Breaking up a concrete driveway can be ear shattering, backbreaking work or, it can be easy and noise free. It depends on the tools and machinery you use. Some tools or machinery will require your having experience in using them. Almost all these options, because of the weight of concrete, will take a good deal of labor or rental of equipment. Either way, your cost will be less than what you would pay to a contractor to break up your driveway concrete. Here are a a few tips on using a variety of methods and equipment to break up your concrete.
Tip 1 – Use a Jackhammer to Break Up the Concrete
Using a jackhammer will require you to rent this equipment. Since the jackhammer is powered by air, you will also need to rent an air compressor. Use the jackhammer to make holes in the concrete. This equipment is heavy and will require a strong man to operate it. It is also extremely noisy and will throw small pieces of concrete over the area around your driveway.
Tip 2 – Use a Sledgehammer to Break Concrete into Smaller Pieces
After you have used a jackhammer to initially break driveway concrete into large pieces, you can break these pieces into small ones with a sledgehammer. If you plan to load your broken concrete pieces by hand into a truck, you will need to break the pieces small enough that you will be able to lift them into the truck. If you plan to use machinery such as a front end loader or bobcat to load, you can save yourself a lot of work by breaking the concrete into larger pieces the loader will have no trouble lifting.
Tip 3 – Use a Backhoe with a Jackhammer Attachment
This equipment will break up your driveway with far less work for you but unless you're experienced in operating one of these machines you'll need to hire a contractor to operate the backhoe. There will also be a per-hour cost for use of the backhoe.
This equipment will require you to first drill holes in the concrete with a jackhammer. Then, the splitter uses a force of 150 to 400 tons exerted by a piston to make cracks in the concrete. These splitters are made in various sizes to handle different kinds of work. The smaller size is built to break up horizontal concrete slabs such as driveways. The advantage of using the splitter is that the work can be done without the ear splitting noise you get from a jackhammer. They are available in three models: gas operated, electricity powered, or compressed air models.
Tip 5 – Load the Broken Pieces
When you have your driveway concrete broken up, you can save yourself from severe backache by using a bobcat or front end loader to load the pieces into a truck.