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labrobot 07-16-2008 09:03 AM

Best way to demo concrete stairs
Looking for advice on ways to demo a set of solid concrete stairs. 6 steps with a 4'x4' landing with house walls on two sides (stairs are tucked into corner). I used a Bosch Brute (electric demo hammer) to remove just enough so that we could get the start course of new shingles in, but man that was painful. I'm not an expert in concrete, but this is the really hard stuff. We tried all the various bits that came with the hammer and could only get small 2" x 2" chunks.

Do I need a pneumatic jack hammer or could a use a cutoff saw with a diamond blade. Was thinking that I could make a series of cuts and whack with a sledge; taking a layer at a time.

I am very certain that stairs are solid and do not see any rebar. Has anyone dealt with a similar issue and how did you handle it?

- Steve

javan 07-16-2008 10:11 AM

We demo'd some old retaining walls, using that very tool, however we cheated:
We used a hammer drill with a 1" bit and drilled holes every 2' sq., then filled them with an expanding agent (forget the name). Basically you insert the agent, let it cure, and it breaks the concrete for you. Then we came back with the Brute and broke it up into smaller pieces.

amakarevic 07-16-2008 10:38 AM


Originally Posted by javan (Post 139801)
We used a hammer drill with a 1" bit and drilled holes every 2' sq., then filled them with an expanding agent (forget the name).

why not use some dynamite sticks in those holes ? work really well.

labrobot 07-16-2008 02:08 PM

javan - This is the creative solution I was looking for, thanks. A quick Google search found Silent Chemical Demolition Agents (SCDA). One such product is Dexpan and over course, Amazon carries it :thumbup:.

Sounds like it may just work and the price is actually better then that of a 90lb jack hammer & compressor rental. I am actually surprised that anyone can buy\use this stuff.

amakarevic - That would be cool, but you missed the part about having to sides AGAINST the house :eek:.

Ron6519 07-16-2008 04:50 PM

But it's not against his house.

javan 07-16-2008 05:14 PM

Dexpan is what we used. Works good, just give it time!

DUDE! 07-16-2008 05:51 PM

with these "agents" its best to do your home work, there are a variety of products out there to crack the concrete, they will also crack your foundation. I had a job years back where we used this stuff. Its tricky to mix. The product works on chemical heat to crack the stone, it opens up a space and needs somewhere to go. With your steps being boxed in, you can still do it , but you need to work from the front to back, I'd only do a little at a time. I'm thinking of removing my front concrete steps and am giving much consideration to hiring a contractor to do it.

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