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How to Break Up Your Concrete Patio

breaking concreteYour existing concrete patio has seen better days, and it shows the obvious signs that it needs to be replaced. When your patio suffers deep cracks, it’s flaking away, or it is settling, then it is time to have it demolished and have your concrete contractor install a new one. Now, demolishing your concrete patio might sound like a daunting and intimidating task, but depending on a few factors, such as the thickness of your patio, it might be a project you can tackle all on your own. Not only will removing the patio on your own save you money, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment. Then, of course, there are those who think that demolishing the patio is a great way to spend the weekend.

Signs You Need to Remove Your Patio

Your concrete patio has faithfully given you many years of service, but unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to last forever. The combination of time, impact, and the weather have taken their toll on your patio, and now you wonder if it needs to be replaced. There are signs to look for when determining when you should have your patio demolished and removed.

Cracking– While cracks in concrete are to be expected, deep cracks are a sign that it’s time to have your patio replaced.

Appearance– If your concrete patio is old, it will look stained and discolored, which is a sign that it is probably time to call your concrete contractor to have it replaced.

Breaking Up– While dropping your workout weights on your patio might break off large chunks of concrete, an old patio will break up all on its own. If your patio is missing big chunks, it’s time to get a new one.

Drainage Issues– If you notice that your patio retains water on it long after it has rained, it could be due to improper drainage, which is a sign it needs to be removed. Drainage problems will persist and eventually cause more damage.

RELATED: Repurposing and Recycling Leftover Concrete

Removing Your Concrete Patio

Most concrete patios are not reinforced, which means they are free from rebar; as such, a jackhammer is a preferred method of breaking the concrete into manageable pieces. However, if you are removing a small patio and you boast a little strength and endurance, a heavy sledgehammer could suffice. If your patio is reinforced, you will need some heavy equipment and should let a professional tackle the job.

There is a bit of prep work needed before you can start your demolition party. Obviously, you will want to remove the grill and any furniture from your patio. You will also want to cover up any doors and windows that are nearby to protect them from flying debris. Speaking of flying debris, you will want to wear eye protection, head protection, gloves, and make sure your arms and legs are covered. Safety in these types of situations is always a concern.man with sledgehammer

Find a suitable starting point to begin the process; if there is a spot with a deep crack, that is a good starting point. If you can’t find any cracks, pick a corner to start. When you begin using your sledgehammer, don’t swing it down on the concrete; let it fall naturally, and let gravity do the hard work. Swinging the sledgehammer down on concrete could result in injury. Once you get through a small section, stop breaking it up and clean up any debris. Continue until the patio is completely destroyed.

Disposing of Your Patio

The good news is that you have just demolished your concrete patio; the bad news is now you have to dispose of a ton of concrete pieces. Obviously, you can’t just toss the concrete pieces into the trash. If you do a little research, you will find places you can take your concrete to have it recycled.

Now that you have removed and disposed of your old patio, your concrete contractor can move on ahead with the installation of a new one. In no time, you will find yourself sitting in the backyard enjoying your new concrete patio. Just remember that if you don’t want to remove your old patio, we are more than happy to take on that task. Give us a call for more details.

NEXT: Updating Your Concrete Garage Floor

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