Grind It. Cut It. Fix It. Sidewalk Repair

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Los Angeles tells us to “Watch our Step!”

11 May, 2010 (08:48) | Uncategorized | By: sidewalker

Pretty cool that LA is abandoning the Sidewalk Repair business to “We the People”. This is a perfect time for individual entrepreneurs to take up the challenge and provide Sidewalk Repair services to LA and every other city in America with SIDEWALK SAVERS! GRIND IT! CUT IT! FIX IT!

Questions and Answers

10 July, 2008 (10:58) | Frequently asked Questions, Tools and Methods. | By: sidewalker

Here’s a  Q & A  that I thought might be helpful to others:


Question:  “I have some trip hazards on my driveway. There are 5 sections that are raised about 1” X 6 feet long. In your  honest opinion, do you think I could even these out with the Jepson 4.5″ Grinder kit? Thank you for being honest with me.”

ANSWER:    Based on the limited information in your question, and not actually seeing the Driveway condition, I would say the 4.5″ Grinding Cup would take a longer time than you are going to be willing to spend. I personally would not hesitate to use the much more powerful 7″ Makita Angle Grinder/Sander and the 7″ Grizzly Diamond Cup along with the Dust Muzzle and suitable Dust collection Shop Vacuum to grind the edges provided that it is as you described it. I expect that, if the sections are all in good condition, without cracks, etc., you may want to consider Slab-Jacking as a method to get the sections reasonably close to being even and then using the Jepson Grinder Kit or the Makita Grinder for finishing the job and for periodic maintenance grinding.

Now, More Questions in order to refine the answer:   Are the sections uniformly offset 1″ ? Did you actually measure the Step? Is 1″ the worst step? Any Larger? A 1″ Stub Toe Trip Hazard would require that you grind a progressive 12″ long ramp if you wanted to comply with Access Board Standards (which are not really applicable to your driveway). You can check in our Manual which is at the top of our web site and then calculate and mark the actual length of ramps that you would be grinding. Again, not having seen your driveway, I would offer the following comments. The sections that you grind will be rather white in color with the aggregate (stone) showing through and looking quite nice, but different from the rest of the driveway. Power-washing will clean up the un-ground sections but they will get dirty faster than the freshly ground sections. For a more uniform color over the entire Driveway, you could use the Makita Grinder to take a Skim cut over the entire driveway. I recently did this on my patio (27′ x 15′) where I had previously ground the Stub Toe Trip Hazards but wanted a nice uniform smooth surface over the entire patio and the adjoining sidewalk. This flat grinding was a wonderful application for the Makita 7″/9″ Grinder, my 7″ Grizzly Diamond Cup, the 8″ Dust Muzzle, and my Dust collection Shop Vacuum with its triple filtration system.I hope this helps.    Now, it’s time to:  Grind It. Cut It. Fix It.Sidewalker

Who actually does the Grinding?

28 October, 2007 (17:34) | Business Opportunity, General | By: sidewalker

The answer to this question varies according to the type of property, the local ordinances, the type and severity of damage to the sidewalks, and according to the availability of Contractors who are willing to do the work. There are certainly some jobs that are not up to the minimum threshold of the jobs that local contractors are willing to do. Perhaps the best situation is where a contractor is going to be replacing several blocks so that the home-owner can award the job to the Contractor who is willing to do the additional minor defect areas at the same time for a nominal additional fee.

Concrete Contractors:

The Grinding operations are being performed by Contractors who see the Grinding operation as a kind of “Clean Up” operation to make the new sections they install blend in with and flow smoothly into the existing sidewalk panels.  Contractors also use the Grinding operation as a method to win the jobs by offering a Hybrid Repair that incorporates replacement where absolutely necessary and grinding where appropriate. 

Maintenance Departments:

Many public and private institutions have “in-house” maintenance departments to do the actual work. A Hotel Chain or shopping center could easily justify having the complete sets of Sidewalk Savers equipment on their Trucks or in their workshops. Hospitals, schools, Parks on the city, state, National level, Office Parks, even the local Law offices who want to protect themselves from themselves, all have a need to be prepared to take corrective actions to maintain their property as a safe hazard free environment.

DIY Homeowners:

There are many cases where home owners or small businesses have relatively slight stub-toe trip-hazards that need to be addressed but which do not represent enough business to attract contractors who are unable to justify the cost of setting up their equipment for the relatively small amount of work.

Sidewalk Saver Entrepreneurs:

More recently, there have been increases in people who see the Sidewalk Saver Procedures as business opportunities to fill a void where none of the above seems to fit. Regardless of the category or the goals of the particular group, the need is huge. It is spread all over the country. It will continue to need to be done wherever trees grow or freeze-thaw conditions exist or wherever ground settles. And, best of all, the workpieces can never be shipped off shore to have the grinding operations performed.

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Grind It! Cut It! Fix It! ™      


To Permit or Not to Permit? That is the question.

28 October, 2007 (17:23) | City Sidewalk Requirements., City Sidewalk Resources | By: sidewalker

Several different approaches have been adopted by differing cities with slightly different objectives. All of the cities would like to have safe sidewalks for their citizens. That is without question. But, their approaches can be significantly different.

For example, Rochester, MN has a policy stated at their web site that encourages sidewalk maintenance with no permit Fees being collected when applying to the city for a permit.

<<“Who gets the permit?
The person/contractor doing the work obtains the permit. If a contractor is hired, they must obtain the permit. If the property owner will do the work themselves, they must obtain the permit. Permits are obtained ….(from)…, Public Works at no cost. All that is needed is the address of the property and the name of the person or contractor conducting the sidewalk replacement. Permits will normally be issued while you wait.

<<“ Is grinding permitted?
Grinding is not recommended as a sidewalk replacement/repair process by the city. However, the city does not prohibit the practice with the following limitations:

·      Only panels that are raised may be ground and the limit of grinding is a maximum of 3/4” and the grinding must be adequately long across the panel. Grinding a good panel to align with a settled panel is prohibited.

·      Grinding is at the property owner’s risk. If unsuccessful, the sidewalk must be replaced.

·       No city warrantee applies to ground panels.

·      No permits or licenses are needed for grinding, however, the property owner must receive an inspection by Public Works to comply with the sidewalk replacement notice/order.

·      Since there are no written city standards for sidewalk grinding, approval of the acceptability of sidewalk grinding results is solely at the discretion of the Public Works.”>>

Other cities may focus more on “Control” and collecting Permit Fees so that, while their intentions are good, the net result may actually be that property owners do nothing rather than asking their city for permission to maintain their sidewalks. This would be one of those unintended consequences, namely preserving unsafe sidewalks rather than promoting safe procedures to assure safe passage for citizens and visitors alike.

It is advisable to check the local city officials to see what their position is concerning necessary permits and application fees required for sidewalk grinding prior to starting the job.


Grind It! Cut It! Fix It!™      


Mid West Cities move to make sidewalks safe !

28 October, 2007 (17:06) | General, Liability Avoidance, Safety | By: sidewalker

Mid west USA Cities are increasingly following the West Coast offense and implimenting the Diamond Cup grinding solution for maintaining their sidewalks.   The benefits to homeowners are obviously lower costs and the availability of a mid term solution to a problem that they are made aware of each time they shovel snow or simply walk on their own sidewalk.    Most responsible homeowners would minimize the trip hazard if only they had a low cost, convenient method for doing so.

Now, by applying the methods used for many years in California and cities like Portland, Oregon,  mid-west cities such as Columbus, OH have approved this process for at least some of the observed problems.

The benefits to cities and neighborhoods are the elimination of problems while they are small by simple periodic grinding.  Some politicians refer to this as the “Broken Window” theory – take care of the small problems and the big problems will take care of themselves.

Even the relatively steep step shown below can be made safer with a grinding operation on the left side of the raised block, although this would clearly be a temporary solution as the codes and procedures in many cities would require blocks such as these to be removed and replaced.

The Sidewalk below shows multiple trip hazards caused by a single, relatively small  tree.  In order to repair this type of a hazard, the costs would be the replacement costs for 3 perfectly good concrete sidewalk blocks.     Of course, the tree will keep growing so that in 2 or 3 years the new blocks would need to be replaced again.


Rather than waiting for the problem to get worse over time, diamond cup grinding for these blocks would require a minimal amount of work and would eliminate the Stub-Toe Trip Hazard liability for a fraction of the costs, providing a temporary reprieve for the same 2 – 3 years when additional grinding could perhaps be used or not, according to conditions and local codes.

Grind It!  Cut It!  Fix It!    


Ohio’s Mohican State Park Stub-Toe Artwork!

7 September, 2007 (11:03) | Liability Avoidance | By: sidewalker

Artisans at Ohio’s Mohican State Park Lodge parking lot have turned Stub-Toe Trip Hazards into wonderful Works of Art.   It is truly beautiful how nicely and evidently with great care the trip hazards and stairs are painted Yellow to alert visitors of the hazards.

Some of these Trip Hazards, such as the one at the top of the set of Stairs shown below, are so great that a Diamond Saw or Slab Jacking would be required to eliminate the hazard with grinding being used for fine-tuning the concrete and smoothing it out at the end of the job or for future preventative maintenance.

The following close-up picture of the Curb at the bottom of the Stairway shows how it is necessary to step up from the sidewalk to the curb and then to step down from the curb to the street.


Wouldn’t it be better and lower in cost for the State Park Lodge to simply eliminate the Trip Hazard rather than creating this wonderful artwork?

Especially since our cities in Ohio are spending tax dollars to install wheel chair ramps and requiring us to eliminate stub toe hazards on our residential sidewalks.

It does make one wonder how the City Sidewalk Police would react to residents putting yellow paint on the stub-toe trip hazards in front of their houses.  Or perhaps on the curbs which are elevated above the level of the sidewalks?     It really is not worth the effort to find out when it is so easy to simply:

Grind It!  Cut It!  and  Fix it!

Don’t Paint it!   Eliminate that Hazard.      


Smoothing the Boardwalk in San Diego, CA!

22 May, 2007 (19:26) | City Sidewalk Requirements., City Sidewalk Resources, General, Safety | By: sidewalker

On a pleasant 15-MAY-2007 afternoon walk along Mission Bay’s “Boardwalk” we had an excellent opportunity to see how well a public walkway can be maintained with the Sidewalk Savers system of Diamond Cup Grinding.     The “Boardwalk”, of course, is actually made of concrete and it is used regularly by walkers, joggers, bicyclists, skate-boarders, in-line skaters, wheelchair riders, and parents pushing baby strollers.     All of these users have one common need, a smooth walkway with no bumps or “stub-toe” trip hazards.



Here we can see an area where many hazards have been eliminated by grinding.   It is amazing to think of how many skinned and bloody young knees were avoided by this simple 20 minute correction over the past year!     The only loser in this case is the Band-Aid Business!



A pickup truck, a wagon, and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment would be enough to get started saving public walkways and park sidewalks from the threats of stub-toe trip hazard liability.    

Whether it is done by the cities themselves or by sub-contracted service providers, the ongoing maintenance is readily accomplished at a fraction of the costs of removal and replacement.      What other business offers an endless supply of fixed location workpieces to be repaired by such a simple procedure as diamond grinding?      Isn’t it time for states, counties, and cities to demand that the hazards be eliminated rather than painted with “alert orange” paint?

Grind It. Cut It. Fix It. ™

City engineers and maintenance agencies are welcome to visit  for a complete list of everything they need to get started. We look forward to hearing or reading comments on your own experiences.       


Sidewalk Repair is a Two Edged Sword.

1 April, 2007 (12:59) | Liability Avoidance | By: sidewalker

Sidewalk Repair by Diamond Grinding is a Two Edged Sword.  The Sidewalk Saver process is so simple and so inexpensive that there is quite simply no reasonable excuse for not doing it.

Imagine that some person trips on a Stub-Toe Hazard in front of your house.  During the ensuing law suit, imagine the victim’s lawyer telling the jury that the sidewalk could have been rendered safe for an expense of $50.00 but that the owner chose to keep his $50.00 and to allow the hazard to wait for an unwitting victim.

Hmmmmm,  $50.00 worth of routine maintenance to avoid a settlement of $50,000.   Meanwhile, the pictures of the victim with his arm in a sling and his upcoming knee replacement surgery remind the jury of the very real medical costs and suffering caused by the Trip Hazard.     Does the word Negligence come to mind?

Why take the risk?              Grind It. Cut It. Fix It. ™ 

The complete tools and instructions are readily available:


Eliminate Trip Hazard Liability Threats!

28 March, 2007 (14:18) | Business Opportunity, Liability Avoidance | By: sidewalker

One of the participants at the recent World of Concrete(tm) convention in Las Vegas related his personal experience with growing his parking lot repair business servicing Retail Shopping Centers in Texas.       

His “ho-hum” Crasher at the World of Concrete was:

                      “I love Liability!”  

He explained how he started a year earlier with 1 pickup truck and limited amounts of repair equipment.    By the time of the show in Jan 2007, he said he now has 8 Pickups and crews working for him to repair the pothole hazards in Retail Commercial parking lots.     His largest retail store customers can easily see enough of a reduction in Insurance Costs to pay for the maintenance and repairs that he is providing.

A pickup truck and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment would be enough to get started Saving Shopping Center Sidewalks from the threats of Stub-toe trip hazard Liability.  What other business offers an endless supply of fixed location workpieces to be repaired by such a simple procedure as diamond Grinding?

                       Grind It. Cut It. Fix It. ™

The Market Need is everywhere that there is a shopping center, a hotel or motel chain, apartments, a shopping district, a school, a park, hospital, retirement homes, residential district, etc.  The list is endless.      Existing construction businesses can use the Sidewalk Savers system for generating business during the down times in their regular construction businesses.   Others find that they can join the American Dream by starting their own business.    Either way, it is time to help eliminate those trip hazard liability threats today, and build up your own business along the way!        

Visit  for a complete list of everything you need to get started at whichever level you choose.

We look forward to hearing or reading comments on your own experiences. 

Springtime is perfect for inspecting and repairing Sidewalks.

27 March, 2007 (12:21) | Liability Avoidance, Safety | By: sidewalker

Spring Fever means it’s time for the Annual Sidewalk Safety Inspection and repair.

Just in time for all the Springtime outdoor activities, it is important for every homeowner, shopkeeper, or Apartment manager, and every City or Park Maintenance Department to perform annual Sidewalk Safety Inspections and to grind down those annoying and dangerous Stub-Toe Hazards.

Here in Ohio, it is wonderful to enjoy the first warm days of Spring as walkers, strollers, children on tricycles or walking to school, skate-boarders, bicycles, and wheel chairs get out and start moving past our homes. Today it reached 78 Degrees!

Naturally, we want neighbors and passers-by to be safe as they walk, jog, or ride past our homes and businesses. There is also the additional peace of mind that comes from preventing exposure to negligence liability claims, either personally or for our Insurance companies. An annual expenditure of less than one or two hundred dollars and/or a few hours of time can make everybody’s life a lot Smoother.

What are you doing in your Neighborhood? In your city? Please post your comments and let us know if you need help getting your city to take an active interest.

Grind It. Cut It. Fix It. ™