There are many instances where a concrete slab has to be broken up and removed, perhaps a water main under the slab has burst or perhaps the ground under the slab is slated for a different use such as landscaping. Concrete removal is not the easiest of tasks but there are tools that get the job done.
Perhaps the most basic approach to concrete removal is to go at it with a large hammer, one with a heavy head and a long handle. These hammers, called sledgehammers can pack a mean punch, when the hammer is swung the force upon impact with the concrete is tremendous. This type of demolition tool requires a worker that is fit and muscular as it does require skill.
A jackhammer utilizes power to get the job done, the most popular power sources are air and electric. ToolsRadar reports that this tool has a pair of handles on one end and a chipping bit on the other, the bit goes up and down rapidly and breaks up the concrete, rock or other hard material.
Jackhammers are quite heavy hence they are only suitable for use on a horizontal surface such as a concrete slab. The bit is held in place and driven into the concrete by gravity. Although the jackhammer needs to be controlled the operator guides the tool and does not bear down on it with any force.
An interesting and rather new method of concrete removal is hydro-demolition. This method uses very powerful water jets to break up the concrete, it is very effective as it can be easily controlled, eliminating the potential of damaging nearby structures.
Hydro-demolition came into its own during the 1970s and has been found to be very effective when removing bridges, flat floor slabs, sidewalks, driveways and concrete sewer culverts.