Learning About Building With Concrete

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Tips For Concrete Cutting

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Concrete will naturally contract as the temperature falls and expand as it warms up again. If you don't do something to prevent it, your concrete will crack. This cracking will undermine the structure and appearance of your driveway. You cannot do anything to prevent cracks from forming, but you can do something to control the direction your cracks take. This is where concrete cutting comes into play.

How Far Apart Should Your Joints Be

The key to joints is to place them the right distance apart. If you put them too close, you are simply wasting time. If you put the joints too far apart, cracks will form where you don't want them to be. The key to determine where to place your joints is to use the right formula: the rule is to put the joints four times as many feet apart as the concrete is deep in inches. For example, if your concrete is three inches deep, you should place your joints twelve feet apart. 

What to Use to Cut Your Joints

The key to cutting your joints is to use the right tool. You can use a regular circular saw, but you need to have the right blade. For best results, you should use a diamond saw. Because diamonds are such a hard material, they will hold up well to the abuse of trying to cut through concrete. 

How to Cut Concrete

Before you start cutting concrete, you need to put on the right safety equipment. At the very least, you should have a breathing mask so that you don't inhale concrete dust, eye protection for obvious reasons, and hearing protecting because the sound of diamond on concrete is like fingernails on the chalkboard, only a hundred times worse. You then mark off your cuts with chalk, set your blade to the right depth, and begin cutting. Drip water on the blade to help control the dust and to keep your blade cool. You might want to have someone use an air compressor with a blow nozzle to help keep your chalk line clear. 

You will want to cut your lines as soon as the concrete dries. Because concrete shrinks as it dries, cracks can start to form if you wait too long. If you are worried that you will not be able to cut your concrete correctly, then you can always call a professional to pour and cut your slab for you.