Removing an asphalt driveway is a tough job that might cost you a lot of money if you decide to hire a professional. You can remove the driveway yourself--and you can make this tough job much easier--with the right equipment and some patience.
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Asphalt driveway removal can be accomplished using a jackhammer to break up the asphalt or even a circular saw to cut the driveway into small pieces. The best way to remove asphalt, however, is with a larger piece of equipment, such as a Caterpillar 303 excavator from a rental center.
Starting in places where your driveway is already damaged, use the excavator to pull up large chunks of asphalt with firm sweeping motions of the excavator bucket toward the excavator cabin. The large chunks of asphalt can be broken apart later with a saw, jackhammer, pick ax or shovel. Try to excavate as close to your home as possible, but use manual tools to break up the asphalt closest to your home because the heavy equipment can damage structures and power lines. In places where you want to have a clean edge--to save part of your driveway--use a circular saw with a concrete or masonry blade to cut a straight line across the asphalt.
The excavator bucket can smash large asphalt chunks into smaller, more manageable pieces. Moving as much of the asphalt as possible into piles near shaded areas, or putting tarp over the asphalt, makes breaking up the asphalt into even smaller pieces with a pick ax or jackhammer an easier and cooler task.
When breaking up the asphalt manually, wear a filter mask to avoid breathing in asphalt dust as well as leather gloves to protect your hands.
While it may be easy to dump the asphalt somewhere such as a woods or to bury it, the best solution for asphalt disposal is to find an asphalt recycling center. If you have a pickup truck, then you may be able to make several trips to the recycling center, or you can rent a larger truck or hire a contractor to haul the asphalt to the recycling center for you.
Kenny Soward writes for various online publications, covering topics from physical fitness to religion. He has also published several short stories. Soward holds a B.A. in communications.