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Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

(OP)
Hello all,

It's been a long time since I've been on this forum, but I'm back with a question outside my area of expertise. I own an old building along a street which is being completely rebuilt. The sidewalks are 6' wide concrete and have an expansion joint ~2-8" from the foundation of the buildings. The company doing the work says that joint isn't necessary and that it increases water infiltration to the foundations so we are better off without it.

Most of the buildings on this street are 100-170 years old and have limestone foundations. I worry that, without the expansion joint, we're more likely to stress and damage these old foundations, but this isn't my area at all. Anyone have some insight on what the best practice would be here?

Oh, this is in Wisconsin, so we get very col and very hot temperatures.

RE: Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

Do the sidewalks slope away from the building?

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

(OP)
Yes, slightly. There aren't any major issues with water pooling on the building side of the sidewalk. The street itself is relatively steep so it drains fairly well.

RE: Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

I'd probably like to see sawcuts at about 10' o/c and cut at the right time... about 4 hrs after finishing.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

Old downtown city buildings sometimes had their basement extend out beyond the face of the building toward the street. You might want to verify that this isn't an EJ between a structural slab (over the portion of the basement sticking out) and the on-grade sidewalk beyond the basement.

RE: Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

Just to be clear, I assume that by "expansion joint", we're talking about a 1/2" thick or so compressible material like asphalt impregnated board. If so, I'd be inclined to have it installed to act more like a bond breaker and prevent the plastic sidewalk concrete from physically bonding to the building. This would mitigate any frost heave effects between the sidewalk and building. I don't buy the argument that the presence of an expansion joint increases water infiltration to the building unless the case is as JAE describes (we call basements that extend under the sidewalk "areaways" around here)

RE: Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

(OP)
I'm not certain it's true for every building, but as far as I know the basements do not extend under the sidewalks. You hit on my main concern in that last post: that the sidewalk will be bonded to the foundation and either settling or frost heaving of the sidewalk will apply a torque the the foundations.

RE: Concrete Sidewalk Expansion Joint question

If you have frost or settlement issues, I'd not connect them. I'd deal with entrances and tripping hazards as a separate issue.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

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