Tearing up concrete usually takes a lot of time and energy. This is especially so in cases where one is dealing with reinforced concrete. And while a sledgehammer is usually enough to deal with most at-home slab-breaking projects, it usually takes more than brute force to get the job done in a timely and cost effective manner. Here are some concrete breaking tips that will make your life easier.
Swinging a sledgehammer onto a concrete slab is likely to send small pieces of broken concrete flying all over the place. This increases not only the risks of personal injury, but also of property damage. You may have to take precautions in order to protect yourself and your property. For example, to protect your windows from these flying pieces, you may have to invest in plywood - something that may end up increasing your project costs.
The easier and cheaper method of getting these pieces under control is to cover the concrete slab with a sheet of plastic. Doing so will contain the broken pieces, something that will not only protect your property, but also you and your loved one. Containing the pieces also makes your after-project cleaning easier.
When breaking concrete, it is advisable that you use both a sledgehammer and a pry bar. This is because slabs usually have a sand base that absorbs energy from a hammer's impact. As a result, beyond a certain point, simply relying on sledgehammer blows to completely break away pieces of concrete becomes a less effective way of getting the job done. All that additional blows do is grind the surface concrete into a fine dust.
The goal in using the sledgehammer should be to create cracks that are deep enough to make it easier to tear pieces of concrete away. And after the cracks have formed, use the pry bar to pry away the chunks of broken concrete.
To increase the durability of concrete slabs, most contractors use steel reinforcements. Steel wire mesh makes a concrete slab less susceptible to cracking, something that will make your concrete-breaking work harder.
To help minimize the effect of steel reinforcements, it is usually advisable that you cut the reinforcements as you go. Doing so will reduce the amount of support that the remaining slab will have, something that will make your work easier. In most cases, all you need to get this done is a pair of bolt cutters.
If you need professional help breaking up concrete, visit Garrett Concrete Cutting, Coring & Sawing Inc - Chino.