Breaking concrete slabs for concrete removal in Melbourne is a relatively easy task that one can complete with a few tools and some elbow grease. However, it is crucial to take some safety precautions and prepare a plan of action before starting the process. The blog post discusses breaking up concrete slabs in 7 easy steps.
7-Step Guide To Breaking Concrete Slabs
- Wearing Appropriate Safety Gear
If you are gearing up for a power tool to break concrete slabs, you must be cautious and wear appropriate safety gear. If you are planning to handle the concrete-breaking DIY project, it is crucial to wear protective PPE clothing. One can wear the following safety gear before breaking and removing a concrete slab:
- A face mask (to avoid inhaling substances)
- Sturdy boots
- A hard hat
- Safety goggles
- Clothing with long sleeves and legs
Professional contractors wear the required safety gear or recommend the essential gear to customers when they hire HSS equipment. Now that you know about the safety precautions, let’s talk about breaking up concrete slabs with power tools.
- Preparation of the Area
Before starting to break the concrete slab, you need to assess the area because there could be water, telephone lines, gas, or power lines that run underneath. Therefore if you can avoid disrupting anything, you should not prise up the slab stones and carefully dig down to ensure you do not harm anything beneath. During this time, you can remove any sticks, leaves, or debris around the area and remove any loose material, such as roots or materials under the slabs.
You can cover the concrete with a polythene sheet (if you are working close to the property) to protect chunks of stone or dust materials from flying beyond the work area, making it easier to clean up the region afterwards. You can gently sprinkle the concrete with water before breaking it to help reduce dust escaping from the site. Moreover, for further assistance, you can contact an expert in the field to learn more about managing concrete correctly and learn details of the dust safety guide.
- Process of Breaking up Thick Concrete
A thick concrete (a slab four inches or greater in width) needs a heavy-duty breaker to smash through the concrete. Contractors also refer to the tool as a “jackhammer.” You can choose from various concrete slab breakers, as each has unique benefits depending on the job. However, an electric model perfectly suffices for most medium-sized slabs, and such instances require a power outlet or a transformer that can handle the power the tool consumes.
Moreover, an electric jackhammer can break down at least six tons of concrete per hour and is easy to set up. Another tool for breaking concrete is a hydraulic breaker with a detachable hose, a pair of vibration-dampening handles and a chisel point. To use these devices, you can check the instructions and labels to check the voltage it consumes to handle it better. Such electric devices provide specific directions from manufacturers for safety precautions that you must abide by while using the tool.
- Using the Right Footing
One can break a large concrete slab by shattering it into several smaller pieces and can achieve this by knowing to stand in the right place. To break a concrete slab using your footing, you can consider the following options:
- Stand on solid, unbroken concrete.
- You can start at the farthest side of the concrete to avoid standing on a steady surface while breaking the concrete.
- Ensure the power cord is not near the breaking point and you place it behind you.
- You can wear sturdy boots to keep your feet steady on the surface.
- Process of Breaking a Concrete Slab
One of the best ways to break down concrete is to take the assistance of another individual to prise up the slab while you can control the tools. If you are trying to demolish a concrete slab that lies flat on the surface, the surface below the slab absorbs the energy from each blow, making it difficult to break the concrete. However, with the best assistance, you can carefully smash the concrete in the following way:
- Place the chisel head on one corner of the slab,
- Then, hold the jackhammer firmly and upright,
- And then switch it to start it for breaking the concrete.
- At this point, the tool starts cracking the surface of the slab,
- Start working from the corners;
- Once a piece of concrete cracks, move 2-3 inches to work on the next section, followed by breaking the centre of the slab.
- Remove the concrete debris.
- Breaking Concrete Into Smaller Pieces
Trying to break a large piece of concrete can be difficult, but one can look for cracks and broken chunks on the concrete slab and then work breaking the concrete on those lines. One of the best approaches to breaking concrete is to break the slab in so that you can smash it up into smaller sizes and then remove and discard the pieces of rubble.
- Disposing of Concrete Slabs
After completing the process of breaking down concrete, you need to dispose of it safely. Concrete debris is building material and cannot go into your regular bin. However, you can transport the rubble to a council tip and dispose of it correctly at some applied charges. Ahead of breaking up concrete, you can speak to your local council to find out the costs of disposing of it. Moreover, extra charges may apply if the concrete contains steel mesh or rebar.
Breaking concrete slabs for concrete surface removal is easy, and one can complete it with a few tools and some elbow grease. However, safety is the key, and if you wish to do it right, you must take expert guidance before starting the breaking process for the best results. You can also contact a professional contractor to do the job smoothly and safely!