Hydrodemolition: Safer and More Efficient Than Jackhammering


It’s not news to say that breaking, grinding down, and removing concrete is a tough job. What’s also not news is hydrodemolition—using ultra high pressure water jets to get the job done. The technology for hydrodemolition has been around since the 1970s, but in the last ten years, it has been an increasingly more popular option to jackhammering. And for some pretty good reasons.

tapt flex lances

Hydrodemolition can be applied to work on bridges, roads, parking lots, parking structures, aqueducts, sidewalks, buildings, stadiums, and other concrete surfaces. It can be used for horizontal, vertical, and even overhead concrete removal and surface preparation, for both reinforced and non-reinforced structures. Anything made from concrete is going to need to be maintained, and after 15 to 35 years, it is going to need some refurbishment. This involves taking off a layer of concrete and applying a new one to the sound concrete to extend the life of the structure without having to completely replace it. When it comes to this, Hydrodemolition is a sound choice:

  • No Micro Fractures: When concrete is struck by a jackhammer, the vibrations travel through the material and begin to loosen the rebar. As a result, this can create future problems when the concrete is replaced. Hydrodemolition can remove concrete in a controlled manner without vibration, eliminating the risk of impact and micro fractures.
  • Better Bonding Surface: Jackhammering leaves behind a smooth surface, but when you’re removing a layer of concrete to replace it, this isn’t necessarily ideal. A better surface is one that has some uneven texture for better bonding, a surface obtainable when using high pressure water jets. Some studies show hydrodemolition creates a bonding surface that is actually 50% better than the surface created from jackhammering or sandblasting.
  • Reduced Noise: Hydrodemolition is much quieter than the very loud jackhammers.
  • Less Injury Risk: Operators of jackhammers can often develop a condition called Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome from the vibrating equipment. This can create considerable pain (possibly keeping the operator from working) and in some cases can lead to permanent disability. Hydrodemolition eliminates this risk completely.
  • No Dust Pollution: Hydrodemolition does not send dust flying into the air as jackhammering does. Plus, water can be captured after the operation to eliminate the risk of contamination.

At Jetech, we offer many options for high pressure water jets, each one with different features based on your needs. We’ve been recognized as the highest quality pump supplier in the world market. We also now offer high pressure water jet rental for those one or two time use jobs or projects when it is not logical to purchase one. The typical rental includes a hose, lance or foot actuator, and a complete spares package. We will train you on how to remain safe while using the equipment as well as on how to maintain it. Our rentals range from 10,000 to 40,000 psi. If you have any questions about any of our high pressure water jets, or about how to use them for your concrete project, don’t hesitate to give us a call.