When you have a concrete slab in your yard you need to remove, you can use an electric compressor-powered jackhammer to make the work easier. You can rent a compressor-powered jackhammer at most construction equipment rental businesses to use in your own home demolition projects. Here are some tips to help you successfully use this piece of equipment with your concrete demolition.
Wear Safety Gear
Before you begin to use a jackhammer, it is recommended to wear safety gear to protect your body from injury during the demolition process. Be sure to wear hearing protection with either earplugs or ear muffs to prevent hearing loss. As an example, OSHA's maximum noise limit exposure during an eight-hour working shift is 90 decibels and a jackhammer's noise level reaches 130 decibels while you are operating it.
Wear eye protection to prevent your eyes from flying shards of concrete during the demolition, and long sleeves and pants to protect your skin, as well. Then, protect your hands with heavy-duty work gloves while you pick up any sharp-edged chunks of concrete. The work gloves will also help you grip the handles on the jackhammer during operation.
Use Proper Jackhammer Techniques
Your rented jackhammer may come with several different interchangeable tips. Be sure to use a pointed chisel tip, which directs the jackhammer's force into one point and will help you break the concrete apart easily.
Don't try to rush your demolition work and attempt to break off chunks of concrete that are too large. Start working on the edge or a corner of the concrete slab, positioning the chisel tip only a few inches into the slab. Then, as you hammer the chisel tip blade into the concrete, you should begin to see a crack start to form almost immediately. If the tip only embeds itself into the concrete, your tip is going to get stuck within the concrete and will be difficult for you to remove it. When you have created a crack, move the jackhammer tip a few inches away from the crack and repeat the process.
It is helpful to have someone assisting you to pry the concrete chunks apart and out of the slab with a pry bar as you crack the concrete apart. Then, if there are any lengths of rebar embedded within the concrete, your assistant can use wire cutters to snip them to separate the concrete pieces.
Use these tips to help you successfully use a jackhammer to break apart a concrete slab.