Wood 2 X 4 Control Joints In Concrete Walks, Drives and Patios

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Published: May 22, 2014 Last Updated: December 24, 2015

Wood 2 x 4’s are often used as control joints in concrete and for architectural appearances. Overtime these wood joints will usually warp, rot and shift about creating trip hazards and a maintenance issue.

The biggest reason this happens is due to mother nature; rain, ice, snow and hot sunny days will take its toll on these wood joints. Even constantly washing down your patios, drives and walks will contribute to the deterioration. Sprinkler systems wetting them every day likewise contributes to the problem.

Homes in areas that have expansive clay type soils will also experience the wood control joints shifting out of place and the concrete to move.

Wood control joint in concrete walk, drive or patio

Safety concerns

When all or a piece of a wood control joint is sticking up it creates a trip hazard for you, your family as well as for visiting guest. Even if there is nothing sticking up a gap where the wood has been removed or rotted out creates a trip hazard.

Repair options

  1. Occasionally you can push or hammer down the piece of wood sticking up, however this usually does not solve the problem for long. Generally, it’s just a temporary fix.
  2. Remove the wood pieces and replace them with new ones. This sounds easy but when you go to do it, you’ll normally find it very difficult. The replacement piece will usually be a little too big or a little too small and not fit properly. Another complication is that the old pieces of wood in the joints may have had nails driven into their sides before the concrete was poured to help prevent them from shifting out of position later. These nails deteriorate or rust off, but not evenly and make replacing an old piece of wood difficult.
  3. Fill the empty gaps with filler material. Many homeowners find filling the gaps between the concrete sections where the wood control joints have been removed with dirt, sod, sand, pea gravel or other materials is easier and works well.
Who to consult? Handymen and landscapers.

Home owners are usually very good at repairing or replacing wood 2×4 dividers or control joints. Also, most handymen and landscapers can handle this type of job.

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