Warm weather is finally here and our season has opened up. It feels great to be outside again! We recently performed a small replacement job for a customer. This particular customer’s sidewalk was not straight and the steps were badly pitting. We were asked to skim coat the steps. Skim coating doesn’t always last very long - it is a quick fix that polishes up old concrete for a short period of time. However, since concrete doesn’t bond very well to other concrete, the skim coat can eventually separate from the concrete. The customer understood that the skim coat was a temporary fix and they were okay with it. We offered to skim coat the step and we installed a new walkway that was straight and even.
When we removed the old concrete, we found it was over eight inches thick! Four inches is the minimum for a sidewalk and six inches or greater is usually standard for slabs like a driveway or hot tub. Eight inches of concrete is just plain overkill. It’s difficult to project the amount of concrete you are removing since we can’t see beneath the surface. There have been times we have found up to 12 inches of concrete underneath the surface! One thing we try our best to avoid is adding to the original estimate - 99% of our contract prices are firm and do not change. It takes something much larger for us to change our price on a job (typically something that is out of scope). So in this case, we performed the job according to the contract and dealt with the extra costs associated.
All in all, we sealed the newly poured concrete sidewalk and put the skim coat the existing step. The customer was able to enjoy the upgrade to their entrance with the coming of this beautiful weather!