Asphalt Removal

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No paving method is perfect or permanent. Frost and heat cycles, rain and wind, as well as other factors, damage asphalt driveways and paths. Over time, all paved paths or driveways require repair. Whether the original asphalt is being permanently removed or just replaced, the first thing an owner needs is a way to remove the unwanted asphalt. You may opt to hire a professional, but, with the right skills and equipment, you can remove it yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete saw (optional)
  • Blades for concrete saw
  • Water source for concrete saw
  • Breaker bar
  • Pick axe (optional)
  • Sledgehammer (optional)
  • Wheelbarrow or similar device
  • Call the national "call before you dig" number, 811, at least two days before doing the work. This will ensure that you will not cause any damage to sewer or utility lines. It is illegal to do the work without calling first.

  • Ensure that you are the owner of the property. It is possible that the strip of sidewalk between your house and the street is the city's property, for example.

  • Rent a concrete saw and purchase the required blades. If you need clean lines between the asphalt you are removing and any you are retaining, or if you need to remove a large area of asphalt, you will need the saw to break the asphalt into small chunks. If you are only removing a small area of asphalt hand tools may suffice.

  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of water. Most saws use water to control the dust.

  • The saw is basically diamond saw blades mounted on a device that looks like a lawn mower. Guide the saw along the edges of the asphalt section you want removed. If you are removing an entire large section of concrete, use the saw to break it into smaller sections so you can use hand tools. Do not force the blade; gently guide the blade through the asphalt.

  • Cut in straight lines. Do not try to force the saw to curve or you will damage the blade.

  • Use the pick axe or sledgehammer on cracked sections. Whether the asphalt was already damaged or the concrete saw created cracks, once there is a crack you can expand it with the pick axe or loosen the surrounding asphalt with the sledgehammer.

  • Use the breaker bar to pry up the resulting chunks of asphalt, freeing them from the earth.

  • Remove the chunks of asphalt by hand. Place the chunks in a wheel barrow and move them to a truck to transport them to a disposal area. Asphalt can be recycled, so check with your local authority to find out how and where to take the chunks.

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