3 Different Ways To Cut Concrete

Did you know that there are multiple ways you can cut concrete? Concrete cutting is a highly specialised task, and these different methods revolve around the type of concrete you plan to cut.

If you are about to venture into a construction or renovation project that may involve cutting concrete, it is important you are aware of what these methods are.

In this article, we’ll be talking about three common methods of cutting concrete, namely: slab sawing, wall sawing, and wire sawing.

You will also discover how these three methods differ from each other, along with what specific tools each method makes use of. 

1). Slab Sawing

Slab sawing, which is also known as flat or road sawing, is the process of cutting flat and horizontal concrete surfaces such as driveways and house slabs.

Typically used in this process is what’s known as a slab saw, which can come in various designs. 

For example, a slab saw can be a walk-behind machine that has a blade positioned on a spindle, while other slab saws can be more heavy-duty riding saws.

Slab saws are mainly distinguishable for their diamond blades, which are known to quickly and precisely cut concrete. In fact, diamond blades are so effective that they can even grind concrete to dust!

Diamond saws are also primarily chosen because they require less water in comparison to other types of concrete cutting blades.

Additionally, many slab saws function on diesel, propane and even electric sources. 

3 Different Ways To Cut Concrete

2). Wall Sawing

While slab sawing involves cutting horizontal concrete surfaces, wall sawing primarily involves cutting vertical concrete surfaces.

It can be used to cut doors, windows, and openings for structures such as elevators, separation cuts, and stair openings. Generally, they cut through walls, roofs, floors, beams, and footings.

In fact, sometimes wall sawing may be used in lieu of slab sawing. For example, wall sawing can be used for any angled floor surfaces.

However, similar to slab sawing, wall sawing makes use of diamond blades, specifically diamond blades on a track-mounted system which can create both vertical and horizontal cuts.

These blades usually run on electric power, which is known to be lighter and easier to use, or hydraulic power, which is known to be more powerful. 

3). Wire Sawing

The last method of concrete cutting is wire sawing, which is more applicable for large-scale projects or for areas that cannot be accessed with other types of concrete cutting equipment. 

This method makes use of wire saws which are composed of thin wires embedded with diamonds.

Wire saws are capable of cutting through reinforced rebar, retaining walls, steel-encased concrete, and even steel nuclear reactors and metal engine blocks!

Other key features of wire sawing is that it is non-percussive (meaning it doesn’t vibrate), which means it can make more precise cuts.

They can also create horizontal, vertical, irregular shapes, and angled cuts of circular openings with unlimited cutting depth. 

3 Different Ways To Cut Concrete

Summary

The different methods of cutting concrete depend on what type of concrete you are cutting. Is it horizontal concrete? Vertical concrete? Or is the concrete unable to be cut from these other methods?

If you’re looking to cut horizontal concrete surfaces, then slab sawing is the one for you while cutting vertical concrete surfaces are best suited to wall sawing.

These two types of concrete cutting make use of diamond blades that are known to be very precise in cutting concrete.

However, if slab sawing and wall sawing don’t work out for you, then you can resort to wire sawing, which makes use of thin wires covered in diamonds.

Wire sawing can pretty much cut any concrete and create any type of cut that you want, no matter how hard it is. 

For all concrete cutting needs, be it commercial or residential, call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete services in Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!

Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

How A Diamond Tipped Saw Blade Cuts Concrete

Concrete cutting is an incredibly difficult task. Many concrete cutting jobs are accomplished by using specialised equipment such as a diamond-tipped saw blade, a common tool that is used to carry out concrete cutting. 

What is a diamond-tipped saw blade, and how does it cut concrete? If you want to learn more about this, we have created a guide in the article below to help you. 

What Is A Diamond Tipped Saw Blade?

A diamond-tipped saw blade is a commonly used tool to cut concrete. It is distinguished by its diamond coated blade tip, though these are not the sparkling jewellery store diamonds you may be familiar with.

Instead, these synthetic diamonds are actually produced by manufacturers at lower costs. It is imperative that the diamonds be strongly attached to the blade, or else it won’t be as effective.

Because of this, there are several methods by which fine diamond crystals can be bonded to the cutting edge of the blade. These are as follows:

1). Vacuum Brazing – this process occurs by welding the diamonds to the edge of the blade inside a special furnace.

Since the diamonds are only placed on the outside of the blade, once the vacuum brazed blade wears down it does not expose any new diamonds.

Diamond blades made from this process are known to have lower price points. 

2). Sintering – This is a process that makes use of pressure and heat to press the diamonds into the metal. This is known to produce stronger bonds in comparison to vacuum brazing.

3). Laser Welding – This is recognised as the most efficient attachment method, as the precision of laser welding is quite unparalleled.

This process makes use of a laser welding process to fully bond the diamond particles together with the metal’s molecular structure.

Diamond blades made from laser welding are known to last up to 35 per cent longer compared to a sintered blade.

Diamonds are actually the hardest material on earth, which is why they are capable of cutting through hard materials such as concrete. 

How Diamond Tipped Saw Blade Cuts Concrete

What Happens When A Diamond Blade Cuts Concrete?

The hardness of the concrete is almost unmatched to the hardness of diamonds. In fact, when you use a diamond-tipped saw blade to cut concrete, it can easily grind the concrete into dust.

Diamond-tipped saw blades can operate at incredibly high speeds, which means the cuts are more precise and clean. 

One the diamond crystals begin to smooth, they will start peeling and cracking away to expose a new layer of fresh and rough diamonds underneath (though this does not apply to diamond blades made from vacuum brazing).

Diamonds embedded in the edge of the blade also help preserve the blade itself from being rapidly worn out.

What Diamond Tipped Blade Should I Choose?

Choosing the right diamond-tipped saw blade involves the consideration of various factors, given that diamond blades come in different bonding types, diamond sizes, and cutting capacities.

The hardness of the concrete you plan to cut, for example, is an important factor to consider as this can affect the integrity of your blade. 

For example, if you are planning to cut concrete that has not yet fully cured, it is best to choose a diamond blade that has a stronger bond.

This is because soft concrete can wear out diamonds more slowly, and a harder bond marks sure that the diamonds remain in place. On the other hand, a blade that has a weaker bond can wear out and lose its diamonds. 

The size of the diamond crystals is also another factor to consider. If you plan to cut through very hard concrete in a short amount of time, then it would be best to use a blade with smaller diamond crystals. 

How Diamond Tipped Saw Blade Cuts Concrete

Summary

In the industry of concrete cutting, diamond-tipped saw blades are a common device that is used to effectively and precisely cut concrete.

This is because diamond is the hardest material on earth, which makes it capable of easily grinding concrete to dust.

Choosing the right diamond-tipped saw blade for you means that you should consider factors that mainly revolve around the hardness of the concrete you plan to cut.

From here, you can decide what type of bonded diamond blade you will need, along with what size diamond crystals are appropriate. 

For all concrete cutting needs, be it commercial or residential, call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete services in Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!

Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

What Kind Of Concrete Saws Do Professionals Use?

Concrete cutting is one of the toughest jobs in construction. But it has to be done. The work can be made easier with the use of the right tools and equipment.

That is why professionals use only top of the line concrete saws that will make the light work of the job and also keep it accident-free.

Concrete saws are an everyday essential for construction and masonry work. Different types of saws are used for different purposes and different types of sawing techniques are also used.

This study will show you a list of different concrete saws professionals use depending on the application, type of concrete materials and other factors.

Methods Of Sawing

The two most common methods of sawing concrete are:

  • Dry Sawing – This type of concrete sawing does not use water. You just cut through the concrete as it is. This method produces more dust which is a big health risk because inhaling concrete dust particles can cause severe irreversible damage to the lungs. Concrete dust contains crystalline silica that can cause scarring in the lungs and also damage the eyes.
  • Wet Sawing – Wet sawing uses water to keep the concrete saw blade cool and prevent the dust from becoming airborne. As such, it is a highly recommended and more environment-friendly sawing technique. It is also better for people’s health.

Types Of Concrete Saws

The two most common types of concrete saws are:

  • Hand-Held Concrete Saws – These are small light-weight handheld or portable concrete saws that are easy to handle, carry and move around. These are used for cramped and hard to reach areas. Handhelds have lower horsepower than bigger saws and are slow in cutting but they can do the job.
  • Walk-Behind Concrete Saws – these are bigger units that require the operator to hold it from behind when using because they are heavier and larger. They are not as easy to move around and maneuver but they have high horsepower and are very fast in cutting concrete.

What Concrete Saws Professionals Use

Chain Saw and Ring Saw

Chain saws and ring saws are ideal for smaller projects because they are compact and easy to handle. They can work well in cramped and hard to reach areas.

They can be used for cutting walls, bricks, concrete pipes, and floors. Professionals in construction and masonry work use chain saws and ring saws regularly for hard to reach areas in bigger projects.

Floor Saw

Floor saws are used to cut flat surfaces like floors, concrete slabs, footpaths and roads. They are also used for joints, trenching, and demolition.

Floor saws are very stable but large and heavy so they can only cut through flat surfaces.

Wall Saw

Wall saws are used for vertical surfaces like making openings in walls usually during renovations, extensions and even in new construction.

They are used to create windows, ventilation ducts, and doors. Wall saws are also called track saws. They are secured into the target area using a track-mounted system. Wall saws cut accurately and produce precise clean lines.

Wire Saw

Wire saws are made of diamond-laced cables that are pulled through the area that needs to be cut. Wire saws are ideal for small to large projects.

Wire saws can cut through rebar and reinforced concrete. They are also used to cut through awkward spaces and shapes.

Not all concrete that requires straight cuts so if there are curves or irregular shapes that need to be cut, using a wire saw is the best option. 

What Concrete Saws Professionals Use

Safety Reminders:

  • Always choose top of the line or proven brands when choosing a concrete saw to use.
  • Before and during use, always check your saw’s fluid level if you are using a petrol-powered concrete saw.
  • Regularly check concrete chains to make sure they are well lubricated.
  • Check the blades and make sure that they are in good condition and don’t have any damage. 
  • Do not exert too much pressure on the concrete saw. Just guide it along the marked areas and let the concrete saw do its work.
  • For wet sawing, make sure that you have enough supply of steady water for the entire duration of the job.
  • Keep onlookers and unauthorised people away from the site, due to the dust, debris and the noise.
  • For electric saws, connect it to grounded outlets only.

Concrete cutting is vital to the construction process and becomes much easier when you understand the equipment you are using and the materials and characteristics of the concrete you are cutting.

That is why it’s best if you let the professionals do the hard work for you. If you are looking for the most experienced and trustworthy concrete cutting service in Melbourne, look no further than MEGASAW.

We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete services in Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!

For all concrete cutting needs, be it commercial or residential, please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

What Is The Maximum Depth Concrete Can Be Cut?

Concrete cutting is not just a challenging job that requires experience and professional skills, you also need in-depth knowledge of how concrete works.

That’s why you really should leave it to the professionals when it comes to concrete cutting.

Even the most experienced hands end up making mistakes sometimes. Keep in mind that cutting concrete can cause cracking.

Professional services may not completely avoid cracking and breakage but they can minimise this from happening in order to preserve the structural integrity of the concrete.

How Deep Can Your Cut?

When it comes to the maximum depth allowed in cutting concrete, there is no definite figure but experts recommend cuts to range from a quarter to a third of the thickness of the concrete slab.

This means you can cut about 6 to 7cms for a 20cm concrete slab. 

What Maximum Depth Concrete Can Cut

Why Not Cut More than ⅓  of the Thickness?

It is important to keep the cut within the recommended depth. Concrete slabs especially ones used for flooring, pathways, and roads take heavy traffic and heavy loads on a regular basis.

If you cut concrete too deep, the interlocking will not be sufficient enough to for transfer of heavy loads. On the other hand, cutting the concrete too shallow will result in random cracking.

Before cutting concrete, it is still crucial that you consult a structural engineer and get sound advice on the appropriate depths and distance of the cuts.

Getting appropriate structural engineering specifications is a critical step in cutting concrete and in construction in general.

Other Considerations In Cutting Concrete

Aside from the depth of the cuts, there are three important factors to consider when cutting concrete slabs.

  1. Spacing Between Cuts – You can not just make random cuts. You have to figure out exactly where the cuts will be made and how far are you going to space each cut. Most professionals recommend spacing concrete cuts two to three times the overall thickness of the concrete. So a 20cms thick concrete slab can have cuts spaced 40 to 60cms apart. 
  2. Position Of The Cuts – Cutting concrete needs planning. You need to figure out where to make the cuts and plant them right so that the cuts are continuous and you are not cutting on areas with continuous steel reinforcements. Accidentally cutting through rebar and steel reinforcements can damage your saw and impact the strength and structural integrity of your concrete. Making too many cuts without proper spacing will also result in severe cracking which will cost you a lot of money in maintenance and repairs.
  3. Choosing The Right Tool To Use – There are so many kinds of concrete saws and equipment you can use. Choosing the right one that will fit your technical skills, the application, the type of concrete to cut, the hardness of the concrete, etc is important. Deciding whether you will do dry sawing or wet sawing is also an important decision. However, it’s important to note that experts recommend wet sawing for most indoor and outdoor cutting.

What Maximum Depth Concrete Can Cut

The main reason why you cut concrete is to anticipate and prevent random cracking. It is important to do it right because mistakes can make the cuts useless and can lead to more concrete damage than just cracking.

Before you do anything, plan the job and ALWAYS consult your structural engineer. Although concrete cutting can be done without expert services, we highly recommend getting professional help.

By doing so, you save a lot of time and money not to mention headaches and significant mistakes. Professionals can get the job done in a timely manner within your budget with fewer errors. 

For all concrete cutting needs, be it commercial or residential, call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete services in Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!

Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

Why Do You Need A Water Supply For Concrete Cutting? 

Concrete cutting is a messy business, literally. Concrete dust can take over if you are not careful. Concrete dust is very harmful to the body and can cause irreversible damage to your lungs. 

It can also cause severe damage to your eyes if you do not wear the appropriate eye protection. This and more are the reasons why wet cutting is the best way to cut concrete. 

It causes less damage to the concrete saw blade, produces less dust and is much safer for the saw operator and people within the vicinity.

There are several reasons why it is crucial to have a steady supply of water when cutting concrete. Here is our list.

1). Dust Control

Water keeps the dust from becoming airborne and keeps it from getting inhaled or getting into your eyes. This will save you and the people around you immense health risks. Wet sawing concrete is the safest way to cut concrete.

However, you will need a steady supply of water through a water hose or spray jets to ensure that the disk blade is constantly sprayed with water so the dust particles don’t become and airborne.

Why Need Water Supply Concrete Cutting workers

2). Heath And Safety Reasons 

Having enough water supply while cutting concrete keeps the concrete saw operator and the workers around him safe from inhaling crystalline silica which can cause severe and irreversible damage to the lungs.

Spraying water on the concrete blade while cutting also keeps dust particles from entering the eyes causing severe eye damage.

3). Keeping The Concrete Saw Blade Cool

Cutting through concrete is tough for the saw blades. Concrete is a hard and sturdy material. Cutting through concrete takes its toll on concrete blades. It can cause overheating which can cause the blades to crack or break.

Keeping the blades cool with the constant spraying of water while it cuts through concrete will minimise the effect of wear and tear and will significantly improve or prolong the lifespan of the blade and the concrete saw in general.

4). Environmental And Legal Guidelines

Concrete cutting in enclosed areas must only be done by wet sawing. Dry sawing concrete in this area can cause suffocation from the dust, lung damage, and many other fatal effects.

5). Reduced Noise Pollution

Wet sawing produces less noise from the concrete saw because the water keeps it relatively quiet.

This is important especially if you are working in enclosed spaces or buildings where there are other businesses and people who could be inconvenienced by the noise.

Why Need Water Supply Concrete Cutting

6). Preventing Flying Debris

When cutting concrete, small and sometimes large particles of concrete can fly through the air.

With a steady jet of water being sprayed on the blade, the water will ensure that any concrete that breaks off while cutting goes straight to the ground away from you and the people you work with.

7). Keeps The Space Clean Before, During And After Cutting

A steady supply of water while cutting helps keep the floor and work area clean and safe for everyone.

The water can be used to clean up before you start sawing the concrete, during, and especially after the work is done. 

Important Reminders:

  • Always check if the hoses are connected securely. Check for cracks, breaks or cuts.
  • Adjust the nozzles so that the water goes directly onto the blade generously and wets the cutting area as well.
  • Always inspect the concrete saw blade before using. Make sure it is in good condition and is maintained regularly. 
  • Always wear your Personal Protective Equipment or PPE from head to toe. Safety first!

Cutting concrete is not a job that should be done yourself if you do not have the experience, the skill, or the training to do it.

Handling concrete saws is challenging and pose so many health risks like losing a limb or worse still, fatally harming yourself. 

For all concrete cutting needs, be it commercial or residential, call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete services in Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!

Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

How To Keep A Concrete Driveway From Cracking?

Cracking on concrete is normal especially in the first 30 days while the concrete is settling or curing.

If the weather conditions are ideal and your contractors do it right, the cracking should be unnoticeable.

Before we discuss ways to keep driveway concrete from cracking, it is important that you understand why concrete cracks.

  • Shrinkage – the water in the concrete evaporates as it hardens causing it to shrink. When it shrinks, the concrete cracks. Some people add too much water to their concrete mix because it is easier to apply. However, if the concrete dries too quickly, it also shrinks and cracks.
  • Weather – the weather plays an important role in how well concrete cures. Extreme weather (too hot or too cold, too to dry or too wet) and rapid temperature changes affect the concrete and can cause severe cracking.
  • Incorrect spacing of control joints – concrete joints are placed to anticipate and prevent cracking of the concrete. When they are not properly placed and spaced, they don’t work properly which means that cracking will still occur.

Preventing Concrete Driveway Cracking

Concrete is one of the most durable and long-lasting building materials available. You just have to make sure that you follow the proper procedures so it is done right to avoid cracking and other damage.

Here are some things you can do during and after the concrete is poured to avoid mistakes and reduce cracking in the future.

Let the concrete cure properly. Cement (the binding ingredient in concrete) takes a long time to cure so concrete naturally takes a long time to cure. It takes 28 days for it to be completely cured.

Cement needs moisture while curing to fully achieve its maximum strength. This is why concrete cracks easily when it is drying, whether is it drying slowly or quickly.

It will help to spray the concrete with water a few more times a day for seven days so it does not dry up too easily. If the weather is too hot, spray more often.

This will help the cement to gradually build its strength without cracking until the concrete is fully cured.

How Prevent Concrete Driveway From Cracking big cracks

During cold weather, there is no need to spray on water, instead, cover the concrete to keep it from the cold weather for seven days.

After the seven day period, the concrete should be dry and strong enough not to be affected by harsh weather conditions.

Add control joints. Even if concrete is cured properly, there is still a chance of cracking. Temperature changes and drying can still cause it to crack. This is why control joints are crucial.

Control joints anticipate the cracks by putting strategic cracks in advance. These are intentional weak spots to direct future cracks.

Control joints are done in three ways:

  • They can be made while the concrete is still wet using a concrete grooving tool.
  • You can insert joint strips made of flexible wood fibres during the pouring process.
  • Concrete cutting. You can cut them a few hours or a day after the concrete is poured using a diamond saw.

While the first two options are okay but the best way to add control joints is by cutting them in using a concrete saw a day after the concrete is laid.

Cutting concrete must be timed so that you do not cut too soon or too late. When you cut too soon, it will not work since the concrete is still wet.

When you cut too late, the joints will be rendered useless because the concrete has most likely already cracked.

Use the proper amount of water in the concrete mix. Do not be tempted to add more water than what is required just because it is easier to apply concrete when it is wet.

More water content in the mix means more shrinkage. More shrinkage means more cracks. Make sure the base is compact. Concrete cracks because of soil or ground movement.

Avoid this by making sure the ground where you will pour the concrete is compact and can securely support the concrete slab.

How Prevent Concrete Driveway From Cracking pouring

Use reinforcements. Concrete is strong on its own but you can make it ten times stronger by using rebar or steel reinforcements.

Adding steel reinforcements is not complicated and can easily be done. Yes, you may spend extra money on the rebar but this will make up for the cost of fewer cracks and much stronger concrete.

Concrete driveways take on heavy loads and regular traffic. It is important that you keep it strong and crack-free.

Although small unnoticeable cracks are okay, larger ones can damage the integrity of your concrete. Consult your structural engineer on the proper ways to cut concrete to prevent cracking.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

Why Is It Necessary To Put Joints In Concrete?

Concrete’s hardness and high compressive strength is the reason why it is the most popular material in construction. It does not bend or stretch.

However, did you know that these strengths are also a disadvantage? 

Concrete moves, shrinks and expands. And when the concrete is connected or tied to another structure without a break, it can crack when the other structure moves or shrinks or expands.

Cracks can damage the structural integrity of the concrete and will affect the integrity of the whole building. As we can see, concrete’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.

When concrete does not have room to move (or expand or shrink), there is ‘restraint.’

Restraint means that the concrete is not allowed to shrink freely as it dries, settle into the subgrade, or contract and expand as the temperature changes.

This can easily be resolved by cutting concrete joints to allow the movements and control the cracking. This will allow the concrete to move independently from the other parts of the slab. 

Aside from preventing or minimising cracking in the concrete, concrete joints can:

  • Give a better finish to concrete (good for aesthetics)
  • Help in locating imminent cracks on surfaces

Specifications

Joints should be placed to produce panels as square as possible. It must not exceed a length to width ratio of 1.5 to 1.

Concrete joints must be placed on average distances of 24 to 30 times the slab thickness.

Concrete joint spacing greater than 15 feet will require the use of load transfer devices like dowels and diamond plates. The depth must be established at ¼ the thickness of the concrete slab. 

Timing

Cutting the concrete joints must be timed right. The concrete joints must be sawed as soon as the concrete can take the force of the sawing without dislodging or ravelling aggregate particles.

On average, concrete joint cutting must be done within the first 6 to 18 hours and must not be delayed more than 24 hours. 

Timing is very important. When cut too soon, the joints are of no use. When cut too late, cracks would have appeared and will render the concrete joints useless.

Methods Of Concrete Sawing:

1). Wet Sawing – This is the most recommended type of concrete saw because it produces less concrete dust.

The water prevents the dust from becoming airborne and inhaled by the operator and everyone in the vicinity. Concrete dust contains crystalline silica which can cause irreversible lung damage.

The water also keeps the saw blade (diamond blade is the best option) cool causing less damage and prevents it from breaking.

2). Dry Sawing – This is better used in outdoor projects. Dry sawing produces a lot of concrete dust so outdoor use is recommended.

Why Necessary Put Joints In Concrete blade

Types of Concrete Saws:

1). Handheld Concrete Saws – this is used for smaller concrete slabs. Handheld saws are easy and convenient to operate and can get to hard to reach areas.

2). Walk-behind Concrete Saws – This is required for larger and thicker concrete slabs. This is mostly used for major construction projects.

However, it is important to have technical knowledge and experience when operating this type of equipment.

Important reminder:

Concrete joints must be planned and designed by a structural engineer. This study is a guide to help you be aware of the importance of concrete cutting. 

The main purpose of putting concrete joints is to prevent cracking. They say prevention is better than cure. In construction, this couldn’t be more true! Fixing major cracks in concrete is expensive.

The worst thing that can happen is having to take down a wall because of severe cracking and then having to install a new one.

This is why concrete joints are an integral part of construction, whether it is for residential or commercial purposes.

Are you building your dream home or a commercial project? At MEGA SAW, we provide professional cutting services for both residential and commercial projects.

With our 20 years of experience in the concrete cutting industry, you can be assured of the highest quality work and service. We can get the job done quickly and accurately. 

We have adjusted the way we do business to make sure we remain COVID-free. With MEGA SAW, you are in safe hands.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

Can You Cut Prestressed Concrete Lintels?

Prestressed concrete lintels are incredibly strong because they are made by casting the concrete around high tensile stretched wires that are anchored into the concrete.

The concrete is compressed by the stress in the wires. This makes it very strong so that it can overcome heavy loads, heavy stress, and lasts longer compared to regular concrete.

You basically have added protection around the concrete so that any stress or heavy load is taken on by the wires before it gets to the concrete.

The reasons for prestressed concrete lintels being so durable and practical are also the reasons why it is hard to cut.

However, they can be cut, preferably by concrete cutting professionals using the right tools and equipment.

Cutting or minor trimmings at the ends are okay and should not cause any problems but cutting near the centre can affect the lintel’s load capacity.

It is important to consult a structural engineer before any cutting is done. Before we go further, we have to consider the following:

  • Are you cutting prestressed concrete lintels that are already installed and part of your building, say a wall or flooring?
  • Are you cutting uninstalled prestressed concrete lintel pieces?

The answer to these questions means varying methods of cutting. However, whether the concrete lintels are installed or not, we highly recommend you hire professionals to do the work and not do it yourself.

Can You Cut Prestressed Concrete Lintels diamond blades

Factors To Consider When Cutting Prestressed Concrete Lintels

  • Type of concrete and reinforcing materials used
  • The design of the lintel
  • Intended purpose and other factors

What You Will Need:

  • A high-speed concrete saw with a diamond cutting disc or blade
  • A 9-inch grinder
  • A cutting or work table
  • Clamps and vices
  • Markers
  • Rulers or measuring tools
  • PPE like a face mask, goggles, gloves, etc.

A high-speed diamond cutting disc must only be operated by a professional who has proper training, experience in handling concrete saws and knows how to operate the equipment, and is fully aware of the health and safety requirements.

It is highly recommended to consult a structural engineer on how to cut, where to cut, and other important details to keep the structural integrity of concrete lintel.

How To Cut:

Step1 – Scour the Line Where You Will Cut

Use the 9-inch grinder to scour the line where you will make the cut. You will need to clean the metal so you can make a clear mark before you can cut the concrete lintel.

Step 2 -Measure and Mark

Based on the advice of your engineer, measure and make clear marks so you can make accurate cuts.

Step 3 – Make the Cut

Position the blade and start cutting. Make sure you have your goggles and other personal protection equipment on. Keep wiring organised and keep all other clutter to a minimum. 

Important Tip:

When cutting concrete, wet cutting is always recommended. It is safer for the diamond blade and for the person operating it.

Wet cutting keeps dust to a minimum and stops it from becoming airborne and getting inhaled. Concrete dust particles have crystalline silica that can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the lungs.

Cutting concrete is tricky enough, cutting a prestressed concrete lintel is even more complicated.

Why risk doing more damage than good by doing it yourself when you can get professionals to do it in a quick and cost-effective way?

MEGA SAW is Melbourne’s concrete cutting and drilling specialist. We deal with all kinds of concrete using top-of-the-line concrete saws and industry-standard equipment and tools.

We have over 20 years of experience and has been the leading expert ever since. Let us help you do the dirty work and we will get it done in lightning speed, quality guaranteed!

We have over 10 fully equipped vans ready to service both major and minor projects. 

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

How To Cut A Toilet Drain Through A Concrete Slab

Drains and pipes for plumbing are usually installed during construction and before the concrete is poured for the building foundations.

This means that a majority of the plumbing connections are inside the foundations.

So when you need to fix or replace a broken toilet drain or if you are installing a new one, it will be necessary to cut through the concrete foundation.

Cutting a concrete slab needs careful preparation and planning. If plumbing lines are housed inside the foundation, it is possible that other utility lines are there too.

Pre-Cutting Preparations

Before you start cutting, make sure you check for the following:

  • Determine the location of the existing plumbing system
  • If the home has in-floor heating, locate the coils to avoid damaging the whole system
  • Locate conduits and electrical lines
  • Get a copy of your home’s mechanical plans

Mechanical plans are filed in your local registry so if you do not have a copy, you can easily request for one from your local authority.

What You Will Need

Most concrete foundations in residential buildings are four-inches thick with steel rebar and steel mesh for reinforcement.

Therefore, in order to access a drainpipe inside a concrete slab, the following equipment and tools will be required:

  • A walk-behind concrete wet saw or hand saw with a diamond blade
  • A small sledgehammer (or pneumatic hammer)
  • A narrow blade shovel
  • Chalk and tape measure
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
    Respirator
    Mask
    Goggles or protective eyewear
    Steel-toed boots
    Gloves
    Overalls

Step 1 – Measure And Mark The Cut

Using the mechanical blueprint of your house, measure and mark the area where you will cut the concrete slab for the toilet drain. Make sure that you measure correctly and cut accurately.

It is highly recommended to consult a structural engineer to ensure the accuracy of the cuts and to avoid damaging the structural integrity of the concrete.

How Cut Toilet Drain Through Concrete Slab measure

Step 2 – Cut The Concrete

Set the depth of the diamond blade of your concrete wet saw to 4 ½ inches (for the common four-inch concrete slab foundation).

If your concrete foundation is thicker than four inches, set the depth of the diamond blade half an inch more than its thickness. Cut along the chalk lines to avoid damaging important utility systems.

Do not forget to wear your Personal Protective Equipment when cutting. Cutting through the concrete foundation takes time and energy depending on the thickness and the steel reinforcement used.

The more time you spend on cutting, the more exposed you are to health and safety risks. Protect yourself at all times.

Step 3 – Dig And Clean Up

After cutting the concrete slab, you will need to use your sledgehammer (or pneumatic hammer) to break concrete strips into chunks so you can remove the pieces.

Once you have removed the concrete, dig the remaining trench and remove any sand or soil.

Step 4 – Remove The Broken Drain And Install The New One

Make sure the water is shut off and then remove the broken drain pipe and install the new one.

If you are installing a completely new drain for a new toilet, connect the new drain to the current plumbing system. Secure the drain and pipes to avoid leaks.

How Cut Toilet Drain Through Concrete Slab sledgehammer

Step 5 – Seal The Concrete

Once you have put in the new toilet drain, seal the cut foundation with new concrete. Consult your structural engineer regarding the cement mixture to ensure that the strength matches the original concrete slab.

When it comes to broken plumbing, the need to cut concrete is unavoidable.

For adding new toilets or for any bathroom renovations, if possible, plan the location so that you can run the drain line outside the foundation and tie it into the main drain line in the yard.

Important Reminders:

  • Always consult your structural engineer before cutting concrete slabs especially foundation concrete.
  • Do not operate the concrete saw if you have no experience or prior knowledge in handling the equipment.
  • Always wear protective gear when operating the concrete saw or when you are near the operations.

Cutting concrete foundation slabs is not easy because it requires a walk-around concrete saw (depending on the size of the job).

This is quite a large and intimidating machine that needs experienced hands to operate. That’s why it is highly recommended to let the expert handle this type of job.

MEGA SAW has over 20 years of experience in concrete cutting services. We can get the job done quickly but safely.

We provide a wide range of concrete services designed to make your life easier. We also use top-of-the-line equipment that will ensure quality work and reliable service.

Don’t risk your health and safety. Avoid making more damage to your property too. Leave the work to the experts.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

What Material Can Concrete Cutters Not Cut Through?

Concrete cutters are built to cut through the toughest concrete. Typically, there is no type of concrete they can’t cut. There may be very few exceptions, though like exceptionally hard materials.

However, when you talk about regular concrete and natural stone materials that are often dealt with in construction operations, there is no concrete that most concrete cutters can’t slice through.

Most concrete cutters and saws use industrial-grade diamond blades to cut concrete. Diamond blades can cut through anything that is not stronger or tougher than diamonds.

Diamond is known to be the hardest material on earth. Some concrete – natural or manmade like sapphire, diamonds, metals used in high-grade vaults, etc, may be challenging to cut through but it can be done. 

It is difficult to find any type of concrete that modern cutters cannot cut. Concrete cutting is an innovative industry that is quick to find solutions to any difficult problems.

If there was a material that was difficult to cut, chances are, the industry will invent a new machine to cut through it.

Reinforced Concrete

This is not something your regular concrete saw can cut. Forget about chiselling and jackhammering. Concrete with heavy rebar is tough to cut but a diamond blade can do the job.

A water jet machine can also cut through rebar with precision. Depending on the thickness of the concrete and the quality of the rebars, the cutting may take some time but it is doable.

Ultra-High Performing Concrete

This is a very strong, durable, high tensile ductility and very tough kind of concrete. Only diamond blades can cut through it.

You will need the assistance of a structural engineer in determining the type of saw or cutter you can use, the size of the diamond blade, and other considerations.

This is a challenging material to cut through but with the right equipment and people, it can be done.

High Strength Concrete

High strength concrete can resist strong force without breaking. It has a compressive strength of 6000 psi. That is a tough concrete to crack!

Cutting this type of concrete will require a diamond blade. With professional help and right tools, you can cut through high-strength concrete without too many dramas.

What Material Concrete Cutters Not Cut Through Diamond blade

Sapphire, Diamonds And Other Natural Stones

These natural stones can be cut although it can be very challenging. Diamond cutters can cut through diamonds and gemstones.

However, these stones are not used in construction and building operations. This is not something that we should worry about. The jewellery industry has a solution for that.

Final Thoughts

There is pretty much nothing concrete cutters today cannot cut through. There may be some types of concrete that are harder and take time to slice through but they can definitely be done. 

When dealing with hard and tough materials, even with regular concrete, you should seek professional help. Highly trained technicians can easily do the work for you with precision.

You can save time and money when you entrust the work to the experts.

MEGA SAW has been Melbourne’s #1 concrete cutter for over 20 years now. There is no residential or commercial cutting job that we cannot do. We guarantee the highest quality of work in a fast and reliable manner.

If you are looking for a specialist concrete cutting company who uses only the best practices to get the job done right, then please call us at Megasaw on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.

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