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slabjacking DIY?

Posted by higgledy (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 22, 13 at 8:09

I am not sure which forum to post this question.

The one section of sidewalk in front my house has sunk. My town is making me level my sidewalk by Jan 1, 2014. The section of sidewalk is not cracked, just sunk by about 2" the entire length of one of the long sides. I was thinking of slabjacking as the best way to repair because pouring a new section will make the remaining sidewalk not match. In researching my options I came across this website, http://www.myslabjack.com/index.php Does anyone have any experience with this method of DIY slabjacking? I have yet to call for quotes from local slabjacking companies, but I definitely will because who knows, it might be cheaper than I think. (yeah, right). Thanks for reading and thanks for any advice.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: slabjacking DIY?

In order to lift a slab - they have to drill a hole or two to inject a thin cement. Do your neighbors have any sunken slabs? I say this cause it may be more cost effective to get them done at once.

The slab jack looked like the biggest kludge I've seen - excavate under the slab by hand? We first of all - there may be several inches of crushed rock used as a base. Secondly you are supposed to drive a 2" PVC pipe into the soil? What happens if your soil is rocky or clay?

Forget the DIY.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

Why is this your responsibility? Did you do something that caused the sidewalk to sink or is there some erosion taking place that will cause more problems in the future?

Around here, it's the county/city that maintains the public sidewalks, except for shoveling off the snow. Having every homeowner find ways to make repairs on their section doesn't sound very cost efficient.
Just wondering.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

I agree with the DIY slabjacking seems a kludge at best and possibly a lot of wasted time and money if it does not work.

This is my responsibility because where I live the town owns the sidewalk, but the homeowner legally has to maintain the sidewalk. Yes, I know it is a ripoff, but that is the way it is in Maryland. The town is on this big push to get all sidewalks repaired--I guess some kid tripped and fell walking to school and the mother complained. IDK.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

The city of Long Beach CA. poured the "public" sidewalks 6" into the property lines and then planted elm trees in the 4' parkway between the curb and the sidewalk, without root barriers.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

"This is my responsibility because where I live the town owns the sidewalk, but the homeowner legally has to maintain the sidewalk."

I would pay an attorney to make sure they have the power to do this.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

In most cities the maintenance of the sidewalk and curb is the propery owners responsibility. When the city replaces curb or sidewalk, it is common to have a 'special assessment' added to your property taxes over a period of 10-20 years.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

Being a Canuck I was flabbergasted when I read the homeowner has to maintain the sidewalk. It seems other Americans think that bylaw isn't normal as well. Does that mean if that kid falls and breaks a tooth on the crack on my sidewalk that is on city property I'm liable and might end up on Judge Judy.

What if a city garbage truck or the snow plow damages the sidewalk, I have to repair it????

As far as slab jacking, that's more than a few bucks for a maybe repair by someone with zero experience, I would rip out the questionable area and pour new, then send the bill to the city or town. By the way do you need to pull a permit? I might even have it patched with blacktop, the city would be thrilled with that repair. I certainly would to make a point, heck if I couldn't afford a fix, what about patio stones. Sidewalks in the UK and Japan are mostly all patio stones, I've even seen blacktop in Europe in a few countries.
What a can of worms I would open.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

I don't know about slabjacking, but here are some thoughts. In Michigan yes, the city owns that area, but the homeowner is responsible fo it. Snow removal, personal injuries & repairs are all on the homeowner. And in Canton, the homeowner is required to get a permit before any work can be done. The city sent a letter stating that the permit, inspections and the work doing it yourself is equal to the price of having their people do the work. So check with your town's offices to see what is required before you start doing anything. Hate to do all that work, only to have to get it removed and redone at your expense. Slabjacking may not be an approved repair method by your town.
In Canton the County/city/town have the right to demand a new house have sidewalks, even if it is out in the county, before a Certificate of Occupancy is issued--and don't get me started on those dumb street side trees!!!!


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

Wow, thanks for the advice. I'm the kind of guy who'd pay the money to do it myself just to f the authority.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

" When the city replaces curb or sidewalk, it is common to have a 'special assessment' added to your property taxes over a period of 10-20 years."

That is a capital improvement, not maintenance.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

By nationality I am 50% American but am Canadian by birth and have never had a problem seeing ourselves living in the US as Americans, however when I read threads like this one concerning municipalities passing on responsibilities to homeowners I reconsider eh.

Good luck on your repair, let us know how you make out.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

Most Americans know little about Canada and readily admit it. Many Canadians I've met think they know and understand the US profoundly, though the reality in that regard (I've found) isn't quite what they think it is.

As when comparing any two countries, there are similarities and differences. People can prefer one approach over another but it's wrong to think different approaches to the same issue can easily be categorized as better or worse, right or wrong. Differences are differences, it's best to stop there.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

In Tawas MI, where my mom finally received City water--as their whole area had awful well water, the $8,000 tab was added to their taxes to either be paid outright, or over a 10 years under a 'special assessment'. Yearly interest was added. I don't know the percent that she paid in interest. This had to be paid when her house was finally sold. But was so worth it to have drinkable water come out of the tap.
For a smaller bill of $100 to $200, I do not know if that is an option, or just a bill that is 'due upon completion of repair'. You would need to talk to the town to see what you payment options are. But in Canton, if the whole tax bill is not paid by the due date, you get charged with interest and penalties/late fees.
Yes things are different in Canada. In Florida we visit with our Canadian snow bird friends, and campare notes. Nothing is perfect in either country, just different. For instance, our friends can't understand why we in the US own guns. Or why politicians campaign so long in the US, while in Canada they say campaigning is 3 months tops. That's not such a bad idea, as I got so tired of all those political adds, TV shows and phone calls.
Asphalt sidewalks are not an approved material repair, The material list is very specific about what can be used in Michigan. Sometimes patching is not approved either, you need to replace the whole sidewalk slab. Note-- the sidewalk is thicker where the driveway is located vs just the sidewalk. Please come back and tell us what happens and a general idea where you live. We all want to learn details about this.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

I lived in MI where the city would replace a slab of their sidewalk and then bill the homeowner for it.

The city I live in currently recently changed the policy of city maintenance and now expects homeowners to maintain the sidewalk (I don't follow city politics and don't know by what means this change happened) but I suspect the city is too broke to enforce it.

It doesn't sound like your sidewalk is a tripping hazard. I'd sure be perturbed.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

Much off topic but I probably misspoke when I said I would have to reconsider living south of the border full time, yes it's ridiculous to compare countries as it is to compare states or even counties in the same states. The variances can be huge.

I pride myself in having a better understanding of folks in the US, Mom is American and I have spend years down in the US living and going to college. 2 years at Youngstown State and 3 at Miami of Ohio. Own property in south Fla. Off and on for 24 years.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

There are 50 separate states and thousands of smaller political subdivisions in the USA.

There is no consistency in how things like this are handled from place to place.

One of the Virginia counties just got into trouble with allowing the sidewalk right of way to be used for using a mole to place fiber optic cables.
It turns out many of older versions of the easmet did not allow that use of the easement.

It was worded as a 'sidewalk' easement and NOT a utility easement.

All the utilities in this area are still overhead with their own separate 'easements of necessity' to feed houses in the deeds, and clearly defined 'utility easements' for the overhead lines and their poles.


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RE: slabjacking DIY?

Slabjacking requires a powerful pump and someone who knows how to use it. they are usually mounted on a large truck . IMO it would be foolish to try to do it yourself.


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