How to Remove a Concrete Sidewalk

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There are a number of reasons why you may find it necessary to remove a concrete sidewalk, patio, or walkway on your property. For example, you may need to create a stone path, extend or create a garden, or add sod for landscaping. Removing concrete is simple, although there is no doubt that it can be very hard work. Try to work with a friend or two to make the project go more quickly and efficiently.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Sledgehammer
  • Pickaxe
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow

Remove a Concrete Sidewalk

After putting on your protective gloves and goggles, take your sledgehammer and deliver a strong blow to the edge of the concrete. It may take several blows to crack the sidewalk.

Once cracks appear, move inward from the breaks toward the center and continue until all of the concrete has been broken into many smaller pieces.

Lay down the sledgehammer and use the pick axe to pry loose any stubborn concrete pieces that resist removal.

When the fragments seem loose, pick up the smaller pieces and place them into the wheelbarrow.

Use your shovel to remove the larger chunks of concrete from the ground and place them also into the wheelbarrow.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have one or more friends helping you, take turns breaking up the concrete, this can quickly exhaust even a strong individual.
  • This may take a while, so be prepared with a bottle of water to prevent dehydration.
  • A jackhammer or pneumatic drill may be faster, but they are not easy for a non-experienced person to use, and they also create a great deal of noise. If you are in a residential neighborhood, you might be better advised to stick with a manual sledgehammer.
  • Some residential areas require permits to remove concrete in front of dwellings. Check with your local authorities first.
  • Do not attempt to break concrete without protective eyewear. Fragments can fly upwards and cause severe damage to your face and eyes. Don't take that risk!
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