If you have a parking lot sidewalk around the outside of your store, it is your responsibility to take care of the sidewalk. If the sidewalk sinks down or bulges up and creates unsafe conditions, you will be held liable if someone gets hurts. When your sidewalk is damaged, that also means that your business is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which can get you in legal trouble. You need to keep your sidewalk in good condition to prevent injuries to others and to ensure that you have the best possible curb appeal.
If your sidewalk seems to be sinking in, there are a few reasons why this may be happening.
Poor Soil Compaction
When you put down a sidewalk, the soil under the sidewalk should be treated with care. The soil should be compacted down hard using a compactor, ensuring that you have the most stable foundation for putting down your sidewalk. Depending on the make-up of the soil, additional layers of gravel and soil should be put down in order to create a strong and sturdy base for your sidewalk.
When this process is ignored and a sidewalk is just slapped down on top of the existing soil, the soil may not be compact enough to support the weight of the sidewalk. As the soil compresses over time due to the weight of the sidewalk, your sidewalk will sink as the soil beneath the sidewalk sinks as well.
Heavy Water Flow
When your concrete is poured, it is often just sitting on top of some soil. If you don't have proper drainage, over time, water can wash away the soil that is under your sidewalk. As the soil is washed away under your sidewalk, an empty space is created. Eventually, without the support of the soil underneath it, your sidewalk will sink into the void created by the soil that was washed away by the rain.
Clay Soil Expanding
If your sidewalk is placed on top of clay soil, clay soil is well known for absorbing water. With a clay soil based, you need a good water system. If the water flows under your sidewalk and the soil gets wet, the clay soil will just absorb the water. As the clay soil absorbs the water, it will expand and cause your sidewalk to buckle up, and then fall as the clay soil dries out over time.
Sidewalks generally sink or rise because they were not properly installed, and a proper base was not created underneath them. If your sidewalk is acting up, get a professional concrete expert out to rip out and install a sidewalk that will last. For more information, contact companies like Branche Industries.