How to Remove Concrete Steps
Removing concrete steps can be simple provided you have the proper tools and equipment. This article will give you step-by-step instructions on how to remove concrete steps quickly and easily. Make sure you have all the necessary tools beforehand.
Step 1 - Determine the Type of Concrete
First you must discern whether the concrete is solid or pre-cast concrete. If the concrete is pre-cast and hollow, then the steps are easily carried away without a problem. If the concrete is solid, then there are a few steps involved to remove them.
Step 2 - Break Apart Solid Concrete
Try using the small sledgehammer to hit the corners of the steps. The goal is to break apart the top step or slab, making it unstable so that the rest is easily broken. In order to get the steps down to their foundation, you can continuously hit the top portion of the concrete in the same area. You can use the blade or the chisel to make small cuts in the concrete. Keep cutting and hitting in the same area to weaken the concrete, eventually causing the steps to give away and break apart. For larger steps, a jack hammer can be used.
Step 3 - Check the Foundation
Check to see if the foundation of your steps and the foundation of your house are connected. Rarely are the foundations connected. But if they are, you will have to separate them.
Step 4 - Separate the Foundations if Needed
Make a 2 ½ inch cut in the concrete steps foundation by using a saw. Use the saw to make a line in the concrete that will serve as a weak spot easily broken apart by the sledgehammer. Next use a large sledgehammer to break up the foundation. You can use the chisel to chip away the remaining foundation that lies right against the house, as it isn’t easily accessible with the sledgehammer or saw.
- Wear safety gear and ear plugs at all times, including steel toe boots if you have them.
- Always make sure to use the proper tools for the job to avoid injury or unwanted damage.
- If you use a jackhammer, be weary of the foundation underneath so that it isn’t damaged in the process of the demolition.
- Beware of any metal that may be hidden inside the concrete when breaking apart with a jack hammer. Old steps sometimes had metal railings that were recessed into the steps.
- Make sure you have plenty of help carting away the steps once they’ve been removed. You’re possibly looking at four tons of concrete needing to be hauled off.
- A backhoe or front loader would be the best way to remove large sections of concrete after separation.
- When doing any sort of demolition, you should always be aware of any underground electrical lines or plumbing that could cause an issue. Always check with your local utility company in advance.