We received a call from homeowners who were concerned about a sidewalk that leads from their driveway to their front door. They began explaining how over time a few trip hazards had developed and were becoming quite a danger to delivery personnel and guests coming to their home.
The homeowners explained how they always parked in the garage and entered through the garage door and never really used that sidewalk, so they never gave it much thought. It was not until a delivery person mentioned that they almost fell while carrying a fragile package to the front door. It became even more apparent they had a real issue when a friend came over for a visit. While walking up the sidewalk to the front door, the visitor, (an elderly woman), lost her footing as she tripped over the uneven sidewalk. Thankfully, she was uninjured and in good spirits and did not want to take further action.
In many cases, homeowners are not so lucky. Liability, for avoidable trip hazards, falls on homeowners which can lead to lawsuits and legal recourse. Realizing how lucky they were and how serious the situation could have been, they searched online for sidewalk repair Port Charlotte FL to find options other than concrete removal, since the concrete was not cracked and was visibly in good condition.
They found Environmental Foam Solutions (EFS) online and learned how expanding polyurethane foam solves things of this nature. They looked through our gallery which also includes pictures of Seawall repair, pool deck repair, driveway repair, and trip hazard removal jobs that we have completed. Thinking that EFS could be what they were looking for, they found our online request estimate section and filled out the brief questionnaire which requests a name, telephone number, and a brief description of the problem(s) that need to be addressed.
The next morning, we called the homeowners to talk about the problems they were experiencing. They explained how the trip hazard had grown and that they had someone trip over it recently and realized that it is an emergency that needs to be repaired. They asked a few questions such as, “Why is this happening? What can be done? And how much is something like this going to cost?” After asking them a few questions about the layout of the sidewalk, gutter locations, angle and elevation of the property, we came to the conclusion that a gutter was undermining the soil that was holding the sidewalk in place. A concentrated amount of water was washing on and around the sections of that sidewalk and there was no soil to keep the sidewalk concrete supported.
Understanding the basic nature of erosion, it was apparent to us that this could be helped by extending the gutter outlet. The options for the gutter outlet can be rerouted by extensions or in this case, an underground rain away system was thought best. A rain away system is an underground gutter extension that brings unwanted gutter runoff out to the desired location whether it is to the lawn, bushes, or spillway. The system leads water to these locations and will have a sprinkler like pop-up head that evenly spreads the excess water.
Once we had the cause of the problem handled, we were able to move on to addressing the sidewalk. Removing the trip hazard is a simple process that involves injecting two-part expanding foam into the desired locations to achieve the best result. We do this by drilling small dime-sized holes into the affected areas. Placing the injection port into these holes allows the material to flow with no mess. Once the affected areas are prepped with the injection ports, the next step is to check the measurement of the differences in the sections of sidewalk. Using electronic levels and laser transoms we can monitor all movement caused by the expanding foam.
With all of the levels and sites in place, we can lift each section to its correct height. As the expanding foam spreads through the loose soil it will fill any void, while compacting any areas where the gutter erosion was greatest. After the expanding foam has solidified the area, the only place for the foam to push, is up. Now the concrete will begin to lift into place. Then, all excess material will be cleaned and the small holes patched with concrete repair mix.
After a site visit and going over everything with the property owners, they wanted to receive other bids as well, to get the best deal. I suggested the closest competitor and also a mason to get the best price comparison. After a short time, the property owners called us back and requested to be put on the calendar for installation. Always happy to help property owners with the best quality workmanship as well as the lowest price, we scheduled their installation for the following Thursday. Always calling ahead, we phoned the property owners to let them know we were in route and on time for our appointment.
Upon arrival, we greeted the property owners and again went over the pin locations where we would be drilling, and how long we would be on site. With everyone on the same page, we unloaded our state-of-the-art Mobile Track rig and equipment. We set up our laser transom and laser monitors on the sections we did not want to lift, but still wanted to keep an eye on. We then drilled small holes into the desired locations of the affected areas. We put the electronic levels on the areas that we were lifting to monitor down to the tenth of an inch. After holes were drilled and injection ports were in place, the lifting began. (Working with expanding foam can be extremely fast, as it only takes minutes to cure). Having the lifting done within minutes, all sections of concrete were now even. All dangerous trip hazards were removed and we then cleaned and patched the small holes and put away our equipment.
Considering that it takes freshly poured concrete weeks to cure, and it will not match existing sections, while our foam takes only a few minutes and is a fraction of the price, that is our kind of solution. So after an hour total on-site we had removed the trip hazard and stabilized the surrounding areas, cleaned up and loaded all equipment. The property owners were blown away by our process. They said it was like watching a science project. New technology can save time and money, and leave a cleaner final presentation.
With a smile and handshake, we left the property owners feeling safe with the 5-year warranty EFS provides. Knowing they did not have to worry about the danger of someone hurting themselves tripping over their sidewalk was worth every penny to them.
Cost can be the deciding factor in a lot of instances for homeowners. Whether it is a home or business, minor repairs can be the most overlooked. And in most cases, a few hundred dollars can in the end save thousands, not to mention prevent lawsuits and rising insurance rates. We give estimates based on materials used and the amount of labor. Being owner-operated gives us low overhead, which translates to lower prices to our customers. We have no minimum price for jobs and believe that no job is too small. Every trip hazard is a disaster waiting to happen and can be avoided for very little money compared to concrete replacement.
As an owner operated company, we take pride in every job and treat it as if it were our own property. Giving homeowners a low price option in a big company market is what we take pride in. Every job will be done with impeccable detail since our owners sell and install every job performed by EFS.
If you have a sidewalk in need of repair in Port Charlotte or surrounding areas, we cover most all of Southwest Florida and are here to discuss whether our services are a fit for your project. Call our local office at (239) 671-8973 or fill out the form on this page to get your free estimate.