3 Critical Issues to Address When Removing Your Concrete Patio

Construction & Contractors Blog

Removing a concrete patio may seem like an easy DIY project. For most homeowners, the project only requires one to rent a jackhammer to remove the concrete slab. However, in most homes, patios are attached to the rest of the house. Blindly removing the slab can cause costly damage to the structure and utilities. Thus, before commencing work, here are three critical issues you should address.

Proximity to foundation

When demolishing a concrete patio, it's crucial to assess the slab's proximity to the home's foundation. If the slab is too close to the foundation, demolishing it can cause structural damage to the home's foundation. Over time, the damage can lead to foundation cracking and costly repairs. 

Although most concrete patios are poured independent of the foundation, their proximity to the structure can present problems. Before removing the slab, dig around the edge to determine whether it's attached to the building. If the slab is near the foundation, you must remove it gently to avoid interference. Use less destructive tools to pry out the concrete slab.

Presence of load-bearing beams

Does your concrete patio have any load-bearing beams? Homes with a second storey may have patio beams supporting the upper deck. These beams are located at the corners of the patio. Therefore, disturbing the concrete around the beams can destabilise the columns and undermine the structural stability of the second-storey deck. 

If your patio has load-bearing beams, you have to exercise care when removing concrete around the beams. To stabilise the beams, dig a hole around each column and pour concrete into it. The freshly poured concrete should not be in contact with the patio slab. Once the concrete dries, you can jackhammer the patio slab without affecting the stability of the load-bearing beams.

Location of underground utilities

Are there any underground utilities passing underneath your concrete slab? Utilities such as electrical wiring and network cabling may suffer damage, especially if your patio slab is over six inches thick. Before commencing the project, check your building plans to ascertain the location of the utilities.

If you don't have access to building plans, you can use a non-invasive technology such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to locate the utilities. If there are any lines under the slab, you need to exercise care when breaking down the slab with power tools such as jackhammers. Map out the utilities' path and use hand tools such as pry bars to remove the concrete around the affected area.

Concrete removal can be a delicate process, especially when your structure and underground utilities are at risk of damage. To avoid costly repairs, contact a professional contractor for concrete removal services.


7 April 2021

Repairing Broken Buildings

Welcome to my blog! My name is Richard and my big passion in life is looking for old buildings to restore. My love of old buildings started when I was seven years old and I visited my grandparent's house in Alice Springs. It was a large Victorian building which looked magnificent even though it was in a bad state of repair. Once I grew up and made some money, I decided I would like to invest in old buildings to bring them back to life. I hire a range of different contractors to complete the work on my behalf but I take a keen interest and I have learnt a lot of things.