Hydro Demolition

Hydro demolition is a more efficient and effective

method of concrete removal.


Hydro demolition is a cost efficient method proven faster, quieter, and more precise for concrete removal than the conventional method.  It lowers construction costs and provides for a more rapid project completion. Hydro demolition is primarily utilized for surface preparation, refractory removal, and structural repairs in water treatment facilities, tunnels, stadiums, warehouses, transfer stations, and retaining walls. Hydro demolition has proven to be a valuable tool in providing a rough, irregular profile that is free of micro-fractures. This leads to bond strengths that are greater than surfaces prepared with breakers (Nittinger,2001).  

Advantages of hydro demolition include the speed at which the concrete is removed, since one hydro demolition unit can replace up to twenty concrete breakers (Nittinger, 2001). Hydro demolition does not damage the reinforcing steel, induce micro-fractures, or cause structural vibration during the removal procedure. Utilizing hydro demolition on projects such as, refractory removal, prove to better preserve the anchor system with more efficiency. Hydro demolition also lowers the safety concern involved in concrete removal. A remote-controlled robot is supplied with high pressure water from a pump. This allows for the operator to remain at a safe distance while operating the machine. In addition, this method of concrete removal does not cause silica dust, which makes it safer than performing concrete removal by conventional demolition methods. A study on a project in 1996 showed that employees were exposed to 400 times the OSHA-allowed limit of silica dust during concrete removal with conventional concrete breakers. Once the contractor switched to hydro demolition on the project, there was no silica dust detected (Nittinger, 2001, p 6, Para 3&4).    

Three main advantages of Hydro-demolition over conventional methods are:

  • Time Savings

Hydro demolition is much faster and more efficient than the conventional method for concrete removal.  Project durations are significantly minimized and disruption to the traveling public is kept at a minimum.

  • Quality

Hydro demolition can be utilized to selectively remove deteriorated concrete which avoids the unnecessary removal of sound concrete.  The rough profile left by this process provides an excellent, craggy bond. Hydro demolition also assures that the fragile anchor systems are preserved while performing refractory removal.

  • Cost Savings

The efficiency of hydro demolition significantly cuts construction costs. Selective removal of deteriorated concrete extends the service life of new overlay. In addition, one hydro demolition robot can replace up to twenty concrete breakers. 



Refractory Removal

Deep Concrete Removal

Bridge Deck Replacement


Industrial Hydro Services can provide Hydro demolition services.


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