Do you have an old patio that needs a little re-vamping? Maybe you’re hoping to remove the patio completely and start fresh? Either way, oftentimes a question that many homeowners ask is if they’ll need a jackhammer in order to remove an old, broken, or out of date patio before moving forward with the rest of their landscaping plans.

Do I Need a Jackhammer to Remove an Old Patio?

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Chances are, you don’t have a jackhammer laying around, and while many home improvement stores may offer the tool at an hourly, daily, or even weekly rental rate, luckily, if you’re willing to put in the work, you can effectively remove an old patio or concrete slab even without a jackhammer. Another huge perk of choosing to remove the patio without a jackhammer is that the cost of the project is essentially free, excluding your time that is needed to complete the job. Follow these few steps to remove your old patio by hand:

Dig around and under the concrete, trying to create a minimum of 12 inches inward from the patio/slabs edge to give yourself leverage.

Wet down the concrete, by doing so you will help minimize the dust that will be caused by striking the concrete in the next step.

Use a sledgehammer (8-10lb sledgehammer is recommended) and carefully raise the hammer and let it fall over the edge/lip of the concrete, striking the concrete repeatedly until the force of the sledgehammer and the leverage created from the void dug below cracks the concrete (it may take more than one strike to crack the concrete, patience is key).

If needed, use a crowbar to help loosen cracks and break off stubborn pieces of concrete.

Finally, instead of a wheelbarrow, try using a hand truck or dolly to remove the broken pieces of concrete to help minimize heavy lifting in and out of a wheelbarrow.

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It is important to remember that using a sledgehammer requires patience and skill, make sure to let the hammer do most of the work, and if you feel unsafe removing your patio yourself, you can always call a professional to assist you with the job. Once you have your patio removed, remember to contact your trash pick-up service to arrange for a dumpster delivery and pick up, or arrange for a company to remove and dispose of the broken pieces as you are not allowed to dispose of concrete in your normal trash receptacles.

If you’re in need of concrete or asphalt removal or demolition of any kind, whether a small patio or a full driveway, or have questions regarding our demolition and removal services, please feel free to contact our office and we would be more than happy to assist you.