How can I restore my old walkway?

Teresa Schmidt
by Teresa Schmidt
My walkway is made of cement and between time, neglect and tree roots, it has become a mess. Sections are completely gone and cracked everywhere. What can be done to make it safe and more attractive?
how can i restore my old walkway, Cracked
how can i restore my old walkway, Holes sections missing
Holes, sections missing
how can i restore my old walkway, More pieces missing
More pieces missing
  24 answers
  • Flip Remo Flip Remo on Sep 26, 2016
    We bought a house with a walkway that was just small stone between two 2x4 boards (very hard to shovel snow, and difficult to walk on). Since our walkway was from a low deck to the driveway, we were able to build an elevated walkway using 2x6 stringers and placing 36" pressure treated wood perpendicular to the stringers... a wooden boardwalk - easy, quick, reasonably priced, easy to shovel, looked great with the house.
  • Karen Karen on Sep 26, 2016
    Pebbles? Gravel. Wood shavings. Crazy paving
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Sep 26, 2016
    Break up and remove all old concrete and replace with slate or bricks.
  • Sandra. Jackson Sandra. Jackson on Sep 26, 2016
    You've already got crazy paving so just redo the concrete between the cracks, it saves picking up all the slabs
    • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Sep 26, 2016
      I agree this is your easiest solution. I would go one more step and color it to whatever matches your home. I don't know how to color cement but I know it can be done (cement paint, stain?). Rusty red would resemble brick or black/dark Grey would resemble slate, etc.).
  • Susan Harris Seeley Susan Harris Seeley on Sep 26, 2016
    Build a wooden walkway over it
  • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Sep 26, 2016
    Check with your City Ordinance Officer to determine what choices you have for a new walkway. If it's a city sidewalk that you as the homeowner are liable for wood, brick or stone may not be a choice. You may have to have new cement poured. I'm in the same boat as you. My city will only allow expensive concrete to be poured. Good luck neighbor.
  • clean/ shop vac and remove all broken concrete or sand from joints. if there is missing stones or pavers attempt to replace them, if not the best way is to cement them in. If replacing stone sometimes you can cut lines into the cement to make it look like stone. Next go to the landscape store and get whats called "Polymeric Sand". It's used to set pavers in. Follow the directions and take your time. this stuff sweeps in the joints like sand but you want to make sure it's only in the joints. when ready mist with water, wast and mist again. when dry it will be rock hard sealing your sone in place.
  • Cindy Carmichael Cindy Carmichael on Sep 26, 2016
    It actually looks like the concrete was not poured to the proper depth (thickness). When it is driven on, it cracked. Patching it will not work if this is the case. It will just break up again. Break it up and just have a gravel drive until you can pour a new one (with proper prep under it).
    • See 1 previous
    • Melissa V Melissa V on Oct 04, 2016
      hello carmichael's! i'm from wyoming, mi., right around the corner. we have a concrete driveway that has been partially sunken since we bought the house ten years ago. we are looking into the concrete raising procedure for that part of the driveway (close to the garage). what do you think?
  • Msc12149616 Msc12149616 on Sep 26, 2016
    I have a concrete step going to the back door, it was very cracked and unsightly, so I used pressure treated deck board to rebuild the step on top of the concrete, looks great. Just make sure you put a low frame under the decking so water won't stay between concrete and wood.... good luck!
  • Msc12149616 Msc12149616 on Sep 26, 2016
    Another solution for me would be to make a sturdy wood frame along all edges, sweep out all all the leaves, etc., then vacuum out all the cracks. Put down a thin layer of outdoor thin set & level it out and fill everything with gravel, tamp the gravel into the thin set and let dry. The look can be quite stunning.
  • Pat Ruge Pat Ruge on Sep 26, 2016
    You have an awesome opportunity to turn this into a walkway. I recommend using brick pavers. Smooth area with a sand base and lay the pavers. Bricks would be an alternative, perhaps in a herringbone pattern, depending on your color scheme. Either may require cutting the paver or brick to accommodate the curvature of your walkway.
  • Teresa Schmidt Teresa Schmidt on Sep 26, 2016
    So many good ideas. I'll post updates when I decide what to do.
  • Cindy Carmichael Cindy Carmichael on Sep 26, 2016
    Someone who knows about it should take a look to see if what I said is correct. I looked it up on Family Handyman:
  • Cindy Carmichael Cindy Carmichael on Sep 26, 2016
    We had this "flaking" on our back step. Someone had tried to patch the crumbling concrete with more cement. I flaked off. We ended up renting a jackhammer and broke it up. A frame was built out of wood and we repoured it with new concrete.
    • IFortuna IFortuna on Sep 26, 2016
      This is exactly what I would recommend. If the walkway is straight, a wooden frame would be easy and new concrete. There are other steps to pouring concrete so it would be a good idea to get help or research well before pouring.===We got our small cement mixer from Harbor Freight and it has been helpful for many small jobs. I think they have larger ones and their shipping is usually very reasonable. We got ours shipped for $6. =====I really like the idea of putting in concrete then topping it with gravel. Hubby did this for a storage shed and it looks great. Our dog thought hubby made him a new house ! LOL: )
  • Tess van Dijk Tess van Dijk on Sep 26, 2016
    Add pavers sand to level the holes, then add pavers and seal with top sand. Would be a great look.
  • GLORIA GLORIA on Sep 29, 2016
    I have the same problem with my driveway except worse. Someone told me you can hire a company to come in and smash all the concrete up and then pour blacktop material over it and it will be smooth as silk.
    • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Sep 29, 2016
      Blacktop is being banned in many countries and some states in the USA. It sits in landfills for years and doesn't breakdown. Also each year you'll have to have that 'smooth as silk' finish renewed with harsh, chemicals. Concrete and gravel are easier to maintain and last longer. My neighbor has an old blacktop drive that is not up to code. She's had layer upon layer poured over the original drive every two years to get that 'silky look' instead she has a blacktop hill that is crumbling and unsightly. Also it's not up to city code. Check with your ordinance officer BEFORE you get a new driveway and make sure the material you use is permitted so you don't have to tear it all out when you go to sell or get a permit to improve your home. Cheers.
  • Ann Smitt Ann Smitt on Sep 29, 2016
    Dear Gloria, Concrete is a sustainable material. Blacktop material sits in landfills for centuries. Blacktop also requires annual maintenance of pouring environmentally, harmful chemicals over the top to keep the 'smooth as silk appearance.' Plus as you age your eyes have trouble seeing in the dark and it's easy to miss a blacktop driveway especially in a rural or unlit street. Please consider a Gravel Drive that is pounded down so no rocks fly in a Wyoming Winter or Concrete. Cheers.
  • GLORIA GLORIA on Sep 29, 2016
    I don't like blacktop, although it's cheaper, and that's why I still haven't repaired my driveway. I'm thinking now of doing large squares of concrete separated by strips of grass or ground cover in between or even gravel or brick in between. It's a LONG driveway so I'm trying to be economical and also trying to do something where I KNOW those tree roots are going to buckle the concrete in years to come by putting grass, gravel or something that can be replaced when the tree roots start doing their thing. Thanks for the info on the blacktop.
    • See 1 previous
    • Melissa V Melissa V on Oct 04, 2016
      p.s. forgot to mention the pavers that accept soil, etc., so you can plant in them and still drive on them. don't forget to get rid of the invader tree ( i hated even typing that). well it's fall anyway
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Oct 03, 2016
    You can paint/stain the pieces to look like random stones, then put sand, moss, alyssum, or and quikrete in between to stabilize to make it look like a rustic random shaped stone garden path.
  • Cindy Carmichael Cindy Carmichael on Oct 05, 2016
    Hi Melissa, I have a friend who needed to raise his garage floor a couple of years ago. He contacted Kent Concrete after checking around on prices. He said he felt the most confident with them.
  • Ese8934807 Ese8934807 on Oct 17, 2016
    If easy to remove do just that an replace with pebbles rocks or patio pavers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Oct 18, 2016
    Mine was worse when we bought our house. Decided to go with concrete. The y ripped out the old, laid a 5 inch base before pouring the concrete. 20 years later, still great. Important that you get a deep base and not just 1/2 inch skimpy layer of concrete. Live on the Prairies in Canada with extremes in temps.
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Oct 18, 2016
    Line the sides with bricks instead of wood that rots away.Remove old concrete and use paving flat stones.