Tips For Using Salvage Concrete In Your Yard

Industrial & Manufacturing Articles

Whether you're renovating something on your property or just looking for new ways to reuse old materials, you should consider the options for using reclaimed or salvaged concrete. Many people are surprised by the ways that you can use materials like this, but there are a lot of different options. Before you pass by that concrete that's piled up around the work site, here are a few things you should consider doing with it.

Creating Walkways

Broken concrete pieces can be used to form walkways and pathways throughout your yard. If you want to do something like this, though, make sure you get all of your salvaged concrete from one job site. That way, it's consistent in thickness and composition. The color isn't as important because you can always stain or acid wash it, but if the concrete pieces are varying thicknesses, that can be tough to work around.

One of the best reasons to use material like this for your walkways is to help control runoff. The separation between the concrete pieces is usually filled with some gravel or soil that encourages rainwater filtration. This can keep the runoff at a minimum, protecting your storm drains.

Building Garden Beds

Raised beds are a great way to help ensure drainage in your garden. In addition, you can overcome many mobility issues by raising your garden beds by a few feet, making it easier for you to continue gardening after a back injury or with arthritis. Use salvage concrete to build the foundation for elevated beds, placing the concrete pieces with the smooth edges facing out for aesthetic purposes.

Edging Your Landscape Features

From flower beds to tree clusters and bushes, you can use salvaged concrete to create decorative edging. Over time, the environment will erode the concrete to give it an appearance that resembles stone. Use sand as a foundation to support the pieces or build a masonry-like border with concrete mortar to hold the pieces together. Consider using an acid stain or something similar on the concrete pieces to add color and a unique finish before you create the edging.

Constructing Retaining Walls

Although you can easily find new materials to construct retaining walls, making them from salvaged or reclaimed concrete allows you to create a truly one-of-a-kind structure for your property. Start with a ditch along the path where you want the wall. Dig the ditch just a little wider than you want your wall to be, then fill the base with a little bit of gravel or concrete rubble. Then, stack the concrete pieces, using mortar to hold the whole thing together. Fill in the space around the wall with dirt afterward, until it is level with the surrounding soil.

Eliminating Drainage Problems

If you have an area in your yard that doesn't drain well or that frequently floods during heavy rains, you can help address the drainage issues with recycled concrete. Use concrete material that's ground to a pebble-like consistency for this; that way water filters through more efficiently. Dig a trench out in the area where the water typically backs up. Then, fill the trench halfway with the concrete material before laying a perforated PVC pipe into the space. Fill the rest of the trench with more concrete and some soil, topping the whole thing with a loose layer of soil to finish off the project. This creates a modified French drain that will help water to seep into the ground instead of pooling in the yard.

These are just a few of the things that you can do with salvaged concrete. Talk with the construction contractors in your area about getting some of the concrete from the local demolition and renovation projects. That way, you're reusing existing materials and still getting something fabulous for your property. Check out websites like to learn more about concrete salvage.


25 January 2017