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Demolition: You just need a bigger hammer… Right?

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any people have tried their hand a building or creating things, but what about the flip side? For example, when the job calls for some demolition work such as removing a footpath, knocking out bricks or breaking up anything which is built from concrete, brick or even metal for that matter. Not many people have the equipment required for this on the ute or in the shed which is why you need to find a builder’s hire company, such as Centenary Hire, where you can hire what’s needed to complete the necessary work.

If you are looking for the right tool for the job, it would be wise to have a good understanding of what each is best suited for. Following is some information you may find useful.

Not all Jobs Start with a Jackhammer

Certainly Jackhammers are going to play a role in demolition or removal of material but often a Demolition Saw, also called a concrete saw, will be needed first. This could be for a number of reasons and here are two common ones.

  • Controlling the demolition area.
  • Because jackhammers can be fairly indiscriminate about what they break, when cutting sections out of a concrete slab (maybe to install some drainage channel) often a demolition saw is used first to control the section of concrete which needs to be broken up. Running saw cuts parallel to each other will contain the concrete demolition with a jackhammer to between the cuts.

    This same theory is applied when cutting through a brick wall, to install a doorway for example. But if this job is inside then you need to consider the by-products of the saw which are exhaust fumes and dust. Both of these can addressed by using an Electric Demolition Saw. Although the power is reduced a little as compared to a petrol demolition saw, it is a small compromise for your health and safety and an electric demolition saw also allows for a vacuum to be attached to extract the dust as the cutting progresses.

  • Reducing the demolition area
  • If you were to tackle a concrete slab such as a patio area, it is a good idea to run several demolition saw cuts across the slab and down the slab before using a jackhammer. By effectively making smaller sections of concrete, the jackhammer will much more efficiently break those sections up into pieces which can be manhandled to the disposal point.

    Demolition saws can also be fitted with metal cutting blades. Although a jackhammer may not be required, in many cases the cutting with the demolition saw would be in small sections at a time rather than trying to demolish the structure with only a few saw cuts.

Choose a Jackhammer Based on the Power Needed
When it comes to heavy-duty jobs, you need a Jackhammer with enough power to break up or remove the material you are demolishing. Most Jackhammers are rated by their weight and this correlates with the impact or strike energy they are capable of. This impact energy is a measurement called a joules and of course, the higher the joules, the more power you can expect.

For example, a 6kg Jackhammer is rated at 14 joules whereas a 30kg Jackhammer is rated at an amazing 63 joules. As there is a vast difference in the weight of each, if you will be holding it for any length of time, you want to make sure you have the right jackhammer so that you can get the work done without undue stress on your body.

Here is a basic run down on some common sized jackhammers as well as some tasks that they are often used for.

  • 6kg Jackhammer: This jackhammer is quite small and is often used for removing wall tiles in bathrooms and kitchens for example. At 14 joules, it is not suitable for breaking concrete into pieces but can be used to chisel out or chip away small sections of concrete.
  • 11kg Jackhammer: This jackhammer is also often used in bathrooms for breaking up the concrete shower recess or for lifting the tiles of the floor. At 27 joules, it can be used for breaking light (thin) concrete, crumbling rocks as well as some brick work.
  • 15kg Jackhammer: This jackhammer is the most common choice for contractors. The little bit of extra weight comes with increased joules at 33.8. This is enough to break up concrete footings around fence posts, concrete slabs up to approx 100mm thick (with pre-cutting using a demolition saw) and stubborn rocks found in the ground when landscaping.
  • 30kg Jackhammer: This jackhammer is heavy but it has the biggest punch at 63 joules. This is used for concrete slabs thicker than 100mm (again with pre-cutting using a demolition saw) for solids rocks such as granite or really, really hard ground such as roadways. This electric jackhammer is on par with air powered jackhammers.

Hire the Right Tools for the Job
In order to complete your job in a reasonable time frame with no more effort than is necessary, it’s really important that you use professional-grade equipment such as the items listed above which are all available from Centenary Hire.

If you hire from Centenary Hire, the team on the Hire Desk are available to answer your questions and ensure you have all the information you need to achieve maximum impact. Once you have the right equipment, all that’s left to do is follow the instructions and use some good old fashioned elbow grease.

Copyright Centenary Hire 2015. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be used without consent from the author. See below for more details.


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Centenary Hire is a Tradesmen & Weekend Warrior’s best friend. Our ever increasing range of hire equipment consists of modern tools, machinery, scaffold, access equipment and site services all of which are aimed at helping you get the job done right – the first time. Our friendly staff can help you to choose the right equipment for your project or you can view & book your equipment online now at www.CentenaryHire.com.au. Drop into our store at Sumner Park or request an equipment delivery as our efficient transport service extends well beyond the limits of Brisbane on a daily basis.

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