As the world’s most durable building material, concrete has a number of uses. But it’s not without its challenges, especially when you need to cut it to make a change or addition to a structure. Whether you’re a construction professional or just a homeowner doing some DIY, it’s important to understand the process of Concrete Cutting so that you can use the right tools and ensure precision for your project.
Until recently, Commercial Concrete Cutting was an arduous job reserved for contractors with specialized equipment and skills. But with advances in tool and blade technologies, anyone can now perform this type of work safely and efficiently. With the right technique, concrete can be cut to create passageways, openings or joints that are precisely where they’re needed.
The Basics of Concrete Cutting
If you need to cut concrete, there are a few basic tools that can get the job done. For a small project, you can use an angle grinder with a diamond blade. But for projects that need to be deeper than four inches, you’ll want to use a walk-behind saw. These specialty saws are designed to handle a larger volume of concrete than handheld or circular saws and can be either wet or dry wet blades are impregnated with water to minimize dust while you’re cutting.
You’ll also need to decide between a gas-powered saw or an electric saw, as both have their advantages. Generally, gas-powered saws provide more power, while electric saws offer more convenience with their cordless designs. Both are safe to use when used properly, although gas-powered saws require more maintenance because they burn fuel and produce more exhaust fumes.
Before you start cutting, it’s important to mark the area where you want to make your cuts. Indicate the lines with chalk or wax, and secure a straight board outside the markings to guide your saw as you cut. It’s also important to check for embedded materials, like rebar, as these can cause dangerous splinters when cut. You’ll need to disconnect any gas, water or electrical lines that might be in the way as well.
Once you’ve marked the desired area to be cut, it’s time to choose a blade and set your saw up for the job. Dry-cutting diamonds can be used in handheld saws, while wet-cutting blades must be rented and mounted to the proper walk-behind saw for large jobs on floor surfaces. If possible, try to cut concrete when it’s hard but only half cured; fully cured concrete is difficult to cut and can fracture as you’re cutting it. Finally, be sure to wear a mask and safety glasses as concrete dust can damage your lungs.