Concrete cutting can be needed when you're ready to tear up an old driveway in order to pour a new one or for when you want to run new pipes underground. While cutting concrete can seem like an easy task, it can actually be more difficult than you realize, even if you only want to cut a small bit of concrete for a quick repair job. Note a few reasons why homeowners often do a poor job cutting concrete on their own so you can avoid these mistakes and problems on your property.
1. They don't realize concrete has been reinforced
It's not unusual for a contractor to add rebar or another type of reinforcement to concrete when it's been poured to keep it from settling and cracking. When you cut through concrete, you need to ensure you're ready to cut through rebar, aggregates, and any other fillers and additives that are part of the concrete, otherwise you'll damage your drill bits or saw blades or find that you cannot make the cuts that you want. It can often be good to cut a small amount of concrete at a time and see if you notice areas of rebar or other such reinforcement and then change your bits or blades as necessary.
2. They cut too quickly
When cutting through concrete, you want the job to be done quickly. but trying to get it done too quickly can actually cause damage. This is because the drill bits and saw blades used to cut concrete are not like those used to cut other materials; they need to get worn down slightly as you cut so that the diamond tips are sharpened. If you push a saw or drill through concrete too quickly, the blades get dull. Rather than rushing the job, it's better to take your time and allow the blades and bits to work as they should and get sharpened as you cut.
3. They don't expect the slurry that is produced with wet cuts
Water is usually used when cutting concrete to reduce the amount of dust that is created, but this in turn produces a slurry, or slushy runoff. If you don't expect this slurry and aren't prepared to have it cleaned and vacuumed as you go, you can create a mess in your basement, driveway, or other area. The slurry can even get in the way of your cutting and make it difficult to see or make precise cuts. A hydrovac or other such piece of equipment can be needed to remove this slurry as you go along.