Two things that can damage a concrete kerb
Concrete is a very durable material, which is why is it often used to construct kerbs. However, it is not completely indestructible and can deteriorate in certain circumstances. Read on to find out more about two things that often cause damage to concrete kerbing and what can be done to prevent this type of damage from occurring.
Extreme temperature fluctuations
Concrete is quite a porous material. As such, when rain falls onto concrete kerbing, some of the water will seep into the minuscule holes in the concrete. Most of the time, this is not a problem, as the water inside these holes will simply evaporate over the course of a day or two.
However, if the temperatures drop below freezing whilst the rainwater is still inside the concrete, it will turn to ice and in doing so, will expand. The pressure that this expansion puts on the concrete can lead to the kerb developing visible cracks. If these cracks are not repaired promptly by a concrete specialist, they will grow in size each time rainwater seeps into them and turns to ice.
The simplest way to prevent these cracks is to ensure that, during the final stages of the kerb construction process, a waterproof sealant is applied to the surface of the kerb, so that any rainwater which strikes the concrete will not be able to penetrate it.
Concrete kerbs that are built on tree-lined streets frequently develop large cracks and bulges. In many cases, this type of damage is caused by nearby tree roots.
The roots of a tree grow outwards when looking for water in the soil. As they do this, they disturb the ground through which they move. If there is a concrete kerb directly above them, the movement they cause as they grow through the soil can lift sections of the kerbing, creating the aforementioned bulging and cracking.
The most effective way to prevent this from happening is to cut down nearby trees before building the kerb. However, this is not always possible, as the trees may be located on a private property. In this situation, the best solution is to place root barriers underneath the ground before building the kerb; these barriers with prevent any roots that grow in the direction of the kerb from reaching and damaging it.
Adding root barriers can significantly increase the length and cost of the kerb construction process; however, the additional time and expense could help to extend the lifespan of the kerb by several years.