How To Remove Concrete To Create A Garden
Concrete is great stuff, and it deserves its title as King of Building Materials, but some homebuilders can use it to excess. If youd like to look out your backdoor and see wildflowers and herbs instead of a sweltering gray slab, youll be glad to know that while concrete slab removal is a backbreaking job, its not skilled work. Most people can remove concrete themselves, provided theres plenty of ibuprofen and a heating pad in the house. Find out how.
Whats In a Slab?
A typical outdoor concrete slab ranges from 3-6 inches thick. Patios and stoops tend to be on the thin side, with driveways at the thicker end of the range. A slab may contain reinforcing metal, in the form or wire mesh and/or rebar. Theres no way of knowing whats in there until you start breaking up the concrete. You might get lucky and have no steel in your slab . Below the slab is a compacted gravel subbase. This might be a few inches thick or a lot thicker, depending on the site conditions. After you break up and remove the concrete, youll have to dig out all the gravel, to make room for plant-nourishing soil.
How Concrete Breaks
Options for Removing Concrete
Here are the three main methods for homeowners, from easiest to hardest. Talk to your trash removal company and local dumps to learn about options for getting rid of the concrete rubble and gravel subbase.
1. Hire a concrete demolition company.
2. Rent an electric demolition hammer .
3. Use a sledgehammer.
If You Need to Cut the Concrete
Trash Container With Gate
Rent a trash container with a gate so you can dump your wheelbarrow inside. Tossing chunks over the side is hard work.
Concrete cant go in your trash can, so check out your disposal options at least a week ahead. Some concrete recyclers accept it free or charge a small fee per load. Most add an extra charge if the concrete contains steel mesh or rebar. Unfortunately, you wont know if yours has metal in it until you start breaking it apart. So figure your total price based on the higher rate. Also be aware that the typical 12 x 14-ft. patio weighs about 5,000 lbs. That means youll be paying the charges for at least three loads and making at least three trips, even if you have a 1-ton pickup truck.
Your other option is to rent a trash container . Dont guess on the proper size. Instead, give the waste haulers the dimensions and thickness of your patio and let them figure out the right size for your job. Make sure any trash container you rent has a walk-in gate for easier loading.
Stylish Covered Patio Ideas
The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto
A well-designed patio cover can enhance your outdoor living experience and increase the amount of time you spend outside. For any major outdoor structure, youll want to work with a professional, like an architect or landscape architect, to make sure your building complies with city codes and is engineered correctly. Other considerations before planning, designing and building a patio cover include:
- Size and scale of patio and overhead
- Orientation of the patio to the sun, like a hot west-oriented location or cold-northern
Take a look at 50 very different patio covers, certain to spark some ideas for your own project.
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Figure B: Border Layout
A Snap a chalk line parallel to the house to mark the location of the border decorative pavers. Remember to leave a gap of at least 1/4 in. between the border decorative pavers and the house.
B Lay out field pavers to locate the side borders. A simple row of pavers will work even if you plan to lay them later in a herringbone pattern as we did. The goal is to establish a field width that allows each course to end with a full or half paver, but not smaller pieces. That means less cutting, less waste and a neater look.
C Position the border pavers and mark their locations. It’s OK if the border decorative pavers don’t quite reach the edge of the patio, but don’t let them overhang. Nudge one border patio block outward by 1/4 in. to allow a little extra space for the field pavers.
D Snap a chalk line to mark one side border. To make this line square with the line along the house, use the 3-4-5 method.E Mark the other side border. Measure from the first side to make sure the two sides are parallel.
F Leave the final border unmarked and install the border after the field is complete. That open end makes screeding off the excess sand easier and lets you position the final border perfectly.
How To Fix Cracks In A Concrete Patio Yourself
A concrete patio is beautiful and durable, but many patios develop cracks over time. And if the cracks are raised, they can be a tripping hazard in whats supposed to be your backyard oasis.
If you have cracks in your concrete patio, its time to fix them. Unfilled cracks can become more extensive and deeper, turning a DIY project into an expensive repair requiring a professional. If the cracks or chips arent deep or causing separation of your patio, try the DIY fixes youll find in this guide first .
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Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Just like everything else, having something means having another responsibility. Having a dog means you also have to be responsible for it including its urine. You can try to train your dog to pee in the right place. Just do not scold them because it will be counterproductive.
You can never really get rid of the smell of dog urine by just cleaning normally. It really takes time and effort. You just have to pick the one that works best for you.
The most practical way is preventing your dog from urinating on your concrete patio. It saves you the trouble of having to do all those cleaning steps. Dogs smell their own urine, and it signals them that it is okay to pee in that same area again.
There are ways that you can do to stop this from happening again. You may use a fence or barrier to block them off from that area. You could also install motion detector lights. Another option is to train your dog to pee in a designated area, and give your pet treats and rewards if the act is done in the right place. Once the dog is conditioned to its new designated area for peeing, it will just go to that place every time the urge to pee is there. It is always better to give positive reinforcements to the dog rather than providing punishments.
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Unit Costs: How Pros Price
Unlike websites which blend pricing from dissimilar jobs, Homewyse creates custom estimates from Unit Costs. The Unit Cost method is based on job specific detail and current costs. Contracting, trade, design and maintenance businesses rely on the Unit Cost method for transparency, accuracy and fair profits.
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Getting Rid Of The Concrete
If you need to fill in a big hole, you can break the concrete into small pieces and use it for fill. Some people like to break concrete patios into bigger pieces and call it urbanite, and use it for stepping stones or stacked retaining walls.
If you want it gone, the easiest thing to do is to rent a dumpster from a disposal company. Just be sure to find out how high you can load it, because concrete weighs more than most other jobsite trash. If you overfill a dumpster and they cant load it on the truck, guess who gets charged extra AND has to take some of the concrete out? Hint: not me.
You may say, I have a truck. Ill just haul it to the landfill/transfer station myself. If you have a small truck, like a Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma, DONT do this. If you have a full-sized pickup, you can haul some concrete, but be very careful. A half-ton truck is wimpier than you might think.
If you have a truck that will tow a trailer and youre comfortable driving with a trailer, you could rent a dump trailer from a rental yard. Just remember the same advice I gave above and dont overload the trailer. Remember that just because your truck can PULL an overloaded trailer doesnt mean it will safely STOP with an overloaded trailer. Theres nothing more terrifying than hitting the brakes and feeling a load behind you say nope, Im an object in motion and by golly, Im staying in motion.
And bend with your knees! That stuffs heavy. Be safe!
Solve Water Problems First
This corner of the patio had settled by more than 2 in. over the years. That meant a big reservoir after rainand water in the basement. So we filled the reservoir with exterior-grade self-leveling compound. After the first batch hardened, we poured on a thin coat and gave it a slight slope so water would run away from the house.
Self-leveling compound hardens fast, so you can get on with the project. But its also expensive. If youre not in a rush, you can get similar results for less than one-third the cost with concrete topping mix such as Sakrete Top n Bond or Quikrete Sand/Topping Mix.
We also took a couple of other water-fighting steps. To prevent water from seeping down along the foundation, we caulked the gap between the patio and the house. At the other end of the patio, a corner of the slab had sunk slightly below the level of the soil and rainwater pooled there. To correct that, we shaved off the sod with a spade, dug out a couple of inches of soil and replaced the sod.
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How To Remove Spray Paint From Concrete
Are you looking to eradicate spray paint splatter? You may be able to remove it with a soapy solution and a bit of elbow grease. However, if that doesnt work, chemicals most likely will.
We recommend using a mixture of trisodium phosphate and water to remove stubborn spray paint stains. Trisodium phosphate is a chemical compound that can be used to remove stains and grease from concrete. Its a common ingredient in many household cleaning products.
Apply a generous amount of trisodium phosphate to the spray paint-affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes. This will enable it to permeate the porous surface of the concrete. After a short period, use a scrub brush to scour the loose paint.
How Much Does Concrete Removal Cost
- National Average Cost: $1,444
- Typical Range: $679 to $2,848 or $2 to $6 per square foot
- Low End: $260
- High End: $7,703
On average, most homeowners pay $1,444 for professional concrete slab removal. The typical price range for concrete removal is between $679 and $2,848 or between $2 and $6 per square foot.
Total costs might fall below or above the average range depending on the slabs size, location, thickness, and reinforcements. Small-scale concrete removal projects cost most homeowners around $260, while large-scale concrete removal averages around $7,703. Again, there are many reasons why your total cost for concrete removal might vary from these averages.
|$2,000 to $6,000|
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Preparing To Remove A Concrete Patio
Even after securing the proper tools and equipment, homeowners arent quite ready to start breaking up their concrete patio. First, they need to place plywood over plastic siding and windows to prevent damage from a flying piece of concrete. Secondly, some city governments require a permit before starting this type of work. A call to the utility company is also in order to ensure no gas lines lie beneath the surface of the patio.
Choose Your Starting Point
If theres an area with deep cracks, thats a good place to start the patio removal process, since it is already partially broken apart.
Cracks can be a good place to start, because the material is already weakened there and you may have an easier time breaking it apart from this point. However, if there are no cracks, edges are a good place to begin. At an edge, you often dont need to exert as much force to begin breaking it up, as long as you move in small sections, because the exposed side will be a bit weaker than whats in the middle.Yuka Kato | Fixr
Vinegar Rust Stain Remover
Vinegar is acetic acid, which forms during the fermentation of sugar and starch. Not only is vinegar safe enough to be consumed, but it also makes an excellent eco-friendly cleaner, that can be used for many things, including removing rust stains from concrete.
How To Hire A Concrete Contractor
From Minneapolis to Miami, you can follow the same guidelines to find a concrete removal company.
- Read online reviews. Peer reviews give insight into what your customer experience will be like.
- Measure your sq. ft. Preparing the pro with the approximate number of square feet you need removed will help them give you a ballpark estimate over the phone.
- Look for a licensed contractor. If youre having the same pro pour new concrete once the demo is done, look online to make sure they have an up-to-date contractor’s license that is in good standing.
- Multiple estimates. For large removal projects covering thousands of feet, be sure to get at least two to three free estimates to understand your pricing options.
- Clearly written contract. Make sure you get a signed agreement outlining the scope of work, hauling and dumping details, and cleanup costs.
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How Do You Remove Mold From A Stone Patio
Application is easy:
Oil And Grease Stains
For fresh oil and grease stains, you can use cornstarch or dry kitty litter. Simply apply a layer of either of the two on the stained area. Then, allow it to sit for at least three days. This way, it has plenty of time to soak up the oil. After three days, vacuum or sweep away the cornstarch or kitty litter. Repeat if necessary.
If the grease stain has been there for a while, use a brush and a strong detergent to scrub away the stain. For faster and more effective results, use a concrete degreaser.
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Concrete Removal Vs Repair
Not all concrete that is cracked or in rough shape needs to be removed. Some concrete may be resurfaced or patched. If the cracks are on the surface and the structure is in otherwise good shape, it may be patched and resurfaced for a lot less than removing and replacing the structure.
However, if you have deep cracks, frost heaves, sunken slabs, or signs of major settlement, removal is often your best option. If the cost to repair the concrete starts to become higher than the cost to remove it, you may want to put the extra money toward replacing it altogether.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Cost To Remove A Concrete Slab Calculator
|Range for this type of project:||$2,244|
|Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete removal. Concrete will be broken into portable segments with jackhammer, and removed along with reinforcing material. Rate is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of project site, and meticulous cleanup.|
|Slab Removal Equipment Allowance||$71||arrow_drop_down|
|Daily rental of specialty equipment for maximum quality and efficiency, including 115V 15-amp electric jackhammer that operates at 1000+ blows per minute. Consumable equipment elements will incur additional fees.|
|Slab Removal Debris Disposal||$323||arrow_drop_down|
|Responsible disposal of all project debris, including the cost to load and haul old materials, installation waste, and any other refuse.|
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Pry Out Concrete Chunks
Loosen locked-together chunks of concrete. A mattock is the perfect tool for prying them apart or pulling them up.
Even after concrete is broken, the chunks remain locked together, making the surrounding concrete harder to break. So clear away the rubble after youve broken up each 2- to 3-ft. section. Dont use your hands to pry out the sectionsa mattock is the best tool for this job. To separate the chunks, swing the pointed end of the mattock into the crack and pry up. Push the pieces far enough apart so you can switch to the larger flat blade. If the chunk wont budge, move the mattock to the opposite side of the chunk above the flat edge under the concrete. Then lift up to unlock the stuck edge.