Concrete Curb and Gutter Replacement
The next time you’re walking down your local sidewalk or parking lot, take a look at the concrete around you. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that it’s not all right angles and hard edges but different slopes, shapes, and thicknesses.
You can’t dump modern pavement in an area and hope that everything works out – there’s math and engineering at play to keep water away from your lot and your visitors happy. Modern pavement contractors use a system of curbs and gutters to flush away rain and keep your pavement high and dry. One of the best tools to achieve these engineered curbs and gutters is through concrete forms.
Colorado Pavement Solutions (CPS) wants to teach you about concrete curb and gutter replacement including the importance of forms and why contractors must cut back so much previous pavement to install new curbs or slopes. With a little information on how curbs and gutters are formed you’ll be much more appreciative of their purpose.
Importance of Proper Curbs and Gutters
An expertly installed curb or gutter has many more uses than simply separating roadway from sidewalk. They’re also necessary to:
- Flush away water and debris to drains
- Discourage drivers from parking on sidewalks and lawns
- Provide structural support to existing pavement
- Provide aesthetic accents to existing pavement
Why Do You Have to Cut Your Asphalt Back?
One of the most common questions CPS is asked during curb and gutter work is “Why do you have to cut it back so much?” We get the questions. The more pavement we tear out, the more in materials and labor your job will cost.
Luckily for our customers we don’t clean and take all that pavement out because we want to charge you more, we must clear the right amount out to get the job done correctly.
For the perfect curb and gutter, you need the perfect concrete form, and that form needs room to do its job. The extra space that’s cut back is to make room for our forms which can admittedly look bulky but are necessary to form things the right way.
Without forming, it’s difficult to get proper slopes, drainage, and even edges that make for both an aesthetically pleasing and practical project. The pavement needs to be cut back to make room for the form but how much do we normally cut?
How Much Asphalt Do You Have to Cut Back?
Traditionally, CPS needs to cut back two feet of existing asphalt or concrete to make room for our concrete curb and gutter forms. We utilize several types of forms depending on the project and in many cases will build portions or your entire form onsite for the unique job. Most gutter and curb projects require plenty of space for forms, but we will always do our best to conserve as much existing material as possible.
More About Concrete Forms
In simplest terms, concrete forms are structures built to hold concrete in place until it hardens but there’s more to them that. There are a few different types of forms utilized by CPS including:
- Wood forms – One of the more basic forms but useful for several applications. CPS utilizes a traditional wood and stake form for many curb and gutter replacements. Wood is available, inexpensive, and practical for several types of foundation and curb forms. Depending on your project CPS will make forms onsite or use existing curb forms that match your project.
- Metal forms – Like wood, metal is readily available and while it’s more expensive than wood, it’s also stronger. Most curb and gutter work don’t require the strength of metal forms.
- Plastic Molds – Plastic is cheap but it’s also flimsy. Plastic is used in several types of concrete forms but normally smaller or detailed projects and not in gutter work.
Failure to Form
What happens if you don’t cut enough pavement back or don’t build your form correctly? Very bad things. An improperly formed gutter or curb will age quickly and not channel water like it’s supposed to. You might want to hire the lowest bidder for curb and gutter work, but you’ll be paying much more when you have to replace the curb or gutter again only a few months after it was installed.
Talking to CPS About Curbs and Gutters
CPS has been expertly designing, preparing, and pouring asphalt and concrete for many years and know the unique form and curb requirements for Colorado projects. It’s tough to learn about the benefits of professionally formed curbs and gutters in one article, so call CPS today to see what we can do for your commercial project.
We’ve laid down sprawling commercial parking lots to residential sidewalks and can match you to the right material and right price. If you’re ready to get your project started don’t wait until the summer rush, call CPS today to get started.