How to remove & dispose of a concrete slab for a patio

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to remove & dispose of a concrete slab for a patio
A jackhammer will make quick work of removing concrete. (ballyscanlon/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Your concrete patio has served its functional purpose for years, but now you are ready to upgrade to a material that is more aesthetically pleasing, like stone or brick. The first step in the process of redoing your patio is to remove and dispose of the old concrete. While this job is labour-intensive and requires a strong back, there is no reason why you can't do this job yourself. Save yourself some money on the demolition and apply that money to upgraded materials for your new patio.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Dumpster or truck
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Mask
  • Ear plugs
  • Jackhammer
  • Shovel
  • Sledgehammer
  • Pick

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Call a waste management company and have a large dumpster delivered to your home. You can omit the dumpster if you own a large truck and would prefer to take the debris to the dump yourself.

  2. 2

    Put on sturdy boots, work gloves, a face mask, goggles and ear plugs.

  3. 3

    Start about 12 inches from the edge of the patio and squeeze the handle of the jackhammer to turn it on. Place the head of the jackhammer into the concrete. Break through the concrete all the way to the ground. Break up enough concrete to begin removing large pieces. Turn the machine off by releasing the handle.

  4. 4

    Work the tip of the jackhammer under the concrete at an angle. Press down on the handle of the jackhammer to pry the concrete loose.

  5. 5

    Move the jackhammer one foot to the left or right and repeat the process. Continue breaking up the slab until you have loosened 4 square feet of it. Lift the pieces from the pad and discard them in the dumpster.

  6. 6

    Repeat this process, working in 3 to 4 square foot areas, until you have removed the entire patio.

  7. 7

    Shovel all small, loose pieces of concrete into a wheel barrow and discard them in the dumpster. Call the waste management company to come and pick up the full dumpster.

Tips and warnings

  • To resurface your concrete without the jackhammer and the heavy lifting, consider staining your concrete patio. Concrete stain is available in wide range of colours and can completely change the appearance of your patio.

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