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Old 07-10-2006, 02:37 PM   #1
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Concrete Retaining Wall Demolition


I need to take down 8" thick, unreinforced concrete walls that serve as the walls and house foundation in a basement, which is approximately 50% below grade. In others words, some walls are as high as 7', others are 3'-4' high. The walls total 120 linear feet in length.

The cribbing that will support the house will be placed approximately 2'-3' from the walls (to the inside of the basement). By excavating around the outside of the walls (which we need to do to provide space to form and pour the new wallls), we can generate a space of approximately 5'-6' between the cribbing and trench wall, with the old wall, of course, positioned in the middle.

I have a compact utility tractor with a back hoe and loader that can move chunks of concrete that don't weigh too much (e.g., several hundred pounds). The loader bucket, which slightly exceeds the width of the tractor at the rear wheels, is a full 6' wide.

I have no experience with hand held breaker hammers designed to be used in the horizontal position. Am I right in assuming that, with this much surface area of 8" wall, trying to do this with hand held breakers will be way too time consuming and physically exhausting?

If a skid steer can be mounted with a breaker that can be effectively used in the horizontal position, should I try to use one to work my way around the perimeter in-line with the wall (i.e., working in the space between the cribbing and the trench wall)?

A third method, I suppose, would be to hire a rather large excavator with a big grapple. The operator might be able position himself outside the perimeter, above grade, and reach in to break off chunks of the wall from above, until all that is left is the base of the walls and the footings, which could then be busted up with hand or skid steer breakers hammers operating in the more efficient vertical position.

Finally, has anyone seen or heard of hand held hydraulic rock/concrete splitters? As I understand it, the tool has a round splitting end that is inserted in a hole that is first drilled in the concrete. For an unreinforced 8" wall, this seems like an ideal way of splitting off chunks that are the right size to handle in the confined space we're dealing with. Unfortunately, the couple of tool rental places I have contacted are not familiar with this type of tool.

I am hoping that a little creative input from folks with experience will help save me a lot of time, effort, expense and (probably) frustration.


Last edited by Riddler; 07-10-2006 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:32 PM   #2
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Concrete Retaining Wall Demolition


Have you thought of hiring an experienced contractor that can do the job in a safe & expedited manner?

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Old 07-19-2006, 10:33 PM   #3
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Concrete Retaining Wall Demolition


Brickie is correct, this is not a job for DIY but an experienced contractor, and would most likely end up being cheaper.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:28 AM   #4
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Concrete Retaining Wall Demolition


Guess I'm going to come in with a bang.

This is a DIY forum, not a girly-man forum. America used to be great cause we were tough and were smart enough to get things done ourselves instead of working all the time to pay someone else to do it.

I'm a machine shop foreman, but I tore out my goodsized concrete driveway (with a forklift from the shop), and I've removed a number of large (36" dia) trees that I was told I should get a "pro" for. Just cause you don't get paid to do something doesn't mean you aren't smart enough to do it yourself.

Can you post a picture of the wall/area? I'm thinking skidsteer with a hammer...how big is your tractor, exactly?

Last edited by David B; 07-23-2006 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 07-23-2006, 07:33 PM   #5
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Concrete Retaining Wall Demolition


Smart means knowing when something is outside the realm of the DIY'er. Smart is not getting yourself killed. Breaking out a driveway is not in the same class as replacing a foundation with the house in place. You will need a permit, and that means engineered drawings. That pretty much eliminates doing it yourself.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:35 AM   #6
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Concrete Retaining Wall Demolition


Quote:
Originally Posted by David B
Guess I'm going to come in with a bang.

This is a DIY forum, not a girly-man forum. America used to be great cause we were tough and were smart enough to get things done ourselves instead of working all the time to pay someone else to do it.

I'm a machine shop foreman, but I tore out my goodsized concrete driveway (with a forklift from the shop), and I've removed a number of large (36" dia) trees that I was told I should get a "pro" for. Just cause you don't get paid to do something doesn't mean you aren't smart enough to do it yourself.

Can you post a picture of the wall/area? I'm thinking skidsteer with a hammer...how big is your tractor, exactly?

yea i'm hearing what your sayin too!!! have ya thought of buying a blade meant to cut concrete and using your skill saw???take a bit longer, noisy and dusty as hell but at least you can cut presise easily managable size pieces and be able to DYI
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:01 PM   #7
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Concrete Retaining Wall Demolition


Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddler
By excavating around the outside of the walls (which we need to do to provide space to form and pour the new wallls), we can generate a space of approximately 5'-6' between the cribbing and trench wall, with the old wall, of course, positioned in the middle.
http://www.nbc4.com/news/9544389/detail.html

Be careful.


Last edited by pipeguy; 08-01-2006 at 09:08 PM.
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