Trip Hazard Grinding
On walkways made from concrete or asphalt, cracks and other defects can produce a serious tripping hazard for passing pedestrians. In turn, if an accident occurs on property for which you have legal responsibility, you may end up facing a court action that drains away precious financial resources. And even in the absence of an accident, failure to correct an uneven pedestrian surface can leave you in violation of federal access laws. Fortunately, you can eliminate tripping risks and ensure legal compliance with a simple concrete or asphalt grinding procedure.
In Orange County, greater Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, Garrett Concrete Coring and Sawing is the trusted resource for top-notch grinding of pedestrian surfaces. Our precise, efficient and affordable work helps you correct tripping hazards before any mishaps can occur. We’ll also help make sure that you remain in compliance with current federal and local regulations.
What Constitutes a Tripping Hazard?
Any abrupt changes in the elevation of a concrete or asphalt surface can increase the chances that a pedestrian will trip and fall. However, there are also official definitions of what constitutes a tripping hazard. One of these definitions comes from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a piece of federal legislation that prohibits discrimination against anyone affected by a disability. Under ADA guidelines, no sidewalk or public driveway can have a crack or joint that reaches a quarter inch or more in height. These guidelines also state that all sidewalks and public driveways must have a maximum slope/height ratio of 12:1.
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a separate guideline for housing under its jurisdiction. This guideline states that no piece of pavement can have a crack or abrupt rise of ¾ inch or more. No matter the setting, anyone who trips on uneven concrete or asphalt could potentially sue the party responsible for maintaining that surface. Failure to meet ADA standards can also lead to a federal proceeding called a Title III lawsuit. Failure to meet HUD standards can lead to an unsatisfactory score on the agency’s REAC inspection proceeding.
Grinding Vs. Other Methods
Grinding is not the only method of correcting trip hazards. Other options include concrete/asphalt replacement and a process called mudjacking, which calls for the insertion of grout under a low section of concrete. Each of these options has drawbacks that don’t apply to grinding procedures. For example, replacement requires the demolition of the existing material, followed by the installation of new material. Mudjacking is less wasteful, but still takes a relatively long time to complete.
On highly uneven surfaces, concrete grinding is often a two-stage process. During the first stage, a machine called a surface planer or scarifier eats away most of the material by beating it with high-speed cutting wheels known as flails. Once the material is near the desired height, a second machine called a concrete grinder takes over. This grinder smooths out the surface by “sanding” it with wheels or discs embedded with heavy-duty silicon carbide or industrial diamonds. Correction of a slightly uneven surface may require nothing more than a concrete grinder.
When used to correct tripping hazards, concrete grinding is a precision job. To meet ADA standards, the finished work must not exceed the mandated 12:1 slope/height ratio. This means that grinding procedures are better left to professionals who understand the task at hand and possess the skill needed to produce the desired results. An untrained or inexperienced operator can easily fail to do a satisfactory job, and may even make the situation worse.
At Garrett, we perform professional concrete grinding that meets the stringent requirements set by federal law. On every job, our trained, experienced operators begin by assessing the situation and making an appropriate plan of action. Next, we use our high-quality equipment to make the needed elevation changes. Specific problems we can address include:
- Buckled or broken concrete
- Cracked sidewalks
- Gaps between concrete slabs
- Gaps between a slab and its adjoining section of curb
When our work is complete, you’ll have a repaired surface that poses no tripping hazard to pedestrians or other passerby.
Like concrete surfaces, asphalt surfaces can create significant tripping hazards when they crack, split or degrade in other ways. The first stage of asphalt grinding requires the use of a specialized machine equipped with a cylinder or drum that rotates at high speed. Hardened teeth on the rotating drum scour the damaged surface to a precisely set depth, and the unwanted material is cleared away. Next, an asphalt patch is installed at the appropriate slope/height ratio. Standalone grinding machines can tackle problems that affect large sections of material. Smaller jobs can be handled with grinding attachments mounted on bobcats, front-end loaders or other machinery.
Correction of a tripping hazard may call for the use of partial- or full-depth asphalt grinding. During a partial-depth procedure, only the upper layer of material (i.e., the overlay) is removed. During a full-depth procedure, all asphalt is removed from the targeted location. Partial-depth work will address relatively minor flaws that don’t extend to the deeper layers of material. Full-depth work can correct even severe flaws.
Like concrete grinding, asphalt grinding is not a job for inexperienced personnel. Without the proper training and experience, a person operating a standalone machine or portable attachment can cause considerable damage to an asphalt surface. Experts in this field take the time to assess each individual situation, develop an appropriate plan and carry out an accurate partial- or full-depth procedure. When utilized properly, this professional approach ensures the elimination of tripping hazards while avoiding the potential for introducing new problems.
The experts at Garrett are time-tested asphalt grinding experts. Our work begins with a thorough assessment that allows us to determine the best approach to correcting the targeted hazard. Next, we’ll proceed with a full- or partial-depth procedure that provides a lasting solution to the problem. We finish the job with a thorough cleanup of the waste material and the installation of a new asphalt patch or surface.
Your Choice for Efficient Correction of Tripping Hazards
Over four decades of continuous operation, family-owned Garrett Concrete Coring and Sawing has developed a sterling reputation for quality work, technological innovation and cost-conscious pricing. From our home base in Huntington Beach, we address tripping hazards in concrete and asphalt surfaces throughout greater Orange County. We also serve homeowners and businesses in Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. Whether the job is large or small, you can rely on our courteous expertise. Call today to make an appointment or gather more information.