How to Remove a Concrete Patio

Written by kevin mcdermott
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How to Remove a Concrete Patio

Taking out a concrete patio is a pretty straightforward task that is done pretty much the way you might guess: by breaking up the patio with a jackhammer and hauling away the debris. Electric jackhammers can be rented at many home improvement or hardware stores, and aren't as hard to use as they look. Discarding the old concrete, on the other hand, can be an issue. Make sure to figure the expense of a small rented dumpster when planning your project.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Heavy denim jeans
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Work boots
  • Canvas gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Rented electric jackhammer suitable for patio removal (consult your hardware store)
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Small rented dumpster

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  1. 1

    Put on your boots, jeans, long-sleeve shirt, canvas gloves and goggles.

  2. 2

    Start at one corner of the patio, setting the tip of the jackhammer about six inches from the edge, out in front of you at a slight angle. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, away from the bit.

  3. 3

    Squeeze the jackhammer trigger on the handle. As the jackhammer starts working, keep steady downward pressure on the handle, keeping the tip pressed to the cement. Don't try to force it down into the surface, but rather keep it steady and prevent bouncing so that it works its way down through its own motion.

  4. 4

    As chunks of the concrete start to come off, move inward on the patio. Each time the jackhammer gets all the way down through the patio and hits soft dirt or gravel underneath, raise it and put it on the surface at the next spot. Don't try to remove more than about eight or ten inches at a time. Stop every few minutes to pick up the broken chunks and put them in the wheelbarrow.

  5. 5

    Empty the wheelbarrow into the dumpster each time it gets full. Once you have all the concrete out and in the dumpster, go over the patio area with your rake to smooth it out and pick up any stray concrete chunks.

Tips and warnings

  • Debris flies everywhere when you use a jackhammer. Don't remove your safety goggles at any point, and don't let anyone else wander near your work area.

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