An old concrete patio can begin to fall apart after several years, whether it’s regularly used or unused. If you’re ready to transform that cracked and broken concrete area into more useful and attractive space, here are some tips that could help.

Clear the Area

Put away toys and furnishings along with any light fixtures that may have decorated the patio. Clear debris from the patio area to prepare for the concrete removal. You might want to discard loose chunks or scattered debris to facilitate the concrete removal process as the main step. Set up a barrier to protect the lawn if relevant. Move nearby structures like a picnic table or barbecue grill away from the work area.

Remove the Concrete

If you are doing the work yourself, schedule an equipment rental for the day of the job and make sure you have adequate safety equipment like goggles, gloves, and heavy boots. Check the forecast to avoid inclement weather. Use the specified tools and equipment for the concrete cutting work to ensure safety and accuracy of the task rather than taking shortcuts to save money. The concrete should be cut into blocks or chunks of a manageable size. Have cleanup tools on hand to collect the slabs or chunks along with any residual rubble so that everything is cleaned up. Move all the concrete chunks to a trash bin rented for the work.

If you don’t want to do this part of the job yourself, you don’t need to. Concrete cutting is labor intensive work, and it can be both difficult and dangerous if you aren’t familiar with the process. Consider contacting a concrete contractor in your area.

Check for Pest Invasions

As the concrete is removed to clear the patio area, look for insect or wildlife infestations. Snakes, rodents, bees, and other small creatures may have burrowed under the concrete or nearby, especially if your patio was used for picnics and barbecues. Be careful trying to get rid of flying insects especially, as they sometimes swarm people when least expected as their in-ground nests are disturbed.

Smooth the Ground

You may also need to get rid of weeds, pebbles, or sand that have accumulated around the concrete. Excess moisture can be dried up. The uneven ground should be smoothed evenly to prepare for whatever you plan to do to replace the concrete patio. This is the perfect time to decide whether to expand or shrink the area for future outdoor use. You might even decide to have new concrete poured right away to create an updated concrete patio.

Removing broken concrete from your patio and yard will open up the space to make it ready for your next outdoor renovation project. Tackle the work by preparing in advance and taking safety measures to ensure effective results.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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