Why Water Jets Are Best Choice For Hydrodemolition

When it comes to demolishing hard materials, such as concrete, asphalt or grout, many people assume strong tools and machinery are required. However, one of the best pieces of equipment to have is a water jet.

To find out why, read on.

No lasting damage

Smashing concrete off solid structures can easily cause damage. However, hydrodemolition, or hydroblasting, can avoid this.

This process uses ultra-high-pressure water to remove old materials, so it does not cause cracks in the existing structure as there are no percussive shocks or vibrating parts of moving equipment. What’s more, it does not damage reinforcing steel with power tools or loosen the structure’s integrity.

Can be re-used

As a result, hydroblasting leaves the structural embedment in a good enough condition to be re-used if intended.

Water jetting leaves a ‘broken edge’ to the surface, which means it has the correct properties to allow the bonding of recast concrete or coating. No additional surface preparation is required for new material to be placed on to the surface.

Avoids human risk

As hydro jets are typically operated by semi-automatic pieces of equipment, this limits the risk of injury to humans.

They can be remotely managed, making it the safest method of removing concrete, as it does not

lead to hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). This is the damage to nerves, blood vessels, and arm, wrist and hand joints caused by exposure to repeated vibration, such as by holding power tools for a few hours every day.

HAVs leads to permanent damage and can be unpleasant to live with, as symptoms include tingling and numbness in fingers, a lack of feeling and a loss of strength in hands, and the tips of fingers going white then red in cold and wet conditions, before feeling very painful when recovering.

For some people, the numbness is permanent, making it difficult to pick up small objects and have good dexterity as they get older.

Therefore, robotic machinery allows operators to carry their work out without inflicting harm upon themselves, as the equipment ensures a safe distance is kept from the surface.


Another advantage of robotic hydrodemolition is that it is extremely precise at removing concrete. It is able to cut through the tough surface accurately, making it one of the most efficient and effective methods of concrete removal.

Additionally, as hydroblasting is most commonly operated by machinery, this limits the risk of human error in the process. This also saves time, removing concrete at a much faster rate than with hand tools.

In the circumstance when very precise cutting needs to be done, handheld hydrodemolition can be carried out. Operators use a hand lance to blast power jets on to the surface, allowing them to cut through concrete precisely in hard-to-reach areas.

The hand lances, therefore, offer a superior finish to robotic machinery, as this often cannot reach areas that are small or have restricted access.

Find out more about the hydro demolition of bridge bearings here.

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