Back Pain: How To Break Up Your Damaged Concrete Walkway Safely

Posted on: 12 October 2015

If you plan to remove and replace your damaged concrete walkway yourself but suffer from back pain, you want to do so in the safest way possible. Concrete breaking is a tough job that requires handling large tools, such as a sledgehammer. If you use the hammer incorrectly, you can injure your back. Using a lightweight sledgehammer is a good way to break apart your walkway without straining your back. Here's why.   

What Happens If You Use a Heavy Sledgehammer?

Most professional contractors use heavy sledgehammers with thick handles and large heads to break up concrete. The heads or mallets of sledgehammers weigh anywhere from 10-20 pounds. Because of these features, you must have the upper body strength to lift and swing the heavy tool efficiently and safely without harming your bad back even further. 

In addition, the heavy weight of the hammer's head can pull, rip or twist the muscles in your back and torso when you lift it. If you fall backwards or lose your balance from lifting a heavy hammer, you risk injuring your neck and spine.

To stay safe, you need to choose another option. 

What Type of Sledgehammer Should You Use Instead?

You should use a sledgehammer with a long handle and lightweight head to break up your concrete. The long handle keeps you from bending down or hunching your back and shoulders when you lift it. It's a good idea that you use a sledgehammer with a medium-sized handle so that it's easier to wrap the palms of your hands and fingers around. You need to have a good grip on your hammer when you lift and swing it, or the tool can fly out of your hands and strike other people or objects.

A lightweight head is easier to swing without creating too much force or power on your back and arms. If you're uncertain about the weight of your hammer, test out different products until you find one that feels comfortable enough to lift without straining your back or arms.

Also, place a covering or cloth made of plastic or polymer over the concrete before you break it down. The cloth or covering absorbs most of the impact of the hammer's head as it strikes the concrete, which protects your arms and body from shock.

Following the tips above may take you longer to break up the concrete, but you won't injure your body doing so. If you can't find the right sledgehammer for your needs, contact a concrete breaking company and schedule services.