Maintaining Your Commercial Property: Tips for Removing Old Concrete Safely and Legally

4 October 2016
 Categories: , Articles


Owning the property where your company is located is a great advantage for you as a small business owner because you do not have to deal with landlords that hike your rent or change the terms of your lease unexpectedly. However, you need to keep your property well-maintained in order to ensure worker safety and stay in compliance with safety regulations. This includes making sure that concrete surfaces are always in good condition and taking adequate precautions when performing renovations such as adding paved walkways. Take heed of the following tips for excavating old concrete on your commercial property safely.

Knowing When to Get Rid of Old Concrete

When you want to build a new structure on ground that is covered with old concrete, it is a no-brainer that will you need to break up the old material before construction can begin. However, there are other instances when it may be necessary to excavate concrete.

If the paved walkways and driveways on your property are damaged, you need to repair them to make sure your employees do not get injured. Large cracks, disintegration, warping, and corrosion in steel reinforcements are all conditions that require you to excavate old concrete surfaces. In addition, paved walking and driving surfaces should always be kept free of hazards like potholes.

If you fail to take care of these problems, you put yourself at risk for a worker's compensation claim and lawsuits if employees or visitors get injured walking or driving industrial vehicles such as forklifts on the paved surface. In addition, you need to adhere to state and federal laws on pavement safety in order to avoid steep fines.

Check for Utility Lines and Get a Permit

Before you hire a contractor to begin breaking up defective concrete on your property, you need to determine whether there are any utility lines or pipes underneath the concrete. Consult with your plumber and electrician to locate sewer, water, and power lines.

You should also call your utility company to make sure that there are no other underground structures below the concrete. If there are lines underneath the concrete, you will need to shut off the water, gas, and electrical supply to them before excavation begins. Do not forget to contact your local government to find out if you need a permit to excavate concrete surfaces.

Clear the Area and Protect Your Workers

The contractor you hire to break up the concrete will need space for their equipment and to discard the old concrete. Cordon off the perimeter of the project site and post signs that warn employers and visitors not to enter the construction area.

The equipment used to break up concrete will cause the old material to fly in every direction at high speeds. In addition, the dust from dry concrete can be harmful to your respiratory system. The contractors will be wearing protecting clothing, and so should employees that need to be anywhere near the project.

Make sure that your employees wear protective goggles, long-sleeve shirts, sturdy pants, hard hats, closed-toe shoes, and a dusk mask. If there are windows near the work site, cover them with plywood sheets to protect them from concrete projectiles.

Properly Dispose of Old Concrete

You will need to dispose of the old concrete properly and legally. An easy way to handle the waste is to rent a dumpster. A dumpster-rental company will drop off and pick up a full container and take the old concrete to a landfill site that accepts construction materials.

If you have environmental concerns, contact local recycling companies to see if they will accept the old concrete for repurposing. Some construction supply companies will also take old concrete.

Talk to a company such as Garrett Concrete Cutting, Coring & Sawing Inc - Chino for more information.