How to break concrete floor
Repairing an apartment or house – a difficult task for everyone, especially for those who have decided to carry out overhaul on their own. During the overhaul, it may be necessary to repair or dismantle the floor screed. This undertaking is not cheap, so many are trying to do it with their own hands at the lowest cost.
Very often the old flooring needs to be completely replaced. Complete replacement does not mean partial replacement of the cladding, but a complete reconstruction of the base, namely the concrete screed.
But if there is no problem with lining, then how to make the dismantling of the floor without difficulty. It is about how to dismantle the screed, and we will tell you.
Why you need a floor screed
Floor screed is not a thick strong layer laid on the floor. It can be either monolithic from the cement-sand mixture or composite with the addition of expanded clay and other materials. It performs the following functions: floor leveling, protection of the floor from external influences, the perception of loads, heat distribution in floors with built-in heating, the basis for the floor covering.
Dismantling of the concrete screed is performed when it is necessary to lower the floor level, to repair the communications located under it, before the installation of underfloor heating, if the screed is heavily damaged (more than 30% of the area with defects). If the defects occupy a smaller area, you can get by with partial repairs. Sometimes a new layer is poured over the old one.
Dismantling the concrete floor
There are several methods:
- percussive (with a jackhammer) – the most accessible, but costly in terms of effort, noisy and unsafe
- the method of drilling and cutting – faster and less noisy
- the method of diamond cutting – suitable for couplers of any thickness.
In the absence of electricity, floor screed dismantling is done manually. If you still decided to dismantle the screed with your own hands, then we will tell you how to do it. To work you will need gloves, goggles, respirator, helmet, and overalls. Breaking concrete produces a lot of dust. You will need sturdy bags to remove pieces of concrete. Dismantling a concrete screed is a very noisy and rather long process, especially if you do it yourself, so warn your neighbors about the upcoming work and do it in due time. It is better not to perform the work alone, but with a helper.
First, remove the floor covering. Depending on its type use different tools: a crowbar, sledgehammer, the hammer will do. Then proceed to remove the screed itself. Whichever method is chosen, it must be divided into pieces. If there is electricity in the house, you should use power tools. Breaking concrete by hand is a long, hard, and noisy job, in addition, you can get injured as a result.
The tools that you will use to dismantle the old screed can be roughly divided into two groups: manual and electric. Disassembling a floor screed with electric tools will increase labor productivity.
Tools that successfully remove old floor screed include:
- concrete hammer;
- floor saw.
When working with percussion, they use rotary hammers, demolition hammers, and saws. These tools are extremely noisy.
The tools to dismantle the screed with your own hands are as follows:
Working by hand is necessary where there is no electricity, or the work is small in volume. This process is slow and noisy.
The percussion method (jackhammer) can ruin the slab, so it is better to choose other methods. In addition, it is not suitable for reinforced screeds.
It is best to use a floor saw. It can cut reinforced concrete up to 30 cm in thickness. The floor saw cuts the concrete into pieces measuring 0.5 square meters and removes them one by one.
Important: Before you begin, you must determine the thickness of the layer so you don’t cut too deep.
You can use a hole punch to remove the screed by drilling many holes in it. The areas drilled on all sides are then chipped away.
The disassembly process is carried out in several steps:
- First, do the necessary preparatory work. All garbage, furniture, old flooring must be removed from the room. The screed should be vacated.
- Evaluate the need for the process of disassembling the floor screed. In some cases, it can be saved, for example, if it is not covered with cracks, not destroyed. Small cracks can be caulked, and then the flooring can be laid again.
- You should hollow out a small part of the floor screed with a jackhammer. This is necessary to understand the thickness of the base, whether there are any communications in it. The dismantling should not affect the communications. At this stage, assess the possible amount of construction debris.
- The screed is gradually broken down with a jackhammer. The work should start from the area at the far wall opposite the exit from the room. The person begins to move from it toward the door, gradually destroying the floor screed. The work should be done carefully so as not to break the floors.
- The room is cleared of parts of the concrete and construction debris. All this is put in trash bags and thrown away. To remove the construction waste, you need to hire a truck.
- Now you can do a new floor screed.