Installing Sidewalk Shield for Effective Water Control

Water can be both a boon and a bane to urban infrastructure and landscaping. One of the prime culprits behind damaged pathways, sidewalks, foundations, basements and driveways is uncontrolled water flow in the soil. If left unchecked, this water can destabilize the ground beneath hard surfaces, causing them to crack or heave. The solution? The Sidewalk Shield – a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) barrier, primarily designed for tree root control, but with a surprising secondary benefit of blocking and redirecting water.

Benefits of Using HDPE for Water Control

Impervious to Water: HDPE, by its very nature, does not absorb water. Its dense molecular structure ensures that water doesn’t pass through, making it ideal for creating an underground barrier against uncontrolled moisture.

Highly Durable: HDPE can resist various environmental stressors, including microbial growth, rot, and many corrosive chemicals. It means that once it's installed, the barrier is going to last for years without significant wear or degradation.

Flexible yet Firm: Though HDPE has a level of rigidity, it's also flexible enough to be molded or bent as needed. This flexibility is particularly beneficial when working around existing structures or landscaping features.

Steps to Install Sidewalk Shield Vertically for Water Control

  • Assessment: Start by assessing the area you wish to protect. Identify the water's primary source and direction of flow. This will help you understand where to place the Sidewalk Shield to best redirect the water.
  • Excavation: Dig a trench deep enough to install the Sidewalk Shield vertically. The depth and width of the trench will depend on your specific requirements and the water flow's intensity.
  • Prepare the Shield: Cut the Sidewalk Shield according to the length needed. Depending on the project scale, you might need to join several sheets together, ensuring that the joints are sealed to prevent water leakage.
  • Installation: Place the Sidewalk Shield vertically in the trench. Ensure that it's deep enough to effectively block the water flow, and that the top edge is either at or just below ground level to prevent surface water from flowing over the top.
  • Backfill: Once the Sidewalk Shield is securely in place, start backfilling the trench. Ensure that the soil is packed tightly against the shield to prevent any gaps or spaces where water might seep through.
  • Monitor: After installation, monitor the area during the next rain or watering event. Check to see if the Sidewalk Shield is effectively redirecting the water as intended.

Additional Tips

  • Consider installing a drainage system in conjunction with the Sidewalk Shield to effectively channel redirected water to an appropriate outlet.
  • If joining multiple Sidewalk Shields lengths 
  • together, ensure that the joints are overlapped and sealed with an appropriate HDPE-compatible sealant.
  • Maintenance is minimal. However, periodic checks for soil erosion at the shield's base or any visible damages are a good practice.

In conclusion, while the Sidewalk Shield was designed primarily for tree root control, its HDPE composition makes it an excellent solution for underground water control. By installing it vertically, it offers urban areas an effective defense against the adverse effects of uncontrolled water flow, ensuring longer-lasting infrastructure and landscapes.

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