Concrete is one of the most versatile materials used in the construction industry today. Concrete is relatively affordable and easy to work with, which allows contractors to use concrete products for foundations, walls, patios, and driveways.
The durability of concrete can make it difficult to cut through once the material has fully cured. You might need to cut through poured concrete for a number of reasons. You may need to expose pipes for plumbing repairs, cut an opening for a door or window, or install a new floor drain in your basement.
Effective concrete cutting requires skill, knowledge, and access to the right tools. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your concrete cuts are smooth and precise.
1. Use the Right Blade
To complete most concrete cutting you’ll need the help of a specialized saw. These saws are fitted with blades that are designed specifically to cut through concrete materials. Concrete saws use diamond blades because the diamond surface is tough enough to cut through even the hardest concrete.
Be sure to consider the bond when investing in a diamond blade. All diamond blades are manufactured with a bond that holds the individual diamonds to the surface of the blade.
The thickness of these bonds can vary based on the intended application of the saw blade. A bond that is too thin will wear out quickly. A bond that is too thick will not wear away fast enough to expose the concrete surface to the diamond cutting edge. This will result in jagged or ineffective cuts. Use the right blade to maximize the efficiency of your concrete cutting activities in the future.
2. Always Start With a Surface Cut
Another tip that can save you time and help you improve the quality of your cuts is to begin each project with a surface cut. You will use your concrete saw to make a shallow cut along your pre-measured cut mark. This surface cut helps serve as a guide for your saw blade as you begin making deeper cuts to penetrate all the way through the concrete slab.
You will end up with crisp and clean edges that preserve the structural integrity of your slab when you take the time to start each project with a surface cut.
Surface cuts can also be beneficial in helping you maintain a straight line while sawing concrete. Changing directions with the saw embedded deep in the slab could cause a pinched blade, which creates a dangerous kickback that might result in injury.
3. Utilize a Dust Control System
Disturbing the surface of a concrete slab with a saw creates dust particles. Concrete dust can be harmful when breathed into the lungs, so be sure that you plan for the management of dust particles before you begin cutting.
Use a specialized vacuum designed to collect concrete dust with your saw to suck up dust particles before they become airborne. You can also manage dust by investing in a concrete saw that is equipped with a water feed. The water will mix with the concrete dust to create a slurry that can be disposed of once your cut is complete.
Cutting through concrete requires a lot of skill. The wrong tools or technique can result in a potentially dangerous job site. Large cutting jobs are best left to the professionals if you have a slab that measures 6 inches or more in depth.
Contact Capitol City Concrete Cutters LLC to learn more about the professional concrete cutting services we can offer. Our team can safely and efficiently saw through slabs and walls to help you complete your home renovation or repair.