How To Remove Sidewalk Trip Hazards

EDCO CPM8 removing sidewalk trip hazards

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 Scarifier like the EDCO CPM8. 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 Sacrifier


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

Watch how to level a sidewalk trip hazard with an EDCO CPM8 Scarifier

How To Remove Sidewalk Trip Hazards” Comments

  1. Cool article. That’s a cool machine. Usually it’s probably much better to just replace the slab.

  2. Outside of my home, we have quite a lot of cement that has risen or sunk, which has led to quite a few ridges on the concrete. I would really like to work on evening it all out so that it looks nicer and isn’t a hazard. While it would be nice to get new cement put in, I think it may be best to just get a tool like you suggest that will be easy to use and can get the concrete evened out without too much trouble!

  3. Honestly, using a Scarifier sounds like a better solution in general. In most situations, I’m not sure that it’d really be worth the time and money put into digging up a peaked concrete slab, and pouring in a new one. It’d be so much easier to just even out the surface, and leave pouring a new slab for when the issue gets too serious.

  4. Good article. I am facing a few of these issues as well..

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