Sometimes, there may be an area of concrete in your yard that needs to be broken up. Whatever the reason for the concrete removal, here are a few basic steps to complete the task:
Always contact the utility companies.
If you receive an electric bill or a natural gas bill for your home, chances are that there are underground cables and pipes in your yard. There may be some beneath the concrete that you are planning to remove. Contact the utility companies. They can mark the ground so that you can circumvent dangerous lines. However, if the lines are directly beneath the concrete, contact a professional to complete your concrete breaking.
Get your goggles.
Removing concrete can be messy. As you break up the hard material, dust and pieces of the concrete can become airborne. Safety goggles will protect your eyes. In addition, use a dust mask to shield your nose and mouth so that you don't inhale dangerous particles. If you are planning to use loud equipment, such as a jackhammer, don ear protection as well.
Cover the concrete.
If you will be using a sledgehammer, cover the concrete with plastic sheeting or an old cloth bed sheet to keep some of the debris contained during the breaking process. Sometimes, stray particles can become airborne, and if your concrete slab is near a window, the debris could break the glass.
If you will be using a jackhammer, consider covering nearby windows with wooden boards or planks.
Get a pry bar.
As you break apart the concrete, you may need to pry the pieces from the ground for removal.
Start breaking the concrete.
If your concrete slab is relatively thin, a sledgehammer should work well.
- Select an edge to begin.
- Continue striking the concrete until it breaks.
- If chunks don't crumble away, use your pry bar to pull them away.
If you believe your concrete is too thick or the sledgehammer doesn't seem to be making progress, use a jackhammer that has a bit with a chiseled point.
- Allow the weight of the hammer to break up the concrete. You don't have to push down.
- If your slab doesn't crack quickly, move the hammer over a couple of inches to avoid getting your drill bit stuck in a hole that you've created.
Continue breaking pieces of concrete a couple of inches apart and removing them with the pry bar until all of your concrete is broken up. If the job seems too big or frustrating at any point, call a professional contractor to complete it.