You usually need to cut concrete in floors, foundations, and walls to either modify the structure or create openings for running services and other utilities. These are necessary for heating, plumbing, and electrical work and vents.
For this, you need to do controlled sawing or drilling and special equipment that uses diamond impregnated blades.
The blades together with water produce smooth and attractive finishes in one go. The water prevents the dust from rising and the entire process makes less noise and remains environment-friendly.
This is different from the previous method wherein jackhammers were used. This often left irregular openings and created a lot of dust and noise. Plus, the constant hammering produced vibrations and could cause structural problems in weak structures.
In contrast, now we can produce perfectly round holes in concrete, as big as 12 inches in diameter. Just be careful that the cutting does not affect the reinforcement. But if you need to cut the reinforcement, strengthen the opening so that structural stability will not be affected.
The concrete cutting of slabs is often done with diamond blades that may be 33 inches in diameter at the most.
These blades are mounted on machines. Companies which cut concrete use ground radar penetrating machines to know what’s inside the reinforcements so that they can avoid the same during cutting. These obstructions are marked on the surface.
Slab cutting can help you during demolition work as you cut large parts of concrete.
But in doing this, you and your crew should put a premium on safety. Some concrete cutting machines can be handheld while others are floor mounted or operate on some framework. Each of these has a set of guidelines for safety and efficiency.
Water is essential in cutting concrete. It helps deter sound, reduce dust and more importantly keep the temperature of the blade under control. That’s why you need adequate water and drainage. Improper drainage or flooding of areas where concrete is being cut can lead to slips and falls and may even result in electrocution. Electrical connections must have adequate grounding and all wires must be well insulated.
Further, remember to have the machines properly anchored while cutting. This is necessary because concrete’s hard and the machine may get out of control when you’re cutting it. Blades may get broken and become hazardous to the machine operator.
Finally, make sure that the tools you’ll use are in the best condition and saw blades are sharp and have all their cutting edges in place. Operators need to be well experienced and have all the necessary safety equipment like gloves, goggles, shoes and helmets.