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how to fix uneven sidewalk

To fix uneven sidewalks, you need to assess the problem areas and then either repair or replace the affected sections. Uneven sidewalks can pose a safety hazard and affect the aesthetics of your property.

Whether it’s due to shifting ground, weather conditions, or aging materials, addressing this issue is essential. Fixing uneven sidewalks can be done through a few simple steps. First, identify the problem areas by looking for cracks, gaps, or uneven surfaces.

Then, prepare the affected sections by removing any loose debris or vegetation. Finally, repair or replace the problematic sections using suitable materials like concrete or pavers. By following these steps, you can ensure a safe and visually appealing sidewalk for your property.

How to Fix Uneven Sidewalk: Step-by-Step Guide


Identifying The Uneven Sidewalk

When it comes to sidewalks, a smooth and level surface is essential for both safety and aesthetics. However, over time, sidewalks can become uneven due to various factors such as shifting soil, tree roots, or simply wear and tear. Identifying and fixing these uneven areas promptly is important to prevent accidents and maintain the overall integrity of the sidewalk. In this section, we will discuss how to identify an uneven sidewalk using visual inspection and leveling tools.

Visual Inspection

In order to identify an uneven sidewalk, a visual inspection is the first step. Here are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Unevenness: Walk along the sidewalk and observe any noticeable unevenness or changes in elevation. Pay attention to areas where the sidewalk may be higher or lower than the surrounding sections.
  2. Cracks and Gaps: Look for cracks or gaps in the sidewalk surface. These may indicate underlying unevenness.
  3. Drainage Issues: Check for pooling water or signs of poor drainage, as these can lead to unevenness over time.
  4. Visible Trip Hazards: Keep an eye out for any trip hazards, such as raised edges or sunken sections of the sidewalk.

If you notice any of these signs during your visual inspection, it’s likely that your sidewalk is uneven and in need of repair.

Using A Leveling Tool

While a visual inspection can give you a general idea of the uneven areas, it’s important to get precise measurements using a leveling tool. Here’s how you can approach this:

  1. Gather the Tools: To begin, gather the necessary tools, including a long straightedge, a measuring tape or ruler, and a level.
  2. Prepare the Sidewalk Surface: Clean off any debris or loose materials from the sidewalk surface to ensure accurate measurements.
  3. Place the Straightedge: Position the straightedge across the suspected uneven area, making sure it spans the entire width of the sidewalk.
  4. Check for Gaps: Using the level, check if there are any gaps between the straightedge and the sidewalk surface. If there are gaps, it indicates an uneven section.
  5. Take Measurements: Use the measuring tape or ruler to measure the height difference between the straightedge and the sidewalk surface. This will help determine the extent of the unevenness.

By using a leveling tool, you can accurately assess the severity of the unevenness and pinpoint the specific areas that require repair.

Preparing For The Repair

Before you can fix an uneven sidewalk, it is important to prepare for the repair to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. This involves gathering the necessary tools and materials, as well as taking the necessary safety measures. By following these steps, you can tackle the uneven sidewalk problem effectively and efficiently.

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials

To begin preparing for the repair, it is crucial to gather all the tools and materials you will need. Here are the essential items you should have at hand:

  • Concrete mix
  • Wheelbarrow or mixing tub
  • Shovel or garden trowel
  • Broom or brush
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Wooden forms or stakes
  • Hammer
  • Protective eyewear and gloves

Make sure all the tools are clean, in good condition, and easily accessible before starting the repair.

Ensuring Safety Measures

When working on any home improvement project, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some important safety measures to consider:

  1. Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from any potential hazards.
  2. Make sure the work area is clear of any obstacles or debris that could cause accidents or hinder progress.
  3. Stay aware of your surroundings and avoid working near busy roads or areas with heavy foot traffic.
  4. Use caution when lifting heavy objects or using power tools to prevent injuries.
  5. If necessary, enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist you with the repair.

By following these safety measures, you can minimize the risk of accidents and ensure a safe repair process.

Lifting And Leveling The Sidewalk

Fixing an uneven sidewalk can be achieved by lifting and leveling the surface. This process involves using specialized equipment to raise the sunken areas and make the sidewalk safe and level for pedestrians.

Preparation And Cleaning

Before you start lifting and leveling the sidewalk, it is important to prepare and clean the area. Here’s what you need to do: 1. Clear the area: Remove any debris, plants, or objects obstructing the sidewalk. 2. Power wash the surface: Use a pressure washer to remove dirt, grime, and any loose or cracked concrete. Cleaning the sidewalk thoroughly will ensure proper adhesion of the leveling compound. 3. Fill cracks and gaps: If you notice any cracks or gaps, use a concrete patching compound to fill them. Spread the compound evenly and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step. 4. Sweep the area: Once you have completed the above steps, sweep the sidewalk to remove any remaining dirt or debris. A clean surface will ensure a smooth application of the leveling compound.

Mixing And Applying The Leveling Compound

Now that you have prepared the sidewalk, it’s time to mix and apply the leveling compound. Follow these steps: 1. Get the right leveling compound: Choose a high-quality leveling compound suitable for outdoor use. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper mixing ratios and application techniques. 2. Mix the compound: In a clean container, combine the leveling compound with water as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a stirring stick to mix it thoroughly until you achieve a smooth consistency. 3. Apply the compound: Start applying the leveling compound to the lowest areas of the sidewalk using a trowel or squeegee. Spread it evenly, making sure to fill all the depressions. Work methodically and cover the entire uneven surface. 4. Allow it to dry: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the drying time. Typically, it takes a few hours for the leveling compound to dry and cure. Avoid walking on the repaired area until it is completely dry.

Using Jacks To Lift The Sidewalk

If the unevenness of the sidewalk is due to settling or sinking, using jacks can help lift the concrete. Here’s how: 1. Assess the situation: Determine where the major sinking or unevenness occurs on the sidewalk. This will guide you in deciding where to place the jacks. 2. Place the jacks: Position hydraulic jacks strategically along the uneven areas of the sidewalk. Ensure they are stable and secure before proceeding. 3. Start lifting: Carefully activate the jacks to lift the concrete evenly and gradually. Work slowly to prevent any sudden movements that could cause further damage. 4. Monitor the progress: As the jacks lift the sidewalk, keep a close eye on the levelness. Use a level tool to check if the surface is becoming more even. Adjust the jacks as needed to ensure a uniform lift.

Adjusting And Leveling The Sidewalk

After lifting the sidewalk, it’s time to make further adjustments and achieve a level surface. Follow these steps: 1. Remove the jacks: Once you have achieved the desired lift, carefully remove the jacks, one at a time, while keeping an eye on the levelness of the sidewalk. 2. Install leveling shims: If necessary, place leveling shims or spacers under the lifted portion of the sidewalk to maintain its height and prevent future sinking. 3. Check for levelness: Use a level tool to verify that the sidewalk is level. Adjust the shims as needed until the entire surface is even and flat. 4. Fill gaps and cracks: If any gaps or cracks appear during the lifting process, fill them with a concrete patching compound. Smooth it out to blend seamlessly with the surrounding area. By following these steps, you can successfully lift and level an uneven sidewalk, enhancing both its appearance and safety. Remember to take the necessary precautions, such as wearing protective gear and working in a well-ventilated area, throughout the process. With a little effort and attention to detail, your sidewalk will regain its functionality and charm.
How to Fix Uneven Sidewalk: Step-by-Step Guide


Filling Cracks And Repairing Damage

Cracks and damage on your sidewalk can not only be unsightly but also pose a safety hazard. Fortunately, with the right approach, you can easily fix these issues and restore the appearance and functionality of your sidewalk. In this section, we will guide you through the process of filling cracks and repairing damaged sections, ensuring a smooth and sturdy surface.

Cleaning And Preparing The Cracks

Before you can start filling the cracks, it is crucial to clean and prepare the affected areas properly. Follow these steps to ensure the crack filler adheres effectively:

  1. Start by removing any loose debris or vegetation using a stiff brush or a scraper.
  2. Thoroughly clean the crack by rinsing it with a high-pressure hose, ensuring all dirt, dust, and loose particles are washed away.
  3. If there is any stubborn grime or vegetation growth, use a mild detergent or a weed killer to remove it, ensuring to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Once cleaned, allow the crack to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Applying Crack Filler

Now that the cracks are clean and prepared, it’s time to apply the crack filler. Follow these steps for a smooth and durable repair:

  1. Choose a suitable crack filler product that matches the depth and width of the crack. You can find a variety of crack fillers available at your local hardware store.
  2. Wearing protective gloves, open the crack filler container and carefully pour it into the crack, filling it slightly above the surface.
  3. Use a putty knife or a trowel to smoothen out the filler, ensuring it is level with the surrounding sidewalk.
  4. Allow the crack filler to dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually takes a few hours.
  5. Inspect the repaired crack, and if necessary, apply a second coat of filler to ensure a seamless finish.

Repairing Damaged Sections

For larger areas of damage, such as potholes or broken sections, a different approach is required. Follow these steps to repair the damaged sections effectively:

  1. Start by removing any loose debris or broken pieces from the damaged area, using a chisel or a jackhammer if necessary.
  2. Once the damaged section is cleared, clean the area thoroughly with a high-pressure hose to remove any remaining debris.
  3. If there are any cracks within the damaged section, follow the steps mentioned earlier to clean and prepare them before proceeding.
  4. Prepare a concrete mix following the instructions provided on the packaging.
  5. Apply the concrete mix in layers, ensuring each layer is compacted and leveled properly.
  6. Smooth out the repaired section with a trowel, making it blend seamlessly with the existing concrete.
  7. Allow the repaired section to cure and dry as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Finishing The Repair

Learn how to fix uneven sidewalks with these simple steps. From assessing the damage to applying the proper repairs, this guide will help you achieve a smooth and safe walkway in no time.

Smoothing And Troweling The Surface

Once you have successfully leveled your uneven sidewalk, the next step in finishing the repair is to smooth and trowel the surface. Smoothing the surface ensures that there are no lumps or bumps, providing a seamless appearance to your newly repaired sidewalk.

To begin, use a small handheld trowel to smooth out any rough or uneven areas. Gently press the trowel onto the surface and move it back and forth in a sweeping motion. By applying light pressure, you can level the concrete and create an even and polished finish.

Continue working your way across the entire repaired section, smoothing out any imperfections you encounter along the way. Pay attention to the edges of the sidewalk, as these areas are often prone to roughness.

Allowing The Repair To Cure

After you have smoothed the surface, it is crucial to allow the repair to cure properly. Curing is an essential step in the repair process as it ensures the concrete reaches its maximum strength and durability. Allow the repaired section to cure for at least 24 hours before subjecting it to foot traffic or other pressures.

During this curing period, it is important to protect the repair from exposure to extreme temperatures, moisture, and heavy objects. Cover the repaired section with plastic sheeting or a tarp to prevent any damage or contamination that could compromise the integrity of the sidewalk.

Remember, patience is key during this stage. Rushing the curing process can lead to subpar results and may necessitate future repairs.

Sealing And Protecting The Sidewalk

Once the repaired section has fully cured, it is advisable to seal and protect your sidewalk. Sealing the surface helps to prevent moisture ingress, inhibits the growth of weeds, and enhances the overall appearance of your sidewalk.

Before applying the sealer, ensure that the surface is clean and free from any debris or loose particles. Use a broom or a blower to remove any dirt or dust. Additionally, if you notice any cracks or small gaps, fill them in using a concrete crack filler.

Next, choose a high-quality concrete sealer that suits your needs. There are various types available, including acrylic sealers, penetrating sealers, and epoxy coatings. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application, considering factors such as weather conditions and drying time.

Using a paint roller or sprayer, apply an even coat of sealer to the entire surface of the sidewalk. Ensure that the sealer penetrates the concrete for optimal protection. Once applied, allow the sealer to dry completely before allowing foot traffic.

How to Fix Uneven Sidewalk: Step-by-Step Guide


Frequently Asked Questions For How To Fix Uneven Sidewalk

Q: What Causes Uneven Sidewalks?

A: Uneven sidewalks can be caused by various factors such as tree roots, soil erosion, settling, and weather conditions. These factors can lead to sections of the sidewalk sinking or heaving, creating an uneven surface that poses a safety risk.

Regular maintenance and repairs can prevent further damage to sidewalks.

Q: How Can I Fix An Uneven Sidewalk?

A: Fixing an uneven sidewalk depends on the extent of the damage. Small cracks can be repaired using patching materials, while larger sections may require replacement. Ground leveling techniques, such as mudjacking or slab jacking, can also help to lift and stabilize sunken portions of the sidewalk.

Hiring a professional contractor is recommended for complex repairs.

Q: Are There Any Diy Methods To Fix Uneven Sidewalks?

A: While minor repairs like filling cracks can be done as a DIY project, fixing significant issues with uneven sidewalks should be left to the professionals. DIY methods may not provide a long-lasting solution and could potentially worsen the problem.

Hiring an experienced contractor ensures proper assessment, use of quality materials, and adherence to safety standards.

Q: Can An Uneven Sidewalk Be A Safety Hazard?

A: Yes, an uneven sidewalk can pose a safety hazard. Uneven surfaces can cause trips and falls, especially for elderly individuals or those with mobility issues. Cracked or heaved sections may also damage footwear or cause accidents. Regularly inspecting and repairing sidewalks is crucial in preventing injuries and liability for property owners.


Fixing an uneven sidewalk is essential for maintaining safety and improving the overall appearance of your property. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can successfully repair and level any uneven sections. Remember to use the proper tools, materials, and techniques for a long-lasting and durable result.

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. With the right approach, your sidewalk will be smooth and even, enhancing both your curb appeal and the safety of those who walk on it.