Concrete patios were once a popular addition to many homes, offering a large, flat area to for families to congregate outdoors. But after a few decades, that concrete tends to crack, crumble and become an eyesore in your yard. If you are tired of looking at your patio, you may be thinking about tearing it up and starting over, but concrete breaking can be difficult and dangerous work. Follow these five helpful tips to ensure that your patio's demolition goes safely and according to plan.
Understanding the Structure of Your Patio
Concrete patios are constructed in a number of different ways. They may be cobbled together with concrete blocks or poured as a single slab, and they can be reinforced with rebar, wire mesh or nothing at all. If you were not present for the patio's installation, you might not know what lies underneath until you actually begin breaking it down. Rebar takes much longer to remove, because it must be cut through with a saw to remove broken chunks of concrete, but you may find that your patio is hollow instead of solid concrete.
Checking For Lines and Wiring
Before you begin merrily smashing away at your patio with a sledgehammer, double check that it does not have a gas line or electrical wiring running beneath it. Breaking a gas line can lead to dangerous leaks and fire hazards, while wires can cut off the electrical supply to your home or other appliances and possibly electrocute you in the process. You can call your local utility company for information about any potential hazards running through your yard. If you do have electrical or gas lines running beneath the patio, rely on the experience of professional concrete contractors instead of putting yourself at risk.
Avoiding Property Damage
Depending on the thickness of the patio and the reinforcements involved, you may need to use tools like sledgehammers, demolition saws, pry bars, jackhammers and reciprocating saws to remove everything. Besides being a significant safety risk to you, these machines can also damage your home while you work. Place plywood over your windows to shield them from flying chunks of concrete, and do not use heavy equipment like a jackhammer close to the house. Always wear appropriate safety gear, including goggles and protective footwear.
Saving Time and Effort With Professional Contractors
Removing large quantities of concrete is neither easy nor exciting work, and it can take days of hard labor as a DIY project. Rather than putting yourself at risk and worrying about how to dispose of all that concrete, it might be wiser to simply allow trained concrete contractors to demolish the patio for you. Not only will they be able to work around any pipes or wiring, but they will also have the necessary tools on hand and understand how to protect your home in the process. To accomplish your project quickly, safely and affordably, start shopping around for local contractors today (such as National Concrete Cutting).