Guidelines to Consider When Cutting Concrete

Concrete is a strong and durable material that performs well when used in construction. However, it's not resistant to wear or damage and at some point you may need to do some repairs on your concrete floors, patio, or driveway among others. When doing these repairs, you may have to cut or saw through the concrete. Concrete cutting is a task you can easily perform on your own, but you need to use the right techniques and equipment so that you don't damage your concrete or injure yourself in the process. For this reason, here are a few guidelines or techniques that will help you in your concrete cutting project.

Type of Concrete

You need to know the type of concrete that you will be working on. The type of concrete materials or surfaces will affect the choice of blades on your concrete saws. For instance, the type of saw blades that you will use on a concrete surface that's reinforced with steel bars may not be the same on a concrete that has no reinforcements. The bottom line is that you need to know the all the materials or elements in the structure of your concrete. For instance, if the concrete structure contains hard elements such as basalt, consider using soft-bonded blades.

The thickness of the concrete will also be important in determining the type of cutting tool to use. Like in the example above, surfaces reinforced with steel and other materials are likely to be thick as well and will require use of powered equipment, such as hammer drills and electric breakers. However, if the surface is not as thick, for instance, if there are no reinforcements in the concrete and its width is as less as about below 10 cm, then tools such as sledgehammers may suffice.

Placement of the Joints

The positioning of the control joints will depend on the size or the use of the concrete surface. These joints are intentional cuts that will allow for movements in the concrete caused by temperature variations. Large concrete slabs may work well with cuts made slightly more (such as twice) the distance as the width of the slab.

Lock In and Kickback Prevention 

A lock in happens when your concrete saw is stuck or jammed inside your concrete. On the other hand, a kickback is when the saw now bounces back towards you. These are both dangerous tendencies that you need to prevent. For the lock ins, you have to clamp your saw blade, while the remedy for kickbacks is to avoid using the upper area of your saw.