Are your old concrete steps starting to show signs of wear and tear? Perhaps they are cracked, crumbling, or uneven, posing both an aesthetic and safety issue. It’s time to address this problem before it causes more damage to your property. This guide will cover everything you need to know about how to remove old concrete steps. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or considering hiring a professional, we’ve got you covered with the best tips and methods.

What Are The Signs That You Need To Get Rid Of Your Concrete Steps?

Close-up of a concrete step with a significant crack, showing advanced wear and the need for immediate repair or replacement.

Concrete steps, despite their durability, eventually show signs of degradation. Recognizing these signs early can prevent further damage to your property.

Large Cracks

When your concrete steps exhibit multiple large cracks, it’s a clear sign that the ground beneath is shifting. This settling can compromise the structural integrity of the steps, necessitating removal and replacement.

Crumbling Or Flaking Concrete

Surface crumbling or flaking indicates that the concrete’s integrity is failing. This degradation not only affects aesthetics but also the safety of those using the steps.

Uneven Or Sinking Steps

If your steps are uneven or have started sinking, the ground beneath them is likely unstable. This instability can worsen over time, making it imperative to learn how to remove old concrete steps and possibly address foundational issues.

Stains And Discoloration

Persistent stains and discoloration that cannot be removed might suggest the concrete is degrading from within, possibly due to water damage or poor-quality materials.

Water Damage

Water pooling around your steps or signs of moisture accumulation indicate improper drainage. This can lead to further structural issues if not addressed promptly, making understanding how to remove old concrete steps essential.

What Is The Best Way To Remove Concrete Steps?

Worker using a jackhammer to break up old concrete steps into pieces.

Removing concrete steps can be tackled in various ways, depending on the tools available and the specific conditions of your property.

Using A Jackhammer

A jackhammer is one of the most effective tools for breaking up concrete. It allows you to break the concrete into manageable pieces, making the removal process more straightforward.

Sledgehammer And Pry Bar

For smaller projects, a sledgehammer and pry bar can suffice. While physically demanding, this method is effective for breaking concrete into chunks that can be easily removed.

Circular Saw With Masonry Blade

Scoring the concrete with a circular saw equipped with a masonry blade can make subsequent breaking easier. This method allows for more controlled and precise demolition when figuring out how to remove old concrete steps.

Bolt Cutters For Mesh

If your concrete is reinforced with mesh, you’ll need to break the concrete into chunks first. Then, use bolt cutters to cut through the mesh, facilitating easier removal.

Demolition Saw For Rebar

For concrete reinforced with rebar, a demolition saw can cut through both the concrete and rebar. This method ensures a clean and efficient removal process.

Should You Hire A Professional To Remove My Steps?

Close-up of a professional with a tool belt and gloves, prepared for removing old concrete steps.

Deciding whether to tackle concrete step removal yourself or hire a professional involves weighing the pros and cons.

Pros

Cons

Safety: Professionals are trained to handle heavy and potentially hazardous materials safely. They know how to avoid injuries and minimize risks during the demolition process.

Efficiency: With the right tools and experience, professionals can complete the job quickly and efficiently, saving you time and effort.

Disposal: Professionals take care of the concrete debris disposal, which can be a significant hassle if you were to do it yourself.

Expertise: Professionals can identify and address underlying issues, such as unstable ground or drainage problems, ensuring that your new steps are built on a solid foundation.

Cost: Hiring a professional can be more expensive than doing it yourself. However, considering the potential risks and complexities, the cost might be justified.

Scheduling: You may need to wait for an available time slot that fits both your and the professional’s schedules, potentially delaying the project.

Less Control: Hiring a professional means you have less control over the process and must rely on their judgment and timeline.

 

How Much To Remove Concrete In Calgary?

A calculator displaying the word 'COST' next to a financial document

The cost of removing concrete in Calgary can vary widely based on several factors such as location, size, thickness, and the presence of reinforcements. Here is a detailed breakdown of the costs:

  1. National Average Cost: The average cost for concrete removal in Canada is approximately $2,600, with a typical range between $1,650 and $2,848 or about $5 per square foot.
  2. Low-End Projects: Small, thin concrete slab removal projects can cost around $1,260.
  3. High-End Projects: Large, reinforced, thick slabs can cost up to $7,703 on average.

Factors Affecting The Cost

  1. Size of the Slab: The larger the concrete slab, the higher the total cost. Concrete removal rates generally range from $4 to $7 per square foot, which includes labour and disposal fees.
  2. Reinforcements: Because removal is more difficult if the concrete contains wire mesh or rebar, the cost will be higher. Expect to pay between $4 and $7 per square foot for reinforced concrete, compared to $4 to $5 per square foot for unreinforced concrete.
  3. Thickness: Thicker concrete slabs are more challenging to remove and will incur higher costs. Most slabs are between 4 and 6 inches thick, but some can be as thick as 8 inches.
  4. Location: Hard-to-reach areas can increase costs due to the added difficulty in accessing and removing the concrete. If professionals cannot use their tools efficiently, they may need to remove the concrete by hand, further increasing labour costs.

Additional Costs

  1. Permit Requirements: Depending on local regulations, you may need a permit to remove concrete. This varies by municipality.
  2. Disposal Fees: These can vary based on local services and the amount of concrete being disposed of.
  3. Utility Line Marking: It is wise to contact your local utility company to mark off any underground lines before removal. This service is typically free but ensures no damage to utilities.

Cost Of DIY Concrete Removal

While DIY removal can save on labour costs, it requires renting or purchasing expensive tools. Additionally, without professional experience, you risk making costly mistakes. Therefore, hiring a professional might be more cost-effective, especially for larger or reinforced slabs.

How Can You Enhance Your Property After A Concrete Removal?

A newly installed concrete staircase surrounded by lush landscaping and stone walls.

Once the old concrete steps are removed, enhancing your property with new features can improve its appearance and functionality.

Installing New Steps

Choose materials that complement your property’s aesthetics and ensure proper installation for safety and durability.

Landscaping

Incorporate landscaping elements such as plants, walkways, and lighting to enhance the area around the new steps.

Safely Remove Old Concrete Steps And Enhance Your Property

Worker with protective gloves placing new concrete pavers on a sand base, showcasing the installation process for enhancing a walkway or patio area.

Removing old concrete steps is crucial for maintaining your property’s safety and aesthetics. Whether you choose a DIY approach or hire professionals, understanding the signs of deterioration, removal methods, and costs is essential when determining how to remove old concrete steps. Proper planning, safety precautions, and disposal ensure a smooth and environmentally friendly transition. Embrace the challenge to enhance your property’s value and appearance with confidence.


Ready to remove those old concrete steps? TNA Concrete specializes in professional, high-quality concrete removal services. With over 31+ years of experience, our team of experts ensures safe, efficient, and thorough removal to prepare your space for new projects. 

Whether you’re planning to install new walkways, patios, or retaining walls, we have the skills and expertise to transform your outdoor area. Contact us today to discuss your project and get a free, no-obligation estimate.