How to Remove a Concrete Patio

What You'll Need
Electric jackhammer
Work clothes and protective gear such as goggles, gloves, andboots

Having a concrete patio might seem like a very good idea for your house but you should always consider the disadvantages as well. One major drawback of concrete is that it is prone to cracking. This is caused by exposure to heat; concrete has low thermal conductivity and can therefore be damaged easily in hot temperatures. Also, when concrete dries out, it shrinks; this means the cracks may begin to develop in only a matter of days.

Removing a concrete patio takes a lot of effort especially if you are going to do it yourself. Hiring a contractor to do the removal is easier and most effective but it can also cost you a lot of money. Depending on the method used to remove the concrete patio, it can cost you between $500 and $5,000. Here are some tips so you can remove the concrete patio yourself.

Step 1  Safety First

Put on your work clothes, boots, gloves, and safety goggles. This is a very important step as there will be debris flying everywhere as soon as you start using the jackhammer. Make sure that you never take off your goggles and tell everyone in your house not to hang close to the work area.

Step 2 – Preparing to Use the Jackhammer

Take the jackhammer and begin at one corner of the concrete patio. Set the tip of the jackhammer about six inches from the edge of the patio, at a slight angle, and out in front of you. Make sure that you have your feet firmly planted on the ground; away from the patio and jackhammer.

Step 3 – Working the Jackhammer

Make sure that you have a steady grip on the jackhammer as you squeeze the trigger on its handle. As soon as it starts to hammer, maintain steady downward pressure on its handle, making sure that the tip is pressed towards the cement. Keep it steady and try to avoid bouncing as much as possible so that the jackhammer will use its own motion to work its way down.

Step 4 – Removing the Rest of the Concrete Patio

Move inward on the concrete patio as soon as the jackhammer removes chunks of concrete. Whenever the jackhammer goes all the way down through the patio and hits the gravel or soft dirt beneath it, raise the jackhammer and place it on the next surface. Make sure that you stop for a few minutes to pick up the chunks of concrete and place them in the wheelbarrow.

Step 5 – Removing the Last of the Concrete and Cleaning Up

Once the wheelbarrow is full, empty it out into the dumpster. When you have removed all of the concrete, use a rake to smooth out the area and pick up chunks of concrete that were left over.