When I came out to view the driveway in the following spring after the initial pour I met with the homeowners.
I looked under their bricks that are mounted on the corners of the garage and yes some joints were cracked. These decorative layers of brick are suspended by quarter inch thick pieces of angle iron. I reached under the brick to look & feel, they were completely rusted away and I could flake off inch wide pieces of rust. The inside corner of the 2 foot piece of angle iron, where the horizontal meets the vertical was completely separated for most of the length. This rust was due to the bottom of the brick sitting in water for many many years. The owner viewed the rusty broken metal.
When we took out the original driveway we found a complete swamp under the old concrete, we even had to haul out excessive amounts of mud and liquidy sand. This was pointed out to the home owner and they agreed to the extra charge for digging it out and hauling it away.
When I first quoted the owner they did not want to replace the existing sidewalk in order to save money. The existing sidewalk, at the time of quoting and the following spring, consisted of 24” paving slabs that were tilted very badly towards the garage wall, uphill from the driveway. As always I recommended they pour new concrete tight to the wall to prevent water flowing downhill and under the driveway. They didn’t want to spend the money so I highly reminded they fix the slope of the pavers and the grade around the sidewalk to prevent uphill water from flowing to the driveway and getting underneath it again. He acknowledged this at the time.
The owner did neither of these recommendations and so once again water flooded underneath their driveway. Then over the winter it froze and heaved the concrete driveway and pushing up against the 2-3” corner of brick.
Had they listened to my warnings and recommendations this would not have happened as the water would have been redirected as I instructed.
The water issue was a big deal and was discussed multiple times as there was so much of a swamp under the driveway when we removed it. The conversation of replacing the sidewalk to prevent water from getting under the driveway came up again half way thru the replacement process, they had me quote the sidewalk at this time, but again they refused and said they would deal with the sidewalk which they didn’t.
I make the same recommendations to every homeowner who has a sidewalk going uphill from the driveway, “to take it tight to the house to prevent water from getting under the driveway”.
This owner did not take that advice or repair their own sidewalk and there was an unfortunate consequence because of that.
I did say we could have lowered the corner 2” of concrete away from the brick bit tat would have looked out of place, and the owner said they would repair their sidewalk which they didn’t. Had the drainage been fixed and the angle iron not been sitting in water for so many years & rusted thru this cracked or heaved concrete would not have occurred. If water had not been directed downhill to get under the new driveway then it wouldn’t have had the ice expansion that it did.
I agreed to come back in the summer and work out some sort of arrangement and possibly add the new sidewalk if they wanted to hire us to do so. They acknowledged these items during my spring visit when I first met them to view the bricks.
It’s unfortunate but that’s why I make these recommendations.
We have dozens of ten star reviews for a reason. Every time I do a quote I go thru it in detail and discuss every point, giving a 10-15 minute lesson on concrete, the things that create issues, and the things we do to prevent them. Every client gets an in-depth assessment, education, as part of my quoting process. Even my four page flyer that I mail out covers many of these points.
This has been a learning lesson for me. For now on I will get owners to sign a waiver agreeing to the warnings and recommendations I give them that they won't listen to.
I stand behind our work but I can't be expected to replace concrete for free when the problems are the result of homeowner negligence.