removing a small section of concrete walkway

Old 05-02-06, 02:44 PM
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Question removing a small section of concrete walkway

First off, let me state that I've never worked with concrete before.

I recently purchased a house, and I'm renovating the backyard sprinkler systems which has been negelected for years. As you can see in this photo, the pipes leading to the sprinklers is set in the concrete walkway behind the house. You can see in the photo that the pipes are close to the wall of the house. The walkway is 4' wide. The depth of the walkway is about 4-6 inches. The pipes are galvanized and emerge from under the walkway under the ground. I dug up part o fthe buried pipe and found it very rusty. I want to replace the pipes before they rust completely.

I would like to remove the section of walkway which spans the pipes. That's an area roughly 1 foot by 4 feet. I want to leave it as dirt and just put a stepping stone there. That way, I'll have easy access to the new pvc pipe that I was to lay in there. I want it to look neat, so the edges of the removed section should be nice and straight.

So, how do I do this? What equipment do I need? Can I use just a chisel and sledge hammer or do I need to rent more serious equipment?
Old 05-02-06, 04:44 PM
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Location: Austin, TX
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This is how I would do it:

I would buy a cheap diamond blade for my skillsaw, and cut the edge to a depth of an inch or so. At the "loose end" opposite the wall, I would cut as deep as possible and then chisel down the face of the slab. I would make more cuts, 1/2" deep or so in all directions, but especially around the pipes.

Near the wall, I would use my rotozip with a diamond blade and a 4" brickset against the wall for the edge cut.

I would then break the concrete out, starting at the non-wall edge, and work my way in. If there were rebar, I would cut it out, but if it only had wire, I would leave it and use phosphoric acid on it. I would lightly grind (bullnose) the cut edges also.

In this area, pipes freezing are not an issue, so I would cover them with only about 6" of gravel, then the stepping stones and gravel fill 1" or so below the sidewalk/stepping stones top edge.

Tools needed:

Chalkbox or 4' straightedge and marker

Skilsaw w/ 7" diamond blade and metal cutting blade (for rebar/wire)

Large Fan

Rotozip or something similar

Brick chisel

2# engineers hammer

6-8# sledge

Wheelbarrow and some way to dispose of about 1 CuFt of concrete.
Old 05-04-06, 10:22 AM
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located rebar or wire mesh

Thanks for your informative response.

Are walkways typically reinforced with rebar or wire mesh? Without tearing up the concrete, is there a way I can detect and locate the rebar or wire mesh? Is there some sort of device similar to a stud-finder?

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