Surface Prep

Common Surface Preparation Question: How do I remove trip hazards from concrete sidewalks?

A trip hazard is when two concrete sidewalk slabs come to together and one has risen or lowered creating unevenness someone could trip over. This is common occurrence caused by different reasons including tree root growth, ground compaction issues, and weather.  Local government, building owners and property managers are constantly dealing with this safety issue

There are two ways to fix sidewalk trip hazards:

1.  Completely dig out the peaked slabs and add new concrete.

The entire effected area is removed to bare ground, surface is leveled and new concrete slabs are poured. This removal usually includes the two peaked slabs and the surrounding slabs.


  • Eliminates the hazard
  • Allow workers to fix problems under the concrete
  • New concrete is poured


  • Time Consuming
  • Pricey
  • Shuts down sidewalk until concrete cures

2. Use a Scarifier to level the slabs without removal.

Just the trip hazard is removed using a Scarifier like the EDCO CPM-8. The effected slabs are kept and are left with a textured, non-slip surface. The ground underneath is not serviced, but most times ground service is unnecessary.


  • Eliminates the hazard
  • Quick, Long lasting fix
  • Cost Effective
  • Easy clean up. Dust control is an option with scarifier.


  • Workers cannot fix problems under the concrete
  • Leaves a surface someone may find unappealing

Learn more about our scarifiers and how to operate them by checking out our FREE EDCOed Scarifier Track