Dealing with Cracked Concrete – Removal or Repair?

Concrete surfaces such as sidewalks, patios, driveways, retaining walls, and foundation walls can suffer from weather damage and erosion. As concrete degrades, it can create potential tripping hazards and become a general eyesore. The question is, is the concrete repairable, or does it require complete removal to start over? In this article, we look to answer that question and what you can tackle by yourself as a homeowner and when it’s time to hire a concrete removal contractor.

Signs of Deteriorating Concrete

Concrete can deteriorate subtly, so it’s essential to check your property for signs of wear and tear. Concrete may flake or chip away in small pieces over time. Cracks, especially multiples or deep ones, can indicate a serious problem. If the ground below the concrete settles, you could end up with sunken concrete. Another sign of deterioration, especially after a cold Saskatchewan winter, sections shifting up or down because of frost heave.

Minor Concrete Repairs for Homeowners 

If the damage to the concrete on your property is limited, it may be possible to complete repairs yourself. Isolated hairline cracks can be filled, provided the rest of the concrete is still even and in good shape. If only a small section of concrete needs to be demolished and refilled, you could attempt the project independently. As long as the concrete is less than four inches deep, you can break it up with a sledgehammer.

Before taking on a concrete removal project by yourself, make sure no cables or utilities are running nearby, or you may end up creating a more significant problem. Be sure to prepare all the tools and safety gear necessary, such as a sledgehammer, electric saw, safety goggles, steel toe boots, and a mask. Check out our demolition safety tips if you decide to take this on yourself.

A jackhammer being used to break up a concrete driveway.
A jackhammer can be used to break up thinner concrete in a small area.

When to Hire a Concrete Removal Contractor

Concrete issues sometimes call for complete removal and replacement. If the damage runs deep, is widespread, or is reinforced with rebars, it’s best to hire a professional team for demolishing. Breaking up concrete is very physically taxing for homeowners, so we recommend bringing in a contractor with specialized heavy machinery. A demolition company like us will have all the necessary equipment, such as excavators and bobcats with proper attachments and dump trucks to haul away the debris.

A tractor with a concrete breaker demolishing a sidewalk.
Heavy machinery with the proper attachment is more efficient in breaking up and removing thicker, larger concrete.

If you’re in the greater Regina area and need your concrete driveway, patio, retaining, or foundation wall removed, let us take care of it. By handing off this backbreaking project to us, you’ll have more time to enjoy activities you love. While we don’t pour new concrete, we offer concrete sand that allows you to mix your own. And if you’re looking to replace your driveway with other materials, we also offer crusher dust, type 32 base gravel, 3/4″ crushed rock, reclaimed asphalt, and slag.

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