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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.