How Deep Can Concrete Be Cut?

How Deep Can Concrete Be Cut?

Concrete cutting is a job for the professionals and sometimes, even the most experienced hands end up making mistakes.
Therefore, it is important that you hire the services of a professional contractor in order to get precision cuts that do not result in too many cracks.
Keep in mind that concrete cutting will result in cracks but professional expertise will ensure that the cracks are minimised so that the structural integrity of the concrete slab isn’t compromised.
There are a number of variables that matter when it comes to determining the precise depth of concrete cuts.

1. Weather Conditions

The right time to cut concrete depends a lot on the weather conditions.
If the weather conditions are hot, the process can start as early as four hours once the concrete is poured.
On the other hand, the concrete cutting shouldn’t start for at least 12 hours after the concrete is poured in cooler weather conditions.
Ideally, some trial cuts should be made by the contractor to make sure that the slab is ready for cutting before making the actual cuts.

2. Depth of Cut

As far as the depth of the cut is concerned, professionals recommend cuts ranging from one quarter to one third of the thickness of the slab.
Simply put, this means that the cutting depth should be restricted to around 2.5 inches for an 8 inch thick concrete slab.
In case the cut is too deep, the interlocking may not be sufficient enough for transfer of loads.
On the other hand, if it’s too shallow, it might result in random cracking.
The contractor should also make sure that the concrete cut depth meets the appropriate structural engineering specifications.

3. Choosing the Right Tool

Concrete cuts are usually made with the help of a chainsaw or a cut-off saw. Both these tools have their own advantages in terms of precision as well as cost.
The choice of tool will depend on the particular application. Chainsaws are preferred for cutting square corners as well as for making deep cuts.
A chainsaw is the best choice for making a clean and square cut. A chainsaw can also be used for making small openings in thick concrete slabs.
Cut-off saws are preferred in situations where water is not readily available or in situations where you need to make a quick cut.

4. Spacing between Cuts

If you are making relief joints in concrete, you need to figure out the spacing between cuts.
Experienced professionals recommend spacing that ranges from 2 to 3 times the overall thickness of the concrete slab.
Simply put, an 8 inch thick concrete slab should have cuts 16 to 24 inches apart.
The environmental factors and the job site conditions will also affect the spacing between cuts.

5. Position of Cuts

When making cuts, it is important to choose an area without any continuous steel reinforcement.
It is also important to make sure that the cuts are continuous as too many cuts will lead to too many cracks which will increase the maintenance cost.

Final Thoughts

Overall, concrete cutting is not as straightforward as it looks. There are a number of things that need to be considered in order to make precise cuts.
The choice of equipment, weather conditions, spacing of the cuts as well as experience of the contractor will determine the end result.
Therefore, it is important that you hire the services of a professional company that has experienced professionals with the best equipment to get the results you want.
If you are looking for a concrete cutting company that is trustworthy and reliable, then don’t go past VIC Sawing and Drilling. Call us today on (03) 8786 3621 or contact us through