Concrete removal specialists help homeowners and businesses get rid of unwanted concrete. Concrete is a sturdy material composed of portland cement, gravel and sand. After the dry mix is combined with water and has hardened, it creates a durable material—concrete—that can withstand great weight and impact. For this reason, it’s terrific for driveways, walkways and patios, but it’s also extremely hard to remove without professional help. It’s difficult to break apart, hard to manage and heavy to haul away.
Concrete pros are properly equipped with the right tools, trucks and equipment to do the work quickly and safely. Reasons for removing concrete can include demolition, replacing a damaged driveway or walkway, remodeling a patio, repairing a home’s foundation, updating outdoor hardscaping, and other home improvement projects. Several factors affect the cost of removing concrete.
The total number of square feet of concrete to be removed is the biggest project cost factor. The larger the area, the more labor and tools required to complete the job. In addition, the more concrete removed, the higher the dumping fee. The heavier the dump load, the higher the transportation costs—for gas. Dumps can charge up to $100 per ton (2,000 pounds) for concrete. So if a patio being removed contains 6,000 tons of concrete, the project cost will include several hundred dollars in dumping fees alone.
Many concrete removal specialists reduce the price per square foot for removal once a project hits a certain size. Although overall project costs are still higher with a larger project, the price per square foot is less. 4Sons Concrete in Portland, Oregon, charges the following:
Standard concrete removal: $3–$4.50 per square foot
Standard concrete removal over 800 square feet: $2.25–$3.75
Accessibility and hand demolition
The location of the removal and the type of concrete play a key role in labor costs, says Henry Fuapau of 4Sons Concrete. When a concrete removal crew is not able to use its hydraulic and machine-operated equipment to quickly break up the concrete, the contractors have to do it by hand using sledge hammers, pry bars and other hand-held tools. This process takes more time, costs more in labor and is much more work.
Another factor that raises labor costs is the presence of rebar (or reinforcing steel), which must be cut by hand. Concrete containing rebar costs more at the dump, which increases the overall project cost. 4Sons Concrete charges 50–75 cents per square foot to remove the rebar, depending on accessibility.
Concrete driveways can last up to 50 years under proper conditions, but they can fail or show signs of wear and tear, including frost heave, excessive pitting, cracking from extreme weight or sinking slabs. Here’s an example of driveway removal costs from 4Sons Concrete:
600-square-foot driveway: $2.50 per square foot = ~ $1,500
In this example, the driveway allowed easy access for the demolition machines, and there was no steel reinforcement slowing progress.
Overall cost included three to four hours of work for a two-person crew using machinery.
If there had been rebar in the concrete, the price per square foot would have been 75 cents higher and the dump fee would have increased too.
Patio removal by hand
Taking care of a concrete removal job by hand can take more than twice as long as using a machine. Here’s an example of patio removal costs from 4Sons Concrete:
300-square-foot patio: $4 per square foot = $1,200
The two-person crew used sledgehammers and jackhammers to break up the patio and wheelbarrows to haul it out because there was no truck access to the backyard.
Overall cost included one and a half days of work for a two-person crew with no heavy machinery.
Some concrete removal specialists charge a minimum fee for smaller projects, such as removing walkways and sidewalk and to cover transportation costs, tools, labor and other business overhead. Fuapau only agrees to remove a sidewalk if the company is hired to pour concrete at the same time. 4Sons Concrete charges $1,250 to remove and repour one yard of walkway.