Concrete cutting is the act of sawing or drilling and then removing concrete from a surface. The process originally involved the use of chisels and hammers, or even jackhammers, but such tools weren’t very precise. In fact, they can cause cracking on concrete.
Today, concrete cutting is carried out using different types of concrete saws and core drills. Saws are used for slicing concrete, while core drills make holes through a concrete surface.
In this comprehensive concrete cutting guide we cover:
Why do we need to cut concrete?
There are many reasons to cut concrete. These include (but aren’t limited to) the following:
• Removing part of a concrete slab
• Creating control joints in concrete to prevent cracking
• Cutting through a wall to repair broken water pipes
• Taking out walls of a structure to add space
The benefits of concrete cutting
Modern concrete cutting comes with a number of advantages:
Precision – Concrete saws and core drills are far more accurate than traditional cutting tools like jackhammers.
Maintains the integrity of the concrete surface – Using jackhammers or chisels can damage concrete. If the damage caused isn’t noticeable (e.g. microfractures), the concrete’s integrity may be compromised.
Saves time and minimises costs – Saws and core drills cut through concrete more quickly than jackhammers or chisels. Because the job is completed right away, you spend less on the tradesperson’s professional fee.
Relatively quieter – Compared to using jackhammers, concrete saws and core drills don’t make as much noise.
Cleaner – Jackhamers kick up a considerable amount of pollution but if you use wet cutting or drilling methods, you can reduce the dust levels.
Concrete cutting methods
Here are some of the most common methods to modern concrete cutting:
Slab sawing – Otherwise known as flat or road sawing, this method is used for cutting up horizontal surfaces like floors, pavement and concrete slabs. Slab sawing involves the use of a diamond blade mounted on a walk-behind saw.
Wall sawing – This approach is used for cutting vertical or inclined surfaces made of concrete, asphalt, stone and other similar materials. Wall sawing uses a circular diamond blade mounted on a track-mounted concrete saw.
Wire sawing – As its name suggests, this method involves the use of a wire saw, which is equipped with a thin metal wire or cable for cutting. The wire is filled with diamond beads, allowing it to cut through hard materials.
Core drilling – This method involves the use of a core drill to bore circular holes through a surface – like concrete – and carve out a cylinder of the material. The holes can be of any size and depth.
Handheld sawing – Refers to the use of a portable saw fitted with a diamond blade. This method is effective for shaving rough edges and making small openings.
How long after pouring concrete should you cut it?
Time is an important factor in cutting concrete. If you cut the concrete before it’s set, you’ll likely damage it. Taking too long before cutting will crack the concrete.
Note that the timing varies depending on weather conditions:
• In hot weather, you can start cutting 4 hours after pouring the concrete.
• In cold weather, cut no earlier than 12 hours after pouring the concrete.
Make sure you perform trial cuts and check for concrete ravelling (i.e. jagged edges) along the surface where the cut was made.
How much does concrete cutting cost?
Finding a definitive list of concrete cutting rates by a specialist is unusual and likely inaccurate. Why? Because every cutting project is different.
Here are some of the possible variables that make your cutting job unique:
The material to be cut – Some materials are tougher than others. For instance, clay bricks are stronger than concrete ones. As a result, concrete cutting costs for each type of material is different.
The depth of the cut – Some cuts are deeper than others, especially if you’re core drilling. This difference will directly affect the rates.
Size of the material to be cut – Your full-blown commercial construction job will most likely be larger than a home project. Naturally, concrete cutting cost per metre will vary.
Location of the cut – Location matters because difficult-to-access cuts (e.g. 20 floors up) will likely cost more than those that are easy to reach (e.g. ground level).
Equipment needed for the job – The need for larger, more powerful and sophisticated cutting gear will jack up the project’s concrete cutting cost.
Location of the job – If the concrete cutting provider is located a considerable distance from the project site, expect the price to go up as well.
The amount of time it would take to complete the job – If the project is complex and will take weeks to complete, then it will likely cost you more, especially when compared to a simple job that will take mere hours to finish.
Because of these factors, most concrete cutting contractors offer a free quotation for their services. This quotation would be tailor-fit according to your specifications.
How can I find the best concrete cutting contractors near me?
Simple. iSeekplant is Australia’s go-to construction hire marketplace. You can find and compare many different concrete cutting companies in just a few clicks.
If you’re swamped and don’t have the time to find them yourself, you can:
Get in touch with our expert team at 1300 691 912 or email our Projects Team with your requirements, who will then find you the best concrete cutting quotes.
You can also do a search from our homepage for a concrete cutting company in your area.
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