Have you grown weary of your old concrete driveway that's breaking apart and degrading the value of your home? Concrete slab removal is a great way of getting rid of the old concrete driveway so that you can install a new one. However, this project isn't a simple one, and it should be undertaken by a concrete removal contractor. Luckily, with the right tools and some DIY techniques, you can get rid of the old slab and prepare for a new driveway. Here are the steps to take when undertaking a DIY concrete slab removal project.
Gather the tools
Removing a concrete slab requires the use of specialized equipment and protective gear. You will need a heavy duty concrete breaker which is the piece of equipment that's used to break concrete slabs and flooring. Since this is a one-time project, consider hiring the equipment instead of purchasing it. You will also require protective gear such as a hard hat, earplugs, goggles and a face mask. Wear clothing with sleeves and legs together with sturdy boots to protect your body from debris.
Clean the surface
After obtaining the tools and gear required for the project, you should prepare the surface. Rid the area of tools, rocks, tree branches and leaves that can get in your way. Make sure that there are no utility lines such as electrical cables, gas and telephone lines or plumbing pipes near or underneath the concrete slab. If these lines are hit during the project, they can cause a safety hazard. Information about the location of utility lines in the property can be obtained from the survey documents that you received when purchasing the home.
Prepare the equipment
Set up your concrete breaker and determine where you will obtain the power from. You can plug it into a power source or use a generator depending on the most convenient and available option. Next, determine a solid starting point where you have good footing when using the breaker. Start at the furthest side so that you have solid ground to step on as you use the equipment. Also, make sure that the breaker's power cord is behind you at all times to avoid damaging it.
Break the concrete slab
Once your equipment is set, switch it on and start breaking the slab into small pieces. Hold the breaker in a firm upright manner so that it can crack and break the surface. If there are any cracks in the concrete, run the breaker through them as they already provide points of weakness which are easy to break. Work slowly and carefully through the driveway, and if necessary, you can stop and rest. After the work is done, you can use a wrecking bar to break the concrete into small disposable pieces.