Concrete slab patios are really nice and functional when they are new and in good condition, but they do not last forever. Over time, they develop cracks, the finish wears off, and the corners start to crumble. When your concrete patio stops looking attractive, you will want to remove it. That is not the easiest task, but you can complete it by following these steps.
1. Have the concrete cut.
You can't pry a big piece of concrete out of the ground. However, you can pry multiple small chunks of concrete out of the ground. There are companies that offer concrete cutting services that will bring a big, powerful saw and cut your concrete into chunks. They will typically make cuts in two different directions, turning the big rectangle of concrete into multiple small squares. These will usually be less than one foot by one foot — which is small enough to lift and carry.
Some concrete cutting companies will both cut and remove the concrete for you. If you have the budget to do so, it might be easiest to just have them remove the cubes of concrete while you're there, too. Otherwise, you can keep following the steps in this guide to do it yourself.
Learn more about concrete cutting from a company such as Greene Concrete Cutting Inc.
2. Rent a dumpster
If you are going to remove and dispose of the concrete chunks yourself, the easiest way to get rid of them is to rent a dumpster. Most dumpster rental companies will deliver a small, 10-yard dumpster for about $200, which should be enough space if you are removing an average-size patio. You probably won't physically use all of the dumpster space, but the concrete is really heavy, so you will come close to the dumpster's weight limit. You don't want to put much other than the concrete in the dumpster for that reason.
3. Pry the concrete out.
The easiest way to remove the chunks of concrete is to use a crowbar. Wiggle the bar under the edge of the concrete chunk, and then push on the end of the crowbar to lift the chunk of concrete off the ground. With gloves on, you should be able to pick up and toss the piece of concrete into the dumpster. Repeat this process for each piece of concrete, and you should be all set.
When all of the chunks have been picked up, use a rake to gather up all the crumbles. Clean them up, and you're done. Your patio has been removed!