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  1. #1
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    Question Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    My front walk has sunk badly due to a void under my front porch. I am having the path replaced.

    I am having the front porch pressure grouted to fill the void and stop the soil washing out from under the new path.

    The front porch is a 10" concrete slab, 40' by 5'. Should I also have the contractor pin the path to the front porch with rebar? Belt and braces, so to speak? Or are there issues with this approach? Would it be better to allow porch and path to move independently?

    I am going to talk to the contractor about it, of course, but I like to go into these discussions with as much knowledge as possible, since I've previously been burned by contractors that I trusted to fill in gaps in knowledge.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    You say you have a void under the porch. Does the porch show any signs of sinking or cracking?
    You need to get to the bottom of this problem, before you install a new walkway.
    To answer your question, the walkway doesn't have to be rebarred into the porch slab. Just make sure that after you solve the "void" problem, you prepare the ground properly for the new walkway.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    The porch is well supported by posts, and shows no signs of going anywhere.

    We've had water problems in the basement, and I'm convinced that the root cause is the void under the porch, combined with the fact that the front walk has sunk and now drains directly under the porch.

    Hence filling the void, and relaying the path. We considered mudjacking the path back up, but ultimately decided that we didn't like the look of it anyway, so we'd lay a new one with a more pleasing line.

    What I'm hearing from you is that I don't need to pin the path to the porch, and that so long as we get that void filled, to prevent further wash out, and so long as the contractor lays a proper base, the path should stay put. Correct?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    Before you do anything else, you must solve the erosion/sinking problem, not just back fill the void. Otherwise, you will continue to have the same problems.
    Then, and only then, i would prepare the base for the walkway and pour it unpinned to the porch slab.
    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    It is a common problem for slabs to sag back to the house because the backfill isn't or can't be properly compacted and over time it settles. Then the water flowing back makes things worse.
    Using smooth rod from the slab into the porch foundation or anchoring a steel angle to the porch to create a ledge for the slab to set on isn't a bad idea. An angle ledge is probably easier with an existing condition.
    If using a smooth rod and grease one side so the slab can move as needed. With either method use expansion material between the wall & the slab.
    Be sure to slab slopes away from the building at least a 1/4"/ft or even more if no additional support is used to allow for some settling.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Before you do anything else, you must solve the erosion/sinking problem, not just back fill the void. Otherwise, you will continue to have the same problems.
    Then, and only then, i would prepare the base for the walkway and pour it unpinned to the porch slab.
    Good luck.
    Can you elaborate more? I will be having the yard graded away from the house at the same time as laying the front path, and also sloping the path itself away from the house (1/4" per foot, as mentioned by another poster).

    Is there anything else I should be doing?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    Grading the lot is important, and it's a good idea to do it.
    To prepare for your walkway I would compact the dirt very well, lay 2" of gravel and pour concrete with steel reinforcement in it. Pinning to the slab in not necessary in my opinion. Giving the walkway 1/4" per foot slope is a good idea too.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Replacing front walk - pin to concrete porch?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Grading the lot is important, and it's a good idea to do it.
    To prepare for your walkway I would compact the dirt very well, lay 2" of gravel and pour concrete with steel reinforcement in it. Pinning to the slab in not necessary in my opinion. Giving the walkway 1/4" per foot slope is a good idea too.
    Thanks very much for your advice and for your patience. I will talk to my concrete guy and have him talk me through all the steps he will be taking and I'll use your advice as a gauge.

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