It’s finally summer and the ice has melted, the sun is shining and you see sidewalks and concrete slabs everywhere that have formed fissures and elevated cracks because of ground shifting and moisture from a long wet winter.
These trip hazards need to be fixed and a restoration contractor with a little ‘know how’ can make a tidy sum of money while making the world a little bit safer one concrete slab at a time.
Here is a typical example of a concrete fissure formed by ground shifts and moisture.
You don’t need to be a large concrete grinding operation to tackle jobs like this. Cracks and fissures of this nature form all the time in the driveways of your existing clients, the sidewalks of your commercial accounts and everywhere in your neighborhood where you live.
This blog will show you the steps you need to take in order to effectively fix these hazards while making money doing it.
You might own a weighted 17″ side by side or a large concrete grinder (either planetary or counter rotating) but the most ideal machine for tackling this problem effectively is a scarifier.
One side of the lip of the fissure is raised 3″, so using a weighted side by side and trying to hold it onto one side of the fissure in order to grind down is not only uncomfortable, but ugly. Another good reason not to use a weighted side by side machine when there is an elevation differential is that you will more likely be effecting a larger area, but with a scarifier you can focus on just the crack as opposed to making a 4′ wide swing with a side by side machine. Why expend energy where the crack isn’t. By focusing on the area you can be more efficient and profitable.
Looks like the surface of Mars…
After you’ve gotten both sides the concrete fissure leveled we can begin to smooth out the damage done by the scarifier with a metallic grinding disk.
Using a metal disk to grind will smooth out the concrete and make for a visually attractive repair. If you leave behind scarifier scars then they’ll know you’re a rookie or worse yet, lazy. 🙂
This ugly leveling job was done right in front of the home of Josh Jones, the President of STI Prepmaster and an industry concrete expert. He naturally wanted to jack hammer it out but I told him that the art world might have better appreciation for it…
With the help of his fake dog Ariel, or Argentina or whatever he calls it, Josh used a scarifier to properly level and then he used a grinder to properly grind. He’s sending the bill to his local councilman.
Now let’s get rid of those nasty scars from the scarifier… (scars, scarifier… you see what I did there?) 🙂
You can see that we are using vacuums to keep from making a cloud of silica dust. New laws have been passed requiring a proper vacuum to be hooked up to any silica dust creating machinery. The days of using a plain weighted machine with no dust shroud are gone to dry grind are gone. Making a cloud of silica dust can risk a $5000 fine.
Use self leveling caulk to make sure it will get down into the crevices for deep fissures.
From a large crack with a 3″ height differential on either side we now have a repair that any property manager could be proud of. This is just a basic job, in some cases you have expansion joints to worry about and other engineering considerations.
This is just to show a basic repair that most restoration professionals can do on a driveway, a sidewalk or in this case, a parking lot.
My name is Robert Falzone and I train folks how to solve problems in the industries of cleaning & restoration, abatement and surface prep. If you would like a consult, contact me via the my information found in the ‘About’ section of this blog.
Thank you for your support. Mr. Verdell Barkaroni says, ‘Hi’.