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Techniques and Equipment Used in Concrete Demolition

The demolition of concrete varies according to counties, countries, regions and municipalities. In this article, you are going to discover different techniques that you can use to demolish concrete and also the equipment involved. 

This blog will help you to compare options before picking on any technique. Apart from uncovering the techniques and equipment, you’ll also learn more about safety measurements and warnings against possible disasters that may occur during demolition.

In Which Circumstances Should One Demolition Concrete?

People try to fix cracked or damaged concrete by, for example, doing a decorative topping, or by using resurfacing products. This can be a good solution if the damage is a little crack. But there are circumstances or conditions where even if you try to repair or fix damaged concrete the problem won’t disappear completely.
Examples of such circumstances include;

  • Deep cracks

These types of cracks generally occur because of the weight caused by huge trucks, deterioration or incorrect preparation of the subgrade, among other causes.

  • Sunken Concrete Slabs

This damage occurs because of several reasons. For example, the cause may be a subgrade that was not properly prepared, especially if loose dirt was used for the subgrade. If this is the case, the dirt sits or stays down because of aspects like rainwater and sprinklers running under the concrete. As a result, the concrete becomes unsupported and later sinks. Another reason is the huge weight being subjected to the concrete.

  • Concrete that Exhibit Signs of Frost Heave

Frost heave occurs in areas that experience cold weather conditions. In such areas concrete is usually pushed upwards as a result of the moisture found in the ground being frozen.

It is under the above-mentioned circumstances that one has to demolish concrete. Concrete that is in such conditions should be removed or demolished and replaced instead of covering up.

Techniques Used in Concrete Demolition

  • Pressure Bursting

This type of technique is used in projects where one preferred a dust-free, less noisy kind of demolition. Here both chemical and mechanical pressure bursting is used. The split concrete is normally removed by hand or with the help of a crane.

Difference Between Chemical and Mechanical Pressure Bursting

Mechanical Bursting

  • Affordable
  • Less noise
  • No vibrations

Though the method is affordable, in some situations the expense can be a little exorbitant if the diamond-tipped core machine is used.

Chemical Bursting

  • Little or no dust at all
  • Quiet
  • No vibration
  • Expensive
  • Pneumatic Hydraulic Breakers

This kind of technique is commonly used in the demolition of foundations, pavements or driveways and bridge decks. In these types of projects, the most used equipment is a boom-mounted or handheld pneumatic or hydraulic breaker.

The amount of work to be done using this technique depends on the amount of the steel-reinforced, the strength of the concrete, hammer size and the working conditions.

  • Dismantling

Here the process is done by cutting through concrete. The concrete cut is later removed using a crane. The impact that this method has on the environment is minimal in terms of noise and dust.

This technique can be carried out in  different ways, 

Thermic Lance

  • Works perfectly in the presence of a reinforced steel
  • No dust and noise issues
  • May cause fire or smoke threats


  • Reduces the risks of fire threats
  • Minimises dust
  • Good for cutting straight and contour lines
  • The Ball and Crane Technique

This is one of the most ancient techniques of demolition. Here a ball weighing around 13000 to 14000 pounds is used on a ball and crane to demolish concrete. The ball is either dropped or swung onto a surface that has to be demolished.

Bottom Line

Explosives are used to demolish large amounts of concrete. There are a lot of techniques and equipment that you can use to demolish concrete, but before you demolish get a government permit first.

A Guide On How To Cut Concrete


  1. Mark The Area To Be Cut

The first thing you need to do is layout the piece of concrete that you want to remove. You can use a box and chalk line to mark the area of the concrete that you want to cut. When cutting the concrete, make sure that the blade stays on the straight line marked by the chalk line.

  1. Use 150-amp Circular Saw That Has Abrasive Blade.

This is the best blade you can use to cut concrete that is not too deep. However, when using the blade, make sure that you set the depth of the circular saw at 50.8 mm which is 2 inches. Once you have adjusted the depth of the circular saw, you can proceed on to cutting the concrete by starting from the edge. Slowly follow the line you had drawn using the chalk line to make sure that you get perfect results.

If you are working on concrete that is deeper than four inches, it is advisable that you use a more powerful cutting tool to get the job done.

A good example of such a tool is an electric power cut-off saw. This precise saw can penetrate concrete that is six inches deep and can cut through without any problems. Besides, using a different blade to cut through such concrete, you will still use the same method to get the job done.

The above graph shows that the concrete cutting industry really only exists in western countries such as England, Australia and America.


There are different types of blades you can use to cut concrete, but the one you chose will depend on the depth of the concrete that you need to cut. Furthermore, it is also advisable that you try and keep the blade wet when cutting concrete to reduce dust and also to keep the blade cool.

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