How to dig up concrete?

The article aims to answer the question “How to dig up concrete?”. It will also discuss the different ways of breaking concrete. The article will also highlight the advantages of using explosives for breaking up the concrete. Read on to know more:

How to dig up concrete?

  • Dig Into the Cement. Using a shovel and a pickaxe or mattock, remove the dirt, gravel, or other debris from under the concrete slab. 
  • In order to create a vacuum, dig approximately a foot inward from the slab’s edge, leaving about an inch of space. Cutting roots, breaking up rock or shale, and scraping debris out from beneath the slab are all made easier using a pickax or mattock.
  • Plow your nails into the cement. In order to reduce dust, lightly mist the concrete with water. Grip one end of the sledgehammer with your dominant hand, while using your other hand to help you hold it securely in place. 
  • Lift the hammer as high as possible but not straight over your head, and then let it fall while you move your dominant hand down the handle. 
  • In order to shatter anything over the edge of the table, strike the concrete along the edge of the hole you drilled beneath. Repeat as many times as necessary until the concrete crumbles.
  • Remove Stuck-On Pieces. Pry bars and crow bars may be used to pry open fractures and separate stubborn parts. 
  • The bar should be pushed into the crack using the flat end. Get it at least half an inch into the crack by wiggling it. Get your gloved fingers in there and pull it away from you.
  • With a Hand Truck, Transport the Concrete Blocks. Large pieces of concrete may be moved using a dolly or a hand truck. With a hand truck, you simply have to raise the lump of concrete an inch or two to load it into the truck. 
  • Use your legs and maintain the weight close to your torso when lifting the concrete blocks. Pick up the parts and deliver them to your collection or disposal location
  • Getting rid of broken concrete. Concrete should never be thrown away with your routine waste collection. Not many people collect that. 
  • For concrete, you may get a dumpster from a garbage removal agency, but be sure to warn them that you’ll be filling it up with the stuff. Masonry materials are so hefty that a dumpster can only hold around one-quarter of its capacity.

What do I need to dig up concrete?

  • Hammer
  • Shovel
  • Water to spray
  • Pry bar
  • Sledge hammer
  • Pickax
  • Garden hose

What considerations do I need to take to dig up concrete?

If you don’t keep an eye on the time, this project might rapidly develop into a slog that you’ll have to give up on and outsource. Slow and steady wins the race. Here are some pointers from the pros;

  • Protect your eyes from flying shards of concrete, grit, and sand by using eye protection.
  • Manual demolition works well on concrete that is no thicker than 4 inches (such as a sidewalk or patio). Work gets significantly more difficult as you go over 4 inches.
  • Breaking up concrete is a physically exhausting endeavor. Take breaks often and stay hydrated.
  • To remove huge chunks of concrete, first produce a stress fracture with a series of blows, and then hammer the concrete in the center of the region you want to remove to break it along the line.
  • How big you can cut away depends on your capacity to lift and dump concrete. The concrete may be broken up into little bits of debris if you’re unable to move hefty loads.
  • To aid your job, score the concrete approximately 1/4-inch deep where you want it to crack using a grinder and masonry wheel. Scoring may also be accomplished with a cold chisel (for brickwork).

Can I dispose of concrete?

No, you should not dispose of removed concrete. Concrete should never be thrown away with your routine waste collection. 

The majority of aficionados of the hobby are unable to accept it. Make sure you tell the garbage removal agency that you need a dumpster for concrete, and find out how much you can fit in it. 

Masonry materials are so hefty that a dumpster can only hold around one-quarter of its capacity.

Broken concrete, on the other hand, can be reused instead of being disposed of. There are a number of ways to put them to use in the garden:

  • Large slabs of concrete can be turned into a low-cost stone-look pathway by turning them over and power washing them.
  • Create a small garden wall by stacking the concrete blocks together.
  • Retaining walls should be kept to a minimum.
  • Create a fire pit by stacking the pieces in a circle.
  • The pieces can be used as a pond edging to keep the pond liner in place.
  • Make a French drain out of the little debris.
  • When you need to raise a section of your yard, use concrete as a fill material.

How to dispose of broken concrete?

  • Wheelbarrows and hand trucks are the primary means of transporting concrete. 
  • 2-gallon buckets are the best option for tiny debris and/or cleanup within a home. It’s actually easier to handle two buckets than just one.
  • Renting a dumpster might be a better option for bigger projects. It’s always best to double-check with your hauler before you start filling the dumpster because some don’t enjoy the smell of concrete in their containers.
  • Instead, a local mason or landscaper may be able to transport the concrete and recycle it or even utilize it on a project requiring fill.

Can I use a rotary hammer to break concrete?

Yes, you can use a rotary hammer to break concrete. In most circumstances, a rotary hammer with a chipping function is the best way to get the job done. 

An electric hammer isn’t exactly the same thing as an electric rotary hammer; they’re two separate types of tools that do similar tasks. The in-line D-handle tool is very capable, despite the fact that rotary hammers exist in a variety of sizes.

A 34-inch-wide chipping bit, known as a “iron,” is used to effectively break up smaller pieces of concrete and remove over-pour and other globs from surfaces. 

Thin-set mortar is no match for a 1 12-inch spade bit when it comes to removing tile from a subfloor. CMU (concrete masonry units) walls can be dismantled piece by block with rotary hammers.

Conclusion

A job involving the removal of concrete slabs is never an easy one. Jackhammer rentals are available at home improvement shops and rental yards, but this may quickly become prohibitive if the job takes a long time to complete. 

Not only that, but jack hammer wielding itself is a physically hard activity. The sledgehammer is the preferred method of breaking concrete for many homeowners since it is more leisurely and less costly.

Using a hammer on concrete is much easier if you first drill a hole beneath the slab. By removing the concrete’s external support, the material becomes considerably more prone to cracking and breaking off in pieces.

Frequently asked questions (FAQS): How to dig up concrete?

How to dig up concrete?

Dig Into the Cement. Using a shovel and a pickaxe or mattock, remove the dirt, gravel, or other debris from under the concrete slab. 

In order to create a vacuum, dig approximately a foot inward from the slab’s edge, leaving about an inch of space. Cutting roots, breaking up rock or shale, and scraping debris out from beneath the slab are all made easier using a pickax or mattock.

Plow your nails into the cement. In order to reduce dust, lightly mist the concrete with water. Grip one end of the sledgehammer with your dominant hand, while using your other hand to help you hold it securely in place. 

Lift the hammer as high as possible but not straight over your head, and then let it fall while you move your dominant hand down the handle.

What considerations do I need to take to dig up concrete?

If you don’t keep an eye on the time, this project might rapidly develop into a slog that you’ll have to give up on and outsource. Slow and steady wins the race. Here are some pointers from the pros;

  • Protect your eyes from flying shards of concrete, grit, and sand by using eye protection.
  • Manual demolition works well on concrete that is no thicker than 4 inches (such as a sidewalk or patio). Work gets significantly more difficult as you go over 4 inches.
  • Breaking up concrete is a physically exhausting endeavor. Take breaks often and stay hydrated.

Bibliography

BN PRODUCTS USA. The Three Best Tools to Break Up Concrete. Retrieved from: https://www.bnproducts.com/blog/three-best-tools-break-concrete-rev-2020/

LEE WALLENDER. How to Break up Concrete by Hand. The spruce. Retrieved from: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-break-up-concrete-by-hand-1822001

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