DIY Concrete Demolition

In many cases, damage concrete can be repaired and renovated for a whole new look. However, there are times when concrete surfaces must be completely removed and replaced to ensure the job is done correctly. This is the case with extremely large, widespread cracks or severe damage from frost heave. Sometimes a new project will require the removal of an old structure first. Concrete demolition is a big project that requires specialized tools and some know-how. This article will provide the basics of concrete demolition so you know what to expect if you need to have a concrete structure removed in the future.

Getting a Permit

Concrete demolition requires a permit in some cases. This ensures that the proper safety steps are followed in regards to the demolition and the removal of the concrete. Permits are often acquired by the contractors, but in some cases, homeowners can apply for the permit for a concrete demolition project in or around their home. The cost of the permit is not high, but if the concrete demolition will affect water, sewer or electrical services, those entities will need to be informed as well. In some cases, an inspection is required prior to the start of the project. Because the permit process can be involved, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a professional concrete contractor who understands and can expedite the process for you.

The Right Tools

There are many different tools that can be used in concrete demolition. Pneumatic and hydraulic breakers are used for large projects like sidewalks and foundations. The machines come in a variety of sizes so you can find the best solution for your individual project. Pressure bursting is a common solution for home concrete demolition because it is quieter and less messy. With this method, holes are drilled into the concrete surface and substance is inserted that will expand and break up the concrete. Broken pieces can then be removed from the premises. Larger projects may require heavier equipment like a ball and crane or explosives. However, these methods are rarely used on residential concrete demolition.


The final step in concrete demolition is getting rid of the broken pieces of concrete. In some cases, this is the most complicated part of the process. Many landfills will not take concrete and the ones that do require a permit to do so. Recycling the concrete is a cost effective, environmentally friendly solution. The concrete can be transported to a recycling center, or tools for breaking down the concrete into a recyclable substance can be taken to the demolition site. The concrete is crushed into an aggregate that can be reused in new Portland cement concrete. Any type of concrete can be recycled using these methods.

Concrete demolition is a big, messy job that is best handled by professional. If you need a patio, floor or driveway removed, call a professional concrete contractor to see what the job will entail. A concrete contractor can handle all aspects of concrete demolition, from breaking the structure down to removing the concrete pieces safely and effectively.