Best way to remove concrete patio

hovegatorSeptember 24, 2006

We have a concrete slab patio that is appproimateky 5ft x 8 ft that we need to remove. I have heard that there is some liquid that you pour into drilled holes and it breaks up the concrete. What is this called and does it work? Other option is to hit it with a sledgehammer or rent a jackhammer, right?

What would be easiest?

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5x8 is a small slab, relative to concrete. If you could pry up one edge with a digging bar and a block of wood as a fulcrum, one blow with a sledgehammer would break it in half at the very least. Repeat until the chunks are small enough to lift. Concrete has no bending resistance, so undermining its support allows it to break easily. If you can't lift it, start at a corner, not the middle, and chip away.
You could also rent an electric demolition hammer, which, though awfully noisy, saves swinging a sledge.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 8:16PM
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Fract-AG expansive mortar.
It is poured into drilled holes and expands on hardening breaking up concrete.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 8:45PM
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so which is the best way to go?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 10:56PM
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Years ago we rented a jackhammer to break up a cement patio. It was fun, though I would not reccommend it if you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

How are you going to dispose of the concrete? Around here you have to have a permit to dump concrete and not all dumps will take it even then.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 8:23AM
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We took out a 9' x 22' (about 6" thick) patio last weekend. Honestly, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

Because of its location, there was no room to maneuver a pinch bar in there, so we just rented a jackhammer at the orange box. The 3 of us took turns, and had the whole thing broken into managable chunks in about 2 hours. Once it got going, we could pry the smaller pieces up with the pinch bar, and slap it with a sledge, and it broke quite easily.

I've never used the hole/pour method you mentioned, but I can't imagine that drilling the holes would be any easier than just hitting it with a big hammer. I guess it would depend on the tools you have access to?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 2:19PM
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For a 5' x 8' slab you could rent a jackhammer and have it broken up to shovel size pieces in 30 to 40 minutes or you could spend hours of backbreaking work to try to remove it by other means.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 2:20PM
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For a small patio with the typical 3-6 inch thick concrete a jack hammer is pretty quick. Even the little electric ones will do the job.
Expansive mortar is very good for thicker (8 inch and up) slabs, or if the vibration from a jack hammer is a problem.
A rotary hammer drill (the big one, not the little ones) goes through concrete like butter under its own weight. I bore 1 inch holes up to about 8 inches, and larger for thicker slabs.
Thick slabs are still back-hoe or skid-steer territory since the pieces are very heavy.
Expansive mortar must be used with care or it can damage things near the edge of the slab. No cracking of basement floors. The walls and footers can be damaged by the expansion force.
It is a real cool process though. Drill holes, mix mortar, pour in, return the next day to a broken up slab.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 3:34PM
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If it is really hard score it first about 2" deep with an Angle grinder into squares, then give it a hearty whallop with a sledge hammer, should break up easy enough.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 1:22PM
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