There’s some uneven concrete around your home, commercial property, or business. It doesn’t look so bad. It could be a tripping hazard, but is it that big a deal? Do you really need to fix it?
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have fixed many sunken concrete tripping hazards around Brazos Valley businesses, schools, churches, and homes since 1985. We’re more aware than most of how uneven concrete can create risk and injury, and it’s not just because my last name is Tripp . . .
I own a business and am responsible for the safety of people and building spaces. I am a family man with both aging parents and kids that can get hurt if surfaces are uneven. I’m also a former Army Aviator and safety officer routinely charged with identifying and mitigating risk. It’s like I’m practically *made* to write this article.
This article will discuss the important reasons to correct tripping hazards around your home or other property. Then we will offer options to repair these concrete issues and how to decide which is the best for your situation.
5 Good Reasons to Fix Tripping Hazards Around Any Property
Misaligned sidewalks, wonky driveways, and crooked concrete are certainly not attractive. Sunken and uneven surfaces around a home or business make things look unkempt. But more than just being sloppy, tripping hazards are a safety concern that can create problems for you and others.
Concrete with unexpected unevenness puts people at risk as well as your home or business. Let’s list out the reasons to correct *trip and falls* on your property. You should eliminate concrete tripping hazards to:
- Create a safe environment,
- Avoid litigation and lawsuit risk,
- Adhere to insurance or ADA compliance rules,
- Prevent damaging complaints against your business,
- Prevent worker’s compensation claims,
- Prevent injuries to people in your care or who you care about.
Correcting tripping hazards is all about lowering risk of some kind – risk to people, risk to your livelihood, risk of legal and liability issues, risk of detrimental expenses. . .
But maybe instead of thinking about the reasons why it’s *good* to take care of tripping hazards, it might be more effective to think about all the negative things that can happen when you don’t deal with your uneven concrete. Here are some things you *don’t* want:
You don’t want people getting hurt.
You don’t want people suing you.
You don’t want people destroying your business with complaints.
You don’t want to lose insurance coverage.
You don’t want to be responsible for violations and compensations.
You can easily avoid all this *bad stuff* by correcting the issue. Rather than waiting until something awful happens because of your tripping hazards, it’s better to go ahead and take action to prevent any trips, falls, or injuries from happening in the first place.
3 Ways to Fix Concrete Tripping Hazards
Might as well bite the bullet and take care of tripping hazards before they cost you one way or another . . . Here’s another thing you probably don’t want that might motivate you even further:
You don’t want to spend more money trying to get your way out of a liability issue than you would have spent repairing your tripping hazard.
All three of these options to correct tripping hazards are likely cheaper than a lawsuit and less painful than being responsible for causing injury to someone you love. The options have different price points, so we will list them from lowest to highest cost. You can:
- Grind down the concrete,
- Raise up the concrete from below, or
- Tear the concrete out and fully replace it.
Now let’s look at them in a little more detail . . .
1. Grind Down the Concrete
Grinding down the high points of uneven concrete is super cheap and fast, but also super ugly. Depending on how much you have to grind down, you might also compromise what’s left by taking off the outer finished layer and leaving a thinner, weaker, more permeable piece of concrete behind that could crumble later.
The cost for grinding down concrete is likely just the hourly rate of whatever handyman you hire to do this for you and how long it takes them. Add in the cost of renting a grinding machine too.
2. Raise Up the Concrete From Below
Raising sunken concrete from below is a mid-priced remedy for tripping hazards. Concrete that is otherwise in good shape can be leveled back up by a couple of common concrete slab jacking methods: polyjacking and mud jacking.
The poly method injects a chemical high-density polyurethane foam under the sunken slab. Mud jacking uses a slurry mixture of more natural materials to return the concrete in question to its original elevation.
Check out “Mud Jacking vs. Polyjacking Concrete Repair (Cost, Materials, Features)” for a deeper comparison of these methods including estimated pricing. Employing one of these concrete raising methods is about a third of the price of full replacement.
3. Tear the Concrete Out and Fully Replace It
If looks are important and you don’t mind the amount of time and mess it takes, removing and replacing the tripping hazard concrete with new stuff could be for you. Removing imperfect concrete and pouring new surfaces is by far the most expensive option.
Some might not mind the higher price, but you might object to the much longer timelines and inaccessible construction zone it creates. When you have people who need to go in and out of a property you manage or depend on daily foot traffic for a business, this might be a big consideration.
If you would lose the use of your driveway and garage for weeks, it might or might not be worth it either depending on what’s going on in your life at the moment.
But if you’ve got lots of money and time and the mess won’t be a big issue, then feel free to take on the process of fully replacing exterior concrete with something new.
Also, check out the “Cost of Concrete Repair: Mud Jacking vs. Removal and Replacement” to compare the prices of these repair options for more perspective.
Which Option Is Best for Correcting Your Trip Hazards?
The best option for correcting tripping hazards will depend on your situation. You’ve got to find the most bang for your buck in terms of both time and expense along with consideration of *the inconvenience factor*.
There’s downtime where you can’t access or use the concrete in question. There’s noise and construction zone disturbances. There’s an impact on business operations, customers, or your usual daily life at home.
In deciding what trip hazard correction to use, you could look at the *don’ts* here too:
- If you don’t have a lot of time, concrete grinding or raising are faster options.
- If you don’t have a lot of money, grinding or lifting are more economical.
- If you don’t want to replace otherwise good concrete, choose one of the raising options.
- If you don’t care about the end visual result, grinding is better.
- If you don’t care how much it costs or how long it takes and want it to be perfect, then full replacement is your best bet.
We Can Mud Jack to Repair Your Tripping Hazards
Now that you know tripping hazards should be fixed and ways to do it, do you want to know which mid-priced option is available in our area? There are no local companies that do any type of polyjacking here, but there is a company that does mud jacking and it’s us!
At Anchor Foundation Repair, we have used mud jacking to raise and level concrete surfaces and correct tripping hazards around hundreds of Brazos Valley homes and businesses. We know what surfaces mud jacking will work for and will be the first to tell you if there’s a more appropriate option out there for you.
Ready to learn more about mud jacking and how it is done? Check out “What Is the Process for Concrete Leveling with Mud Jacking?” next.