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Concrete Sawing / Sawing Concrete
How to do Concrete Sawing during Do-It-Yourself Projects
Many homeowners enjoy tackling challenging home improvement projects, and Concrete Sawing often forms part of such projects. There are many instances where existing concrete has to be cut or drilled in order to affect repairs or to complete additions to a home.
When Is Concrete Sawing Necessary?
Do-It-Yourself projects often involve the improvement of a property by repairing existing structures and features. Pavements and driveways are often cracked, badly stained, sunken, or generally in a state of disrepair. In most cases, it would be necessary to replace certain areas, and in extreme cases it may even be necessary to remove the entire pavement or driveway by means of Concrete Sawing.
More ambitious home improvement projects often include the addition of new doors or windows. In such cases, Concrete Sawing is necessary to cut through existing walls in order to create openings for the new doors, archways or windows. This type of project often requires a high degree of skill and it is important that do-it-yourself enthusiasts are confident in their own ability to perform the job successfully.
In some cases, when additions to a home are made, it may even be necessary to cut into a foundation in order to make provision for new entryways or passages. This type of project requires a high degree of skill and precision, and self-help home owners should consider recruiting some help to ensure that the job is completed with precision.
Some Considerations When Planning Concrete Sawing
Do-it-yourself enthusiasts often pride themselves on their ability to use a wide variety of equipment and tools. However, it is important to keep in mind that the equipment used for Concrete Sawing can be dangerous and that it would be necessary to take special safety precautions and to wear protective clothing. While many machines used for this task can be operated by one person, it may be sensible to have help at hand.
It is also important to remember that this job is a messy business and that there is likely to be an inordinate amount of dust and debris. Prudent home owners should take all possible steps to ensure that the dust is contained as much as possible and to plan for the removal of the debris. Those with respiratory troubles should not contemplate this type of project, and even those with no health problems are well advised to wear a device that filters the air.
Experts agree that DIY beginners should not tackle this type of job without some training in the use of the machinery. The equipment is typically high-powered and can easily lead to serious injuries. In addition, if a mistake is made, it is almost impossible to rectify. Inexperienced people can therefore not only cause themselves harm, but their efforts may even result in costly damage to their property.
Few home owners will need specialist equipment on a regular basis, and it is therefore better to rent than to buy. Many companies that specialize in the renting of equipment are able to supply a variety of machines suitable for this task. In most cases, a handheld model that works with a gas and oil combination would be sufficient. Some models can be attached to a garden hosepipe to help ensure that the working surface and the blade stay cool and clean. Most companies that offer this equipment for hire will be able to provide basic instructions on the correct and safe use of these machines.
Follow These Steps during Concrete Sawing
Apart from the machine, it may be useful to also have a heavy caliber drill with concrete drill bits, chalk, string and a measuring tape at hand before starting the job. Proper and careful planning is of paramount importance, because once the concrete is cut, there is no going back. The area that must be sawed should be measured very carefully and it may be useful to demarcate the exact area with a very taut line of string. Next, the line along which the cutting must take place should be marked with chalk and it may be good advice to consider the old adage: "Measure twice and cut one!"
The next step is to carefully score a line with the machine along the cutting line. Extreme care should be taken when performing this task and the score should not be deeper than about a quarter of an inch. Most machines are equipped with diamond blades and they require very little pressure. This part of the job must not be rushed and great care should be taken to stay exactly on the chalk line.
The final phase is to finish the job by using the machine to cut through the entire thickness of the concrete, using the scored line as a guide. It is most important to progress leisurely and to clear the working surface from dust and debris regularly. Once all the unwanted concrete is removed, it may be necessary to use a cut-off saw to remove small remaining areas of concrete.
In some instances, it may be necessary to use a heavy duty concrete drill to define smaller work areas. In such cases, the Concrete Sawing machine is used to cut the concrete between two holes before progressing to the next section. This method can play an important role when precision work is necessary, especially when new openings for doors, windows or entries are created.
Always Follow the Safety Rules When Sawing Concrete
These machines operate at high speed and can lead to very serious injuries. Therefore, it is vitally important to wear proper protective clothing, including heavy gloves and goggles to protect the eyes against dust and flying particles. The high speed with which the machine operates often results in sizable chunks of concrete flying through the air at high speed. This may pose a risk to nearby property, so steps should be taken to prevent accidental damage.
Some people try to save money by using equipment such as circular saws and even grinding machines to perform Concrete Sawing jobs. Experts agree that it is most unwise to use any equipment to perform tasks that they are not specifically designed to perform. Such disuse may result in serious injury and will almost certainly cause damage to the equipment.
Do-it-yourself enthusiasts do not always tackle projects just because they want to save money. On the contrary, many derive immense pleasure from these projects and they enjoy the fruits of their own labor. Concrete Sawing is just one of those jobs that may take time and can be very messy, but which often result in marked improvements.
Why the Task of Sawing Concrete Should Be Left to the Experts
No construction company can operate without specialist equipment used for Sawing Concrete. There is a myriad of situations where it is necessary to cut through concrete in some way or another. The construction of new buildings, additions to existing buildings, renovations, demolitions, road building and repairs are all examples of situations where Sawing Concrete becomes necessary.
The Different Types of Concrete Sawing
This trade involves far more than simply cutting through slabs of concrete. This common type of Sawing Concrete is called slab sawing, or flat sawing; when flat, horizontal expanses of concrete need to be cut. There are many instances where this type of work is necessary. In many cases, it is necessary to create an opening in a concrete slab in order to do maintenance on pipes and wiring beneath it, and during home improvement projects it is almost always essential to cut into the foundation in order to create new entries or passages. Road repairs also use this method in order to remove entire sections of asphalt or concrete that needs to be replaced.
Another type of concrete cutting is called wall sawing; where it is necessary for Sawing Concrete to create openings for new doors and windows. This is one of the most difficult tasks within this discipline, because mistakes cannot be rectified without incurring considerable cost and further problems. It is vital to plan thoroughly and to measure very carefully before cutting the concrete. Great care must also be taken to ensure that the structural stability of a building is not compromised in any way by creating new openings.
Core drilling involves the creation of circular openings in concrete surfaces such as floors, walls, pavements, driveways and even roads. A cylindrical slug is removed in order to create space for the installation of electrical wiring, plumbing, telephone lines, fiber optics and even sprinkler systems; the list is almost endless. This method is also commonly used during demolition projects.
The Equipment That Is Used for Sawing Concrete
The uninitiated will be surprised at the wide variety of machines that are available for Sawing Concrete. There are different models available for just about every type of project imaginable, ranging from smaller hand-held models to very large self-driven machines that are used in large-scale projects. Most models use a combination of two-stroke oil and gas, but electric versions are also available. At the higher end of the market, walk-behind models are self-propelled and allow for the fitting of a hosepipe to keep the working surface clean of debris. Other models are specially designed for the cutting of concrete bricks and they are normally permanently installed in a specific location, allowing for precision measuring and cutting. The blades also vary wildly, but diamond blades prove to be the most popular because they are more reliable and offer superior performance.
The operation of this type of equipment requires a high degree of skill. Mistakes are very difficult or even impossible to correct. Because these machines operate at a very high speed, they may be dangerous in inexperienced hands, and the danger may be compounded by chunks of flying concrete particles and clouds of dust. The dust itself can be harmful and it is important to prevent inhalation by wearing an efficient air filter. Blades that suddenly break can also cause injury, and operators have to check the equipment continuously and have to stay extremely attentive.
The potential dangers indicative of operating these machines imply that it is of the utmost importance to wear protective clothing when engaged in Sawing Concrete. Most responsible operators wear protective goggles of high quality heavy gloves and overalls. To further ensure a safe working environment, working surfaces are cleaned continuously and water is used to keep the blade clean and cool.
How to Select a Contractor for Sawing Concrete
Many do-it-yourself enthusiasts have learned the hard way that certain jobs should really be left to experienced contractors. Sawing Concrete is one of those jobs that can cause substantial inconvenience and cost if things go wrong. Wall sawing is a particularly complex operation that requires a high degree of precision and a thorough knowledge of building practices.
When looking for a contractor, it is important to ensure that the company employs only people that are experienced in the specific job and that they are familiar with the equipment that will be used. It is always better to obtain a written quotation that specifies the exact cost and all the terms and conditions relevant to the project. It is important that the quotation include aspects such as cleaning up services, the amount of time that will be required to finish the job, and an acknowledgement of responsibility in case of injury or damage to property. This is important, because a project may be held up until the concrete has been cut.
It is always wise to ask for references and to follow them up. Reputable contractors will not feel offended and will gladly provide the details of previous clients. Most reliable contractors are also members of authoritative industry associations that subscribe to a common code of conduct. Members of such associations normally provide a better service and the association also serve as a channel for conflict resolution in case there are any disputes. It is also possible to use the Internet to find out if there were any previous complaints or comments regarding the services rendered by the contractor. If it sounds as if it would require a lot of time and trouble to select a reputable contractor, the potential costs of mistakes should be weighed.
With the right equipment, and with careful planning and measuring, any concrete obstacle can be removed with the minimum of fuss. Experts warn that DIY enthusiasts should seriously consider the use of contractors for this type of job because the chances for injury and serious mistakes are above average. Anybody that owns a home and that plans to make some alterations or additions will sooner or later, get face to face with the need for Sawing Concrete.
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