How to break and remove concrete

Concrete removal is normally a task left to the professionals, but a DIY concrete removal is an option depending on the size and thickness of the slab. If you’re planning to complete the concrete removal yourself, there are a few steps you should follow. Here’s how to break and remove concrete:

What you’ll need

You can’t start your concrete removal project without the right tools. There are a few things that you will need, among the most necessary are bolt cutters, prybars, a sledgehammer, a shovel and a wheelbarrow. In terms of safety equipment, goggles, gloves, a dust mask, steel-toed boots and hearing protection. Once you have all this equipment, and any optional extras, you may begin to break and remove the concrete.

The steps

Step 1: dig a hole to create space under the area where you’re working. This step is not always possible to complete, especially if the concrete in question is surrounded by other concrete slabs. However, if you have the opportunity, create a hole as this makes the breaking process much easier.

Step 2: use your sledgehammer to break the concrete. The trick for quickly and easily breaking the concrete without overexerting yourself is to swing the hammer from your shoulder and let the force of the fall do the work for you. If you have a plastic sheet, lay it over the concrete to prevent broken pieces of concrete from flying into you. During this step you may also be required to use bolt cutters to cut the concrete reinforcement, though it should be noted that these cutters will only cut thin wires.

Step 3: pull apart the broken concrete pieces. Use the prybar to pull pieces apart and then shovel them into the wheelbarrow. If you are struggling to pull pieces apart, continue breaking them with the sledgehammer.

Step 4: the final step of the process is to dispose of the concrete appropriately.

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