperatures. Furthermore, you will have to fix any cracks that appear because of different deformation forces. Depending on what kind of cracking occurred (edge, alligator, longitudinal), you will need to use an expansion joint to fix the issues. 

Wedging is a short-term repair measure that creates a ramp to prevent tripping hazards. You can use asphalt or concrete fillers when creating a wedge for your sidewalk. Grinding and horizontal cuttings are repairs that can last a long time. You can do this type of repair when concrete displacement occurs at the joints.

Maintain Pedestrian Signals

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You must provide appropriate signals to ensure that all pedestrians are safe when using your sidewalk. Additionally, push buttons tend to break frequently, creating inconveniences for pedestrians who want to cross the street safely. You should provide fast repair services when a pedestrian signal is defective. 

Maintaining a sidewalk is a considerable responsibility. There are plenty of maintenance measures you can implement to make sure that every pedestrian that is using your sidewalk is safe. You can schedule periodic inspections, clean signs, and hire additional help to avoid unpleasant situations. As long as you follow the maintenance measures for your sidewalk, you don’t have to worry about slip and fall lawsuits.

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