Removing an old unsightly concrete patio really improves the look of your yard. However, removing concrete is not a job every homeowner should tackle as a DIY project.
Breaking out concrete requires either using a jackhammer or a sledgehammer to break the slab into small enough pieces to lift and dispose of.
If you need to remove a large patio, then hire a concrete demolition service. They will come in with jackhammers and large concrete saws. The patio will be out in no time even if it is reinforced with rebar. Hiring out the job will save you a lot of time and keep you free from back pain.
However, if you want to remove a small concrete patio, then you can certainly do it yourself. Smaller patios are much less likely to contain rebar and breaking one out won't tax you too much physically.
If you do decide to demolish the patio as a DIY weekend project, then these tips will help you:
Tip: Create a Void Space Under the Concrete Slab
Most smaller patios have a slab thin enough to break with a sledgehammer. Alternatively, a home foundation or retaining wall would likely require a jackhammer because they are much thicker and harder to break.
Before you start swinging the sledgehammer at the patio, first set your garden hose next to the edge of the slab and run water under it to let the natural erosive quality of water create a void space underneath.
By intentionally introducing a void, you can hit the slab above and it will crack a lot easier than if the concrete were flush against the ground.
Tip: Break More and Lift Less
Even small chunks of concrete are heavy. Beating on the patio with a sledgehammer is hard work. The combination will make your body hurt the day after you finish this project.
Do your future self a favor and break up all the concrete into smaller pieces before removing them. Swinging the sledgehammer is easier on your back than bending over and picking up concrete chunks. So, save yourself the back strain and take a few extra swings.
And, of course, don't forget to lift the concrete pieces with your legs and not your back!
Tip: Properly and Legally Dispose of the Demolished Concrete
It is important to note the concrete waste from demolishing your patio cannot be disposed of in your household trash can or dumped in a public open space.
The appropriate and legal options are:
- reusing the concrete pieces in your yard
- renting a construction dumpster
- utilizing a local concrete recycling service
In addition, you always have the option of loading the concrete waste into your vehicle and dumping it at the local landfill.
For more information, contact a local demolition company.