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Sidewalk Repair NYC - 5 Quick Ways to Fix the Uneven Sidewalk

5 Quick Ways to Fix the Uneven Sidewalk

Uneven sidewalks can be risky. They create tripping hazards, make walking difficult, and reduce the overall curb appeal of your property. These sinking or raising concrete slabs violate the maintenance rules of the Department of Transportation as well.

Fixing them is essential to maintaining the functionality and safety of the structures. But where to start? Well, before you think that the task is too difficult for you, Sidewalk Repair NYC is here with some quick and relatively easy fixes you can try.

Here are 5 solutions to make the level of your sidewalks even.

Polymeric Sand for Minor Gaps and Settling

Using polymeric sand is a great option for addressing small holes, cracks, and uneven slabs. Polymeric sand is a fine-grained sand mixed with a binding agent that hardens when exposed to water. It's easy to work with, helps prevent weeds from growing through cracks, and creates a more stable surface.

Here's how you can use it:

  • Remove any dirt or debris from the cracks or uneven areas. A wire brush or compressed air can be helpful for stubborn areas. 
  • Lightly dampen the area you will be filling with sand. 
  • Pour the polymeric sand onto the cracks, ensuring it fills all the gaps completely. 
  • Use a broom to sweep the sand into the crevices. 
  • Once filled, use a tamper or the back of your broom to compact the sand firmly. 
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how much water to apply to activate the binding agent. 
  • After the water activates the binder and the sand starts to harden, sweep away any excess that hasn't settled into the cracks. 

Concrete Patching Compound for Large Uneven Slabs

For large sinks or uneven slabs, a concrete patching compound is an efficient choice. This pre-mixed concrete solution is usually available at hardware stores and is perfect for filling gaps and leveling out sunken areas.

The process of applying the patching compound is similar to that of polymeric sand but with a few key differences. Let us have a look at it.

  • Using a chisel, hammer, or concrete saw, carefully break up the uneven concrete section.
  • Aim to create a slightly wider and deeper cavity than the actual uneven area for a secure bond. 
  • Thoroughly dampen the damaged area to ensure proper adhesion with the patching compound. 
  • Following the package instructions, mix the concrete patching compound. 
  • Fill the damaged area with the compound, ensuring it's slightly higher than the surrounding level to account for settling. 
  • Use a trowel or a flat board to smooth out the applied concrete patch, making it level with the surrounding sidewalk. 
  • Most patching compounds require a curing period. 
  • Cover the patched area with plastic sheeting to prevent it from drying too quickly, which can lead to cracks. 
  • Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for specific curing times. 

Gravel for Drainage and Stability

If the unevenness in sidewalks is because of poor drainage or low spots on your sidewalk, consider using gravel as a quick fix. While not the most aesthetically pleasing option, it can offer temporary stabilization and drainage improvement.

Here is how you can use gravel effectively:

  • Similar to patching a compound, use a shovel to remove some dirt from the low spot to create a cavity for the gravel. 
  • Before adding gravel, place a layer of landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing through the gravel and disrupting its stability. 
  • Use a well-draining gravel, like pea gravel or crushed stone, to fill the damaged area.
  • Ensure the gravel slopes slightly away from any structures or buildings to promote proper drainage. 
  • Use a tamper or a compactor to compact the gravel, creating a firm and stable base. 
  • This is a temporary solution and may not be suitable for most of the sidewalks. 
  • Additionally, be mindful of local regulations regarding gravel use on sidewalks before implementing this fix.

Sidewalk Edging for Added Stability

Erosion at the edges or shifting soil can sometimes result in uneven sidewalks. Installing sidewalk edging can help prevent this and create a more defined walking path.

Here is what you need to do to install sidewalk edging.

  • Popular materials used for sidewalk edging include plastic, concrete, or metal edging.
  • Consider the overall aesthetic of your property and budget when making your choice. 
  • Use a string line and marking paint to define the desired edge of your sidewalk. 
  • Then, carefully dig a trench deep enough to accommodate the chosen edging material.
  • Following the manufacturer's instructions put the edging material into the dug trench.
  • Ensure it's level and firmly anchored in place.
  • Fill the gap between the edging and the sidewalk with compacted soil or gravel, depending on your chosen edging material and desired look.

Grinding for Stubborn Unevenness

For very uneven or raised concrete slabs, renting a concrete grinder can be an option. This power tool allows you to grind down high spots to create a more level surface. However, this method requires more expertise and safety precautions. 

It's recommended to consult a professional or rent the grinder with proper safety gear and instructions if you are unfamiliar with its operation. 

Warning Signs and Temporary Measures

While you are working on your sidewalk fixes, safety should be your first priority. Here are some tips you can follow while fixing the uneven sidewalks yourself.

Mark Uneven Sections: Use brightly colored spray paint or cones to clearly mark uneven areas to prevent accidents. 

Put Up Signs: If the sidewalk is unusable during repairs, consider placing temporary signs that politely warn pedestrians about the ongoing work. 

Work in Sections: If the entire sidewalk needs work, tackle it in sections to minimize inconvenience for pedestrians. 


With a little effort and the right approach, you can transform your uneven sidewalk into a smooth and safe path for yourself and your guests. We hope that these repair ideas can fix your uneven sidewalks. However, keep in mind that these are quick fixes for minor sidewalk issues. For significant damage, unevenness caused by tree roots, or structural concerns, consulting a professional contractor is highly recommended.