Sidewalk concrete repair

We had our sidewalk poured 2 years ago and the top has all crumbled. They poured it in the rain and we have had problems every year since. Contractor who did it will not fix it. Said it was our fault???? The top layer has come off so when you walk on it your walking on stones. Can we put a top coat on it or does it have to be dug up and replaced by someone else?
q sidewalk concrete repair, concrete masonry, home maintenance repairs
q sidewalk concrete repair, concrete masonry, home maintenance repairs
q sidewalk concrete repair, concrete masonry, home maintenance repairs
  20 answers
  • MuranoBlue MuranoBlue on Apr 12, 2015
    You can get a mason to put a skim coat on the top, but it won't last as long. Or there are epoxy products that do the same thing, supposedly. I've seen a couple projects where decking tiles were laid over old cement, although not nearly as bad as yours. I'm trying to figure what to do about some aging, very extensive concrete too.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Apr 12, 2015
    Your looks to be a bad batch of concrete. Yes that happens. Try . You can repair this yourself pretty easily with most of it being labor. Fact is, it should have lasted more than 2 years. There are products such as Quickrete that are 20 to 40 bucks. Take your time, but it looks like a weekend project. Good luck!

  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Apr 12, 2015
    As a retired builder "mostly tired" I have seen this several times over the years and the reason this is coming apart is it was pored in the rain. If the contractor had put plastic over it I think it would have been ok, but it would have had marks from the plastic. The best think would be to have a pro. come and see what he says. It is hard to make a god guess as to what to do with out see it in person. You might be able to get the loose stuff off and put down re wire and pour about 3" on top and be ok. if not demo it and start over. So sorry about your bad luck.

  • Rosemary D. Rosemary D. on Apr 12, 2015
    small claims court!

  • Julie Julie on Apr 12, 2015
    @Rosemary Danforth Barrett - you got that right! I wouldn't settle for the contractors lame excuses - that's NOT what you paid for.

  • Kathy Kathy on Apr 12, 2015
    Our patio started to get big cracks three months after it was poured in December, several years ago. We called the builder and he gave one excuse after another as to why it cracked and they all pointed back to "us" being the cause of it. We called, and called and called, and nothing was ever done. We documented every call, took many photographs and kept track of every certified letter that was sent. When we had enough, we called the home improvement commission and filed a complaint. They send someone to look at the work, talk with us to learn all the steps we took and then talked to the builder. It's a long and very slow process, and 14 months later the home improvement commission ruled in our favor. The patio was taken out and repoured by a different company. If you haven't documented everything, you probably have very little recourse two years later.

  • Keith Widgington Keith Widgington on Apr 12, 2015
    It is repairable all depending on your skill and patience levels. Here is what I suggest you try, making sure you have all the necessary tools. Go to your local hardware store and speak to someone in the concrete department explain to him what your looking to do bring pictures they will help. Quikrete has awesome products the also have these additives that you add to concrete to help it bond to previously poured concrete. Adding this eliminates the need of chipping the concrete. At some later date it would probably be a good idea to seal the concrete. Hope this helps, would also be a good idea to be at least two people. That way all blame goes on him. Lol

  • Mabeline Mabeline on Apr 12, 2015
    Try using pro-dek over the top. It is a concrete type of product that you can DIY, even add some color and easily fill in the cracks.

    • See 1 previous
    • Mabeline Mabeline on Apr 13, 2015
      Hi Susan - my apologies, it is actually called Pli-Dek. There is a link for distributors on the bottom of their homepage, hopefully someone is close to you. Here is the home page link:

  • Karen Karen on Apr 12, 2015
    Usually you can go to the Registrar of Contractors in your town and they will force them to fix problems or not get a license next time.

  • Moxie Moxie on Apr 12, 2015
    I can only guess;but I suspect the "rain" marks on the surface allowed the freeze thaw cycle to let water into the pours of the concrete (even though on a molecular level as water does move through concrete in the air holes, when the water freezes near the surface it expands and pops the concrete leaving the surface crumbly) - if the concrete below the top layer is could have it ground down to smooth it out and then seal it to avoid future damage. I'm with @Ray Phillips it could be a bad batch of concrete -- two years later doubtful you can get the sub to replace; his comment that it was your fault...did you force the placement time? were you supposed to seal it? did you put salt on it to melt ice? your part of the country I would not suggest topping it.

  • Elly Miller Elly Miller on Apr 12, 2015
    I wish I had an answer for you, we have the same problem, but ours is a tad bigger it is the concret pad in front of our two car garage and the walkway. I could cry every time I look at it

  • Peter Mackey Peter Mackey on Apr 12, 2015
    If poured in rain the cement has been washed out and need to get down to good concrete then possibly re top with more concrete. Have been fixing this mess for years.

  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Apr 12, 2015
    I had a cement stoop and walkways just like this and I had a fellow lay paving stones on top to make a very attractive entrance and walkway. 10 years ago and it still looks great!

  • Cynthia A Green Cynthia A Green on Apr 13, 2015
    My driveway is also missing nearly all of its top. Thank you, Keith. Now I have hope.

  • Wendy Jurco Wendy Jurco on Apr 21, 2015
    I would recommend you get the people who made the concrete path for you to come back a fix it for you free of charge seeing that they didn't do such a good job.!!!

  • Sally-Charles Evans Sally-Charles Evans on Apr 11, 2016
    However Jan said they refused to repair it! Said it was her fault! I guess I would put the name of that company out there for others to see how they do business! Just sayin' .......

  • Ray Phillips Ray Phillips on Apr 12, 2016
    you never pour in the rain , it will wash the cement away and leave the stones. you can pour over it and will be fine.

  • Sus5017535 Sus5017535 on Apr 12, 2016
    Call back. They never should of poured concrete while raining. TAKE THEM TO COURT.!!

  • TipTopHouse TipTopHouse on Apr 13, 2016
    There are several reasons why the surface of cement fails. cold weather, to much water in the mix and working the cement to much causing water to flow to the surface of the finish. Any one of these things will cause spalling of the surface of the cement. Fixing it can be done, but its a bit labor intensive. Power wash the surface to remove forcefully any loose material that has not yet come loose. There are special primer products on the market that you would use to prep the cement surface for a new coating. Using a sand mix such as top and coat a product sold by Sakrete is then used to smooth the top off again. Depending upon several other factors you may need a leveling cement to fill the deeper holes on the surface.

  • Deanna Nassar Deanna Nassar on Nov 10, 2016
    I'd try the court route but some of the idiots just close up and move to another area to work without a license. If they were dumb enough to pour in rain, I'm not sure I would want them to fix anything. Several options exist. You can lay out the frame work of side boards and pour more cement. Lay down pavers with small amount of cement between pavers(similar to grouting tile). I've seen forms at hardware places that you lay bricks into to make a walk. Pay a new company to repair(check them with BBB and license board first). If you DIY remember to do it with dry, warm weather. Not sure if same ad appears below this but Hometalk has a guide for working with concrete.