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Extreme Weather and Its Effects on Sidewalk Durability

Slate sidewalk

The coolest and warmest temperatures in New York City this year were 8 °F (-13 °F) and 97 °F (36 °F). Also, 46.6 inches of rain fell this year. This shows that people who live in New York City are used to bad weather. You must have been through all kinds of weather, from very hot summers to very cold winters. There is no doubt that these bad weather conditions caused a lot of damage to both people and their surroundings. In this case, it may be difficult to protect your sidewalks and driveways from weather damage. However, by taking preventative steps, you can save the internal surfaces of your property. The professionals at Sidewalk Repair in Queens are here to help you protect your concrete buildings by giving you great tips and tricks for professional sidewalk care. After reading this, you will be ready for any kind of weather in New York City.

How Does Queens' Weather Affect the Sidewalks?

There are so many reasons why concrete surfaces might deteriorate. These damages might occur because of harsh weather conditions like excessive sunlight, rain or snowfall. Other reasons for driveway damage can be water pooling, poor drainage, the use of low-quality material, or the amount of time given to the concrete for healing before sealing it.

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat can make the concrete hard. The extra pressure can cause the concrete to crack if the expansion joints between two sidewalk slabs of concrete do not have enough room.
The same thing can happen to the surface of concrete if the UV index is high. The surface can become discolored and have small cracks and soft spots.

Severe Cold

If it gets cold, the concrete might shrink and crack. Similarly, the freeze-thaw cycle is often to blame for sidewalk damage in the winter if there is water in the soil below the concrete surface.
Using strong deicing salts during the snowy season can cause cracks, holes, and other problems with the appearance of the concrete.

Dry and Moist Weather

How fast water evaporates from concrete depends on how humid the air is. When there is not much water in the air, the concrete may dry out quickly and get cracks from shrinkage.
The same thing can happen with high humidity and very high temperatures: concrete can take longer to cure, and this may change how the surface looks in the end.

Rainy Weather

Concrete poured during monsoon weather can cause the concrete to break because the mixture can become too watery because of the continuous rainfall.
Additionally, heavy rain might damage the cement paste and leave marks on the concrete. In general, it is best not to pour concrete when it is raining because of this.

Why is Weather a Challenge for Sidewalk Maintenance In Queens?

While it is challenging to maintain NYC's sidewalks, the city's unpredictable weather is a bigger challenge than the volume of foot traffic. New York City experiences dramatic weather changes in a matter of hours, ranging from scorching summer heat waves to unforeseen rainfalls. Not only does this unpredictability create havoc on the city's walkways, but it also ruins plans for the day.
Heat waves have the potential to expand and break concrete, while severe rainfalls may wash away the sand and gravel that stabilize the sidewalk, leading to erosion and potholes. Frequent temperature variations may cause a phenomenon called "freeze-thaw cycles," in which water seeps into tiny pavement cracks, freezes, and then expands to cause more damage.
While foot traffic and general wear and tear do play a role in sidewalk deterioration, weather-related issues pose the most threats. By hiring a local sidewalk repair contractor in Queens, you can get rid of all sidewalk related problems.

How Does Cold Weather Affect the Sidewalk?

Extreme cold, a lot of snow, and ice conditions can cause sidewalk degradation. The concrete deteriorates gradually due to each of these variables, even though you may not be aware of it. The primary cause of sidewalk instability throughout the winter is the freeze-thaw cycle. In general, you need to know how to correct any sidewalk gaps that let water sink through so that the water does not build up in the soil. This water freezes in the winter and could start a freeze-thaw cycle. Uneven surfaces and disturbed soil are possible consequences of repeated freezing and thawing cycles.

Can Water Flooding Harm a Foundation?

Rain and flooding might pose major risks to the sidewalks' stability. Rain can penetrate the earth and moisten the dirt that lies beneath pavements. The soil can get overly damp and lose its solidity. This occurs as a result of:

  • Water causes structural disruption by stabilizing and releasing the soil.
  • This could eventually cause the soil beneath the walkways to deteriorate.
  • In addition, voids caused by soil erosion may cause the pavement to collapse, sink, or crack.

Preventive Measures

You should take certain preventative measures to ensure that they last as long as possible because of the potential consequences that severe weather can have on sidewalks.

  • Regularly inspect the sidewalks for any issues such as discoloration, potholes, cracks, sinking, or drainage issues.
  • To keep your concrete sidewalks sealed and resurfaced, use routine maintenance services.
  • Use eco-friendly de-icing salts during snow removal to avoid causing substantial damage to sidewalks.
  • Put in rain barrels to stop rainfall from eroding the soil.
  • Trees near walkways can help absorb water and store soil moisture.


As you can see, the weather has a big impact on sidewalk functionality in New York City. Any time of year, from the scorching summer sun to the persistent winter rains and snowstorms, can damage your walkways. We believe that by understanding the effects of each season, you will be better able to prevent damage to your sidewalks in the future.

Contact Us

If you are looking for professional sidewalk repair contractor to identify the correct materials for your sidewalk repair needs in the Queens area, please call us today at 718-544-6411 or complete our online consultation form.