Damaged Walkways? Here’s What to Do About Them

When was the last time you thought about repairing or replacing your walkways? It’s probably been awhile, but nobody can blame you. As a homeowner, there are a thousand different things to think about every year, from maintenance needs to home renovation ideas. Walkways are one of those things that often fall by the wayside as your focus goes to other projects and repairs.

Eventually though, if you ignore them long enough, those walkways will begin to show signs of serious wear and tear. That’s just the nature of pavement – even if it’s done by a really skilled pavement contractor, the years will take their toll. This is especially true of you live in state (like New Jersey) with four distinct seasons, and temperature changes that can sometimes be extreme.

So what action should you take when your walkways are chipped, damaged, crumbling, warped, or otherwise falling apart? Should you try to repair it yourself, or call a professional to handle the job for you? Should you think about tearing up the existing walkway and starting fresh? What’s the most advantageous approach from a homeowner’s perspective?

The reality is, there isn’t just “one” right answer to these questions. It really depends on the type of pavement you’re dealing with, the extent of the damage, and your long-term goals as a homeowner. That said, we can look at each of the possible solutions for your crumbling walkway, and discuss pros and cons.

Repairing it yourself is always an option – or at least trying to. With all the information available online, and various pavement repair kits available in every home goods store, why not give it a shot? Well, in many cases, without the requisite experience and proper tools, DIY pavement repair is just not an effective choice. It can be, however, if the repair is minor.

Calling in a professional to perform walkway repair is another option, and this will usually get you better results. However, it’s highly dependent on a couple of key factors. Is the professional highly skilled and qualified? Have they given you a fair and honest bid, and will they honor their contracts? As long as the answer to these questions is ‘yes,’ your walkway repair should come off without a hitch.

The kind of pavement you’re dealing with is also an important variable. Brick pavers, asphalt, Belgian block, and concrete will all have different repair methods, depending on the extent of the damage. It may not be possible to determine the best possible route until the situation is assessed by a qualified pro.

Finally, if the damage is extensive and the pavement is very old (or incorrectly installed), it may make more sense to simply have the walkway torn up and start fresh. That way you can choose the material you really want, and correct any underlying structural or landscaping problems that may have led to the damage in the first place.

There is an endless spectrum of walkway repair scenarios, but one thing’s for sure: If you hire a reputable contractor, you can expect professional and long lasting results!