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Question DetailsAsked on 11/1/2015

What is the best way to level concrete steps in order to repair adjacent front of home walkway.

the tree is on the city property and has slightly cracked the sidewalk in the direction that one side of the concrete steps has been forced up 1.5 inches. Is there a way to dig down and cut away the root without damaging the stairs in order to make the stairs level.? Alternatively could the steps be jacked up on the lower side then concrete shims placed under the bottom step to raise it up to match the height of the side currently 1.5 inches higher ?

I need to do this to prepare the connected concrete walkway which is cracked and also needs repair? As it stands repairing the walkway will look poor and uneven since he steps before it are not level.

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1 Answer


If you jack the other side up, which I would not do if these are plank or hollow steps (as opposed to solid poured concrete block), then the steps may be level from side to side but probably will tilt back toward the house - unsightly, possibly a slipping hazard, and might drain water up against the wall/foundation. May also involve jacking too high to properly match up to door sill, etc.

Better to lower the high front corner or side back to where it should be. Personally, I would cut the root at least several feet away from the steps and walk (assuming this will not kill the tree because it is one of only a couple of intact roots), then (after checking to see there are no utility lines nearby it could rip out) wrap a nylon tow strap a number of times around the cut-off root and very slowly winch or tow it out. Obviously, winching or come-along better than vehicle towing because you can see if it is pulling on the steps too or not before you do any damage.

Alternative - follow the root by digging (like with crowbar and jet nozzle on hose, watching out for basement wetting possibility) and dig to where it is just tiny rootlets and pull it out, then backfill with grout or tightly rammed / compacted 3/4" minus or 1/2" minus crushed stone to fill the hole.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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