Concrete cutting is an intricate process that requires professional skills and experience. You also need some in-depth knowledge of the nature of concrete and how it responds to different tools. For this reason, it’s highly advisable to leave concrete cutting jobs to professionals. Even the most skilled professional can make mistakes because concrete cracks easily when it’s not treated with a lot of care and attention.
Professional concrete cutting services may not entirely avoid breakage and cracking, but they do significantly reduce the chances of this happening, in order to maintain the structural integrity of the concrete.
How Deep Can You Cut Concrete?
When it comes to the maximum depth you can cut concrete effectively, there is no definite figure, but professionals recommend cutting from between a quarter to a third of the thickness of the concrete. This means that you can cut about 8 to 10cms for a 30 cm concrete slab.
Why Can’t You Cut More Than A Third of The Thickness?
It’s crucial to keep the cut within the recommended depth. Concrete slabs, especially those used on roads, pathways and flooring, take heavy loads and traffic on a regular basis.
If you cut the concrete too deep, the interlocking will not be strong enough to handle heavy loads or traffic. In contrast, cutting the concrete too shallow may lead to the formation of cracks in the concrete.
Prior to cutting, it’s important that you consult a structural engineer or concrete expert to get sound advice on the proper depth and distance to put between cuts. Getting professional advice is a crucial step in concrete cutting procedures.
Other Considerations To Make
Aside from the depth of the cuts, there are 3 other crucial considerations you need to make when cutting concrete:
1. The Tool Being Used
There are so many different types of concrete cutting equipment and tools you can use. Choosing the right one that will match the hardness of the concrete, the type of concrete being cut, the application as well as your technical expertise is essential. Deciding whether you will do wet sawing or dry sawing is also another critical consideration. Many experts recommend wet sawing for most outdoor and indoor concrete cutting jobs.
2. Position of The Cuts
Cutting concrete requires planning. You need to determine where to make the cuts and position them right so that the cuts are consistent, and you are not cutting sections with steel reinforcements or rebar. Accidentally cutting through steel reinforcements or rebar can damage your equipment and affect the structural integrity and strength of your concrete. Making too many cuts without spacing them properly may result in serious cracking that may cost you a lot of money in repairs and maintenance.
3. Spacing Between Cuts
It’s not recommended to make random cuts on concrete. You must determine where exactly to make the cuts and how far you are going to space each cut from the other. Most experts recommend spacing concrete cuts 2 to 3 times the overall thickness of the slab.
The main reason for cutting concrete is to prevent random cracking in the future. It’s crucial to do it right because any mistakes can make the cuts ineffective. Cutting too deep can lead to more serious damage than just cracking. Before you cut a concrete slab, make sure you plan and consult with a trained professional.
Although concrete cutting can be done without seeking professional help, we highly recommend that you get some expert advice before proceeding with the job. Professionals can get the job done in a timely manner with fewer errors and superior results, thereby saving you both time and money.