Whether you’re a homeowner or a business, you may need to start a renovation or rebuilding project that involves a concrete structure. Regardless of the size of the project, the first step is to remove the concrete. Unfortunately, concrete can be stubborn.
People love concrete because its principal ingredients such as cement, water, fine and coarse aggregate, mineral and chemical admixtures are never in short supply. Construction items such as reinforcing fibres, bars, and wire mesh are also readily available. What’s more, these items are cost-effective.
Moreover, concrete can be easily shaped, has low energy costs, and isn’t too challenging to work with. When applied correctly, concrete is incredibly strong. It’s also resistant to elements such as heat, water and wind. However, the qualities that make concrete an excellent building material also make it difficult to remove.
Concrete structures can stay in great shape for many decades with regular maintenance. Some ancient structures have lasted a millennium. But eventually, they develop irreparable cracks, crazing, scaling, curling, or buckling, and must be removed. Alternatively, they must make way for new structures, such as a swimming pool at home or a new wall at a strip mall.
You can’t take an axe, hammer, or flamethrower to remove concrete. Concrete cutting and removal can require sophisticated tools. That’s why it’s best to hire a professional rather than attempt to remove a structure yourself, even if it’s as small as a kitchen floor. These tools are challenging to use. In the hands of an amateur, they can result in serious injury or damage to the infrastructure. By following these steps, you can select the ideal concrete contractor for your project:
1. Look for a Professional Company
Never rely solely on a handshake. Many homeowners and small businesses are tempted to hire amateur contractors to save money. This is ill-advised for the same reason you shouldn’t do a project yourself. Mistakes from an amateur can leave you with costly damage. To make matters worse, some amateur contractors are running scams and defrauding neighbourhoods and small businesses by accepting sizable deposits and abandoning projects halfway.
Instead, hire a professional company that will offer great customer service and complete the project to your satisfaction. A good way to identify a professional outfit is if they are insured and certified to do concrete related work.
2. Look for An Experienced Company
Concrete cutting can be complicated. Due to the unpredictable nature of the work, even a professional company can face challenges. For example, while an experienced contractor will know what tool and equipment to use in the climate, a less experienced company may make errors.
Whether your needs are residential or commercial, hire the services of a professional company like CanWest Concrete — that has over thirty years of experience under its belt offering concrete cutting and repair services to clients across several cities.
3. Look for a Reputable Company
It’s important to hire a company that has a reputation for providing great customer service. They will address any questions or concerns even after the job is complete. Here are a few ways to identify a reputable company:
- They have genuine testimonials on their website, signed and on company letterheads.
- They have a healthy mix of positive feedback online. Be wary of companies that only have positive reviews, as these may not be genuine.
- They can provide references from dozens of satisfied customers.
- They are an accredited business with a high rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The higher the score, the better. Remember, only the more reputable companies have the highly coveted A+ score, which is given to businesses that address all complaints.
- They are affiliated with reputable local construction and safety associations.
4. Look for a Company That Offers a Fair Quote
You’ll want to create a budget for your entire project before you begin to avoid being caught by surprises that can hinder its progress. A company that offers a free and realistic quote can help you in this process. Avoid automatically hiring the lowest bidder. Such companies usually ask for more money halfway through a project or cut corners leaving you with headaches.
5. Look for a Company with a Strong Health and Safety Program
You may have noticed that contractors usually work in groups. Aside from speeding up the work, the buddy system also helps them in case of a mishap. Due to the hazardous nature of concrete work, hire a company that’s committed to protecting its workers.
- They should have the best safety gear, such as hard hats, safety goggles, gloves, long-sleeved shirts, full-length pants, and waterproof steel toe boots, that can protect their eyes, skin and limbs.
- They should be trained to protect their lungs from concrete dust — which can result in allergies, asthma, and sometimes even lung cancer
- They should be trained to use their powerful gear to avoid injuries
- Their safety system should focus on all levels of the company, including management and workers
A good way to identify a company with a good safety policy is to check its health and safety certifications.
6. Look for an Eco-Friendly Company
Concrete cutting can produce waste that’s unsafe for you and the environment. If not disposed of correctly, it could harm nearby grass, trees, animals, and lakes. Hire a company that recycles waste onsite.
Likewise, partner with a company that uses zero-emission tools that are powered by eco-friendly vegetable-based oils. Electric tools such as jackhammers, saws, mini-excavators, spydercranes, and mini skid-steers use less energy than traditional equipment and don’t release harmful gases.
Hiring a company that cleans up after its done is also a blessing when you want to move on to the next stage of the project and the site is clear of obstruction.
These are six steps you can take to find the ideal concrete removal company. You’re hiring professionals to make your task easier, so it’s advisable to take the time to hire the best contractors for the job.