How to Break Up Concrete Floors

Sometimes it's necessary to remove a concrete floor to get to drainage, piping or to remove flawed or damaged concrete. This is a particularly dirty and labor intensive job, but it is the only way to get it out. It does require the use of a jackhammer that can be difficult to handle by some users, so consider this prior to starting. Working with an assistant is highly recommended.

  • Hand chisel
  • Hammer
  • Jackhammer
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Pry bar
  • Shovel
Remove everything from the floor, and choose one corner to begin with, which is usually the furthest point from the exit. Take a hand chisel and hammer to create a starting point for the jackhammer.

Start the jackhammer in the hole created with the chisel. Hold it firmly, and apply pressure when the hammer starts to keep it from humping across the floor. Try to keep it to three-foot square sections at a time to break up the concrete into usable chunks before moving on.

Remove the broken up concrete as you work to make it easier to remove. Load the chunks into a wheelbarrow or other transport to haul them away. Watch for the rebar pieces that are embedded into the concrete that could injure you. Continue until you have removed all the concrete.

Pull the rebar pieces from the ground using a pry bar, and dispose of them safely. Sometimes the rebar has settled and will be difficult to remove. Take care not to cause injury when removing it. If necessary, use a shovel to dig around the rebar to help dislodge it.

Tips and Warnings

  • Jackhammers are available for rental at most tool rental stores.

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