When concrete becomes old and cracked, and loses its integrity due to age and weather, it is time to remove it and replace it with a more sound concrete structure or surface. Breaking apart and removing concrete can be a big job, but with the right tools, equipment, and knowledge, you can turn the job into an easy-to-manage task. Here are some tips to help you demolition your old concrete and dispose of it properly to promote savings in your budget and in the environment.
Removing an old concrete slab or structure can be made easier when you have the right equipment. You can choose from either using a sledgehammer, or a pneumatic or hydraulic-powered jackhammer. Using a sledgehammer is a more labor-intensive option, as you will need to lift and swing the sledgehammer into the concrete to make cracks within its structure.
Using a jackhammer allows you to use the power within the jackhammer's motor to move the chisel up and down on the surface of the concrete. You only need to hold and position the jackhammer over the surface of the concrete to crack it apart.
Whichever option you choose, keep in mind to break apart your concrete at a corner edge, working you way into the center. Don't begin breaking concrete apart in the middle of the structure, as it will only chip the surface of the concrete. And if you hammer the sledgehammer onto the concrete and don't see it break, don't hit the same spot again. This can cause the concrete surface to only chip away.
When you are using a jackhammer on the concrete, if you don't begin to see a crack forming immediately or within the first couple seconds of applying the tip onto the concrete, move the tip to a nearby point a few inches away and continue hammering. When the concrete does not form a crack right away, the chisel tip of your jackhammer will only become embedded inside the concrete where it will be difficult to remove.
After you have broken up your old slab or other concrete structure, you will need to figure out a disposal solution. Use a compact track loaders, such as a skid steer or a Bobcat to haul the broken up concrete into a disposal truck. This is the best method to carry large chunks of concrete from the site and into a roll-away dumpster, or the bed of a dump or pick-up truck.
It can be common for old broken concrete to be disposed of in a local landfill, but with the cost of disposal and the effects on the environment, this is not the best option. Landfill concrete disposal is usually determined by the weight of your load, and concrete can weigh up to 150 pounds per cubic foot, which makes it an expensive item to dispose in the landfill. Concrete also takes up space in the landfill that other degradable materials could be placed.
A less expensive option to dispose of your old concrete and help the environment is by recycling the concrete with a local concrete recycling company. A concrete recycling company will take your concrete and process it down into smaller pieces, where it is then sold to construction companies to use as a rubble fill material in foundation building and an aggregate layer for road construction.
Concrete recycle companies can also process your old concrete into small pieces to use as substitute aggregate in a new concrete mixture. When this method is used, they usually add the recycled concrete aggregate to new virgin aggregate with Portland cement to create a new dry mixture.
Check your area for any nearby concrete salvage companies, and they may even pick up your old concrete at your demolition site. Use these tips to help you demolition and dispose of your old concrete surface or structure.