There are two options for removing a driveway. You can either do it manually or use heavy equipment. If not used properly, driveway demolition tools can prove dangerous and extremely powerful. You should not attempt to damage your property, or cause injury yourself, if you have never used a skid steer, excavator, or jackhammer.

Keep in mind that driveway removal can vary from one home to the next. Although the work might seem similar, asphalt and concrete driveways are very different and should be removed accordingly.

Remove an asphalt driveway

Whatever asphalt demolishing method you prefer, there are a few things that you will need to get started. We recommend that you start at the most damaged part of your driveway, and work your way down. Asphalt attracts heat so drink plenty of water and take breaks if necessary, especially on hot days.

If you work by hand:

Rent a jackhammer from your local hardware shop before asphalt demolition starts. Find the area of asphalt that is the most damaged and cut it into manageable pieces. Once your entire driveway has been demolished, break it into small pieces and place them in a pile. Wearing gloves and a mask is recommended to avoid breathing in the asphalt’s harmful chemicals and toxins.

If you are using tools:

Do you prefer to work with heavy equipment? You will need an excavator to rent along with a shovel, jackhammer and circular saw. You can move heavier, more bulky asphalt pieces directly into your dumpster by renting an excavator.

Asphalt Removal Tool Glossary
  • Jackhammer is a handheld vertical tool that can be used to clear your driveway.
  • An electric chipping hammer is a machine that breaks down asphalt and sticks to it.
  • Circular Saw – A circular saw is a machine that cuts asphalt into small pieces. It’s easier than a manual saw to do this type of job.
  • An excavator is a machine that can lift heavy objects with ease. This machine is great for anyone who is prone to making a mess.

Once you have calculated the driveway’s volume, you can get an idea of how much asphalt to toss. The cleanup details will be discussed later, but for now, please move your trash to the side.

Concrete Driveway Removal

Breaking up a concrete driveway? This process is slightly different from asphalt demolition. Although the tools required are very similar, there are some exceptions. Do you prefer working by hand? Use a water bottle with a towel to help you remove concrete.

If you work by hand:

Although most of the work can be done manually, it’s necessary to have a jackhammer in order to get started. Start at the top corner of your driveway and break down concrete into smaller pieces. Then, shovel any debris into an out-of–the-way pile. Keep hydrated and only lift what you can.

For smaller driveways or people who are not used to doing physical labor, manual concrete removal is more suitable. This method will likely take you a week to complete the job. However, it is possible to share the burden with others – ask your family and friends for help.

If you are using tools:

Get familiar with the equipment before you start to rev up your concrete-removal tools and skid steers. Even if your skills are not the greatest, it’s worth taking time to read through manuals and reviewing controls. Once you feel confident, move to the corner of your driveway to use your skid steer’s jackhammer attachment. You can break up concrete into smaller pieces and then use the crane and bucket on the machine to remove the debris.

Concrete Driveway Removal Tool Glossary
  • Pavement breaker is a machine in a “T” shape that breaks down concrete.
  • Skid steer is a motorized tool that can be used to move and attach various attachments. This allows you to break, move and dismantle concrete blocks. It simplifies your cleanup.
  • Hydraulic concrete crusher – A skid steer attachment that reduces concrete chunks and makes them easier to move.

This machinery is very heavy duty, as you can see by the names of the tools. It is not a good idea to use a concrete smasher or pavement breaker in an improper way. You could end up with serious and costly damage.

This post was written by Tanner Brown. Tanner is the Owner and operator of Greenbar Excavation. Greenbar Excavation is a fully licensed, insured, and accredited Excavation company based in Prineville, Oregon. Greenbar Excavation is one of the top companies for demolition contractors Bend Oregon. Don’t look further, go with the company with your best interest in mind!