2021-08-30 Driveways- Concrete Flatwork Issues (Omaha Home Inspection)

Concrete Sidewalk Issues on New Construction Inspection

How To Identify Concrete Sidewalk Issues

Concrete sidewalk issues: What happens on your new home when the sidewalk is poured to thin? Thin concrete will crack, settle, and become trip hazards & liabilities.

What Are the Required Concrete Thicknesses?

Minimum thickness for a sidewalk and driveway is 3 1/2″. If the driveway has the curb cut, then the end of the driveway is required to be a minimum 5 1/2″ thick tapered back to 3 1/2″ at the expansion joint. If the concrete isn’t thick enough, it is more prone to cracking and settling. This can lead to trip hazards and become a liability concern.

How Does the Builder Resolve Concrete Sidewalk Issues?

To get this right, all the licensed Flat work Concrete Contractor has to do is prep the packed gravel base so it’s at the proper depth before the concrete truck arrives. In the above pic, it looked like they didn’t run a shovel around the edge of the forms to hit that minimum 3 1/2″ thickness at the sides. After the concrete has cured, the only way to correct this is to cut out the panels that didn’t meet the minimum thickness and pour them again. Nobody wants that. It slows down the build, costs more money, and takes more time. I even don’t like having to point it out. It pays to take the time to prep right before the concrete is poured. That way you only have to do the job once.