When is it too late to cut concrete slabs? Ideally, for most concrete work, if you want to avoid unwanted cracks, then you should wait at least 6 to 18 hours before you start cutting concrete. It is not advised to cut concrete beyond 24 hours after a pour.
If you are waiting until the end of the day for cutting concrete, it is already too late. You will end up with unevenly cut concrete with unmanageable cracks. For the best results, start cutting concrete within a few hours of a pour.
How to Cut Concrete Slabs?
Freshly poured concrete can mold into any shape because of its fluidity but hardened concrete cracks because of the drying-shrinkage process. To ensure its a not a problem, it is important to have control of the cracking of the freshly poured concrete.
These are called control joints, that allow you to prevent random cracking within the concrete slab after a pour. Because of the shrinkage involved, cracks are inevitable. But with control joints in concrete slabs, you can control how the slab cracks and thereby ensuring a clean cut.
Placing control joints in the wet concrete slab will help you plan how the cracks will appear. This helps you ensure that the cracks appear in a straight line without affecting the surface aesthetics.
When is the Ideal Time to Cut Concrete Slabs?
Cutting concrete takes a lot of experience, and ideally, best left to an expert contractor. However, the timeline for cutting freshly poured concrete will vary depending on a lot of factors such as the weather. For instance, hot weather usually leads to a longer waiting time for the concrete mix to dry up sufficiently for you to cut it.
Start cutting control joints in concrete when it has cured enough to support your cutting tool without dislodging aggregate particles. If you wait too long, unwanted cracks might appear on the fresh concrete surface, destroying the desired outcome.
How to Cut Control Joints in Concrete Slabs?
A slaw blade can come handy when cutting control joints in fresh concrete. This will help you accurately cut control joints without chipping away the edge.
When dealing with fresh concrete joints, use grooving tools for the best results. There are several other tools that can help you successfully cut concrete slabs, however, if you don’t have the experience handling these tools, it is best that you leave it up to an expert.
Call Melbourne’s Best Concreting Specialists
Cutting concrete by yourself can be risky, dangerous and messy. Especially, if you have never done it before or don’t know how to do it. This is where the Skyco Group comes to your rescue with its team of expert concreting specialists.
With over a decade of experience, Skyco Group brings to the residents of Melbourne skilled perfectionists for all concrete work. From residential projects such as driveways, patios, garages and more, to commercial jobs such as vehicle crossovers, outdoor areas, resurfacing and more, they are experts at everything.
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What happens if you cut concrete after 24 hours?
Wet concrete will crack up once it starts to dry. This process happens due to weather or temperature fluctuations and the material’s natural ability to shrink. If you wait too long to cut concrete slabs, there may be too many unwanted cracks ruining the surface aesthetics. Especially, if you wait for more than 24 hours, then you may need heavy-duty materials to cut the concrete, while risking cracks and aggregate interlocking.
Should you wet concrete while cutting?
There are various benefits to wetting a concrete slab before cutting. For instance, there is a major benefit to health and safety because wetting the concrete slab by running water on it can help prevent exposure to flying dust. It’s also a faster mode of cutting, because dry cutting exerts a lot of heat, requiring you to take multiple breaks for everything to cool down. However, a lot of factors can influence your decision for cutting concrete. Consult an expert concrete specialist to know which is the best way to proceed.
Do you need a face shield when cutting concrete?
When cutting concrete, you should be equipped with all kinds of safety measures such as face shields. Cutting dry concrete can lead to a cloud of dust particles, with sharp edges dislodging everywhere. It is said that you should wear a face shield when cutting concrete to protect your eyes, nose and mouth from exposure to dust.