Posted on: 7 June 2016Share
Because of its tough nature, concrete qualifies as one of the most difficult construction materials to break. However, you may have to cut through concrete at some point when you are carrying out a home improvement project, whether it's resurfacing a concrete driveway, repairing a concrete floor, or tearing down a concrete wall. If it is your first-time working with concrete, you will need to be familiar with the tips you should follow to ensure the work goes smoothly and is done safely.
Here are a number of essential things you should know before embarking on your particular concrete cutting project:
Beware of the safety risks involved
First things first, you will have to be well-acquainted with the safety risks associated with performing the job. Some of the most common hazards include: inhalation of concrete dust, electrocution, exposure to excessive noise and vibration, eye and skin-related injuries due to flying debris, and so on.
Once you understand the dangers that you are exposing yourself to, you will be better placed to choose the right personal safety equipment and also take necessary measures to minimise exposure of other people to such dangers.
In typical cases, you will need the following personal safety equipment when you are cutting through concrete surfaces:
- a respiratory mask to save your lungs from inhalation of lung cancer- and silicosis-causing concrete dust;
- safety goggles to protect your eyes from small chips of flying debris;
- full-length clothing to protect your skin from cuts; and,
- a pair of ear muffs to protect your ears from extreme noise.
Choose an appropriate work technique.
There are two main techniques that can be used in concrete cutting projects: dry cutting and wet cutting. The most distinguishable difference between these two techniques is that water is used for wet cutting whereas no water is required for dry cutting.
Whenever possible, you should opt for the wet cutting technique, as it helps reduce release of too much concrete dust. But you should take measures to eliminate the risk of being electrocuted if you will be working with electrical equipment.
Dry cutting is ideal for instances where there isn't enough water supply on-site or where the risk of electrocution is rather high.
Get the right work tools and equipment.
The method of work that you choose will determine what type of tools and equipment you need for the job: Make sure to use a wet cutting saw blade for wet cutting concrete and a dry cutting saw blade for dry cutting concrete, and not vice versa. This way, you can achieve the best cuts from your work tools and equipment and you will also prevent unnecessary damage due to incompatible usage.
With these tips, you have a better shot at executing your DIY concrete cutting project almost like an expert.