3 Basic Tips for Perfect Concrete Saw Cuts
Concrete saw cuts are used for a wide range of reasons. One is to create joints in concrete slabs and blocks, that help to prevent cracking or damage due to shrinkage.
Concrete saw cuts should be pre-planned and performed only after the concrete has completely dried but before it has started cracking.
With that in mind, you need to establish what is the best time to perform the cuts in order to achieve suitable results.
Timing plays a critical role in how the cuts will turn out.
Your choice of timing should take into consideration different factors such as the design of the concrete mix, the temperature of the surrounding air, the aggregate used in forming the concrete as well as the type of admixture used.
Timing The Cuts
As mentioned above, timing is key when making any type of saw cuts on concrete blocks and slabs.
In order to get the timing right, you need to consider the materials that have gone into the concrete as well as the prevailing weather conditions.
You also need to consider the type of equipment you have and how hard the concrete cutting is.
Any missteps in timing can lead to undesirable results that can be really costly and time-consuming to mend.
For instance, cutting too late can lead to uncontrolled cracking of the concrete as it has already become too hard.
On the other hand, sawing the concrete too early can lead to ravelling, which is a situation where the aggregate is removed out of position resulting in a huge mess and a weakened structure.
When it comes to weather conditions, it’s advisable to begin sawing 4 hours after pouring the mix if it’s hot, windy and sunny.
On the other hand, if the weather is considerably cooler with limited sunlight and low temperatures, it’s advisable to begin sawing after at least 12 hours.
If you are not sure whether the concrete is ready for sawing, you can attempt to do some miniature trial cuts in order to see how the concrete reacts.
If any unravelling occurs, you should wait a little bit longer for the concrete to gain full strength.
Making the perfect concrete saw cuts is by no means an easy task.
Even some professional contractors find it difficult to perform some simple cuts due to various reasons such as bad weather conditions and poor equipment.
Equipment especially plays a key role in how the cuts turn out. There are various types of saw blades you can use to cut concrete too.
The type of saw blade you use should be determined by the type of concrete you are dealing with.
Wrong use of equipment can lead to damage such as blade abrasion, and excessive wear and tear.
Some of the reasons why your equipment may suffer damage during cutting are using the wrong saw blade, using a saw blade with a bent spindle, sawing at high speeds, and pushing the blade too hard.
Positioning and Spacing The Cuts
Before you begin any sawing, it’s important to establish where exactly you’ll be making the cuts.
The position and spacing of each cut need to be perfect if you don’t want to redo the entire job all over again.
It’s advisable to make your first cuts at the centre of the concrete slab, block or column.
The cuts should be spaced out evenly at intervals no more than 36X the thickness of the concrete block.
If the type of concrete you are using has a high shrinkage rate, you should make more cuts and reduce the spacing between each cut.
The aim of this is to provide more joints for the concrete to relieve pressure.
Other tips you should remember when determining the positioning and spacing of your saw cuts include:
- Try and form square patterns using your cuts
- Make your cuts as continuous as possible
- Choose concrete sections that don’t have any reinforced steel passing through multiple joints
- Carefully mark your lines using chalk before you begin sawing in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes
Once you get the timing, positioning and spacing right, the only thing left is mastering your technique.
Your saw-cutting techniques will be influenced by various factors such as the type of base, length of the slab, thickness of the slab and the curing methods being employed.
Once you have established each and every one of these parameters, you can proceed to positioning your equipment on the concrete.
You should always begin by checking your saw blade to ascertain that it’s in physical contact with the surface of the concrete.
Next, if you are using water cutting equipment, make sure the water has reached all parts of the blade before sawing.
The blade should cut through the concrete to the desired depth before you start pushing it forward along the cutting line.
In order to make the perfect concrete saw cuts, you should avoid twisting or spinning the saw blade while cutting.
You should also wear the right protective gear in order to avoid injury.
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 www.megasaw.com.au/contact-us/