Concrete is a valuable material to construction companies, used in building constructions of various sizes and heights. Its value is overstated by how essential it is in the construction industry, but being valuable does not exempt it from specific risk factors. The leading factor that affects concrete is time, where the substance becomes subject to wear and tear over time, thus, prompting a need for replacement.
Replacing concrete involves cutting and removing damaged or worn-out areas/sections, and this replacement procedure utilizes special concrete cutting tools like a concrete handsaw. Of course, concrete cutting is challenging and is not quickly undertaken by any craftsman; it demands time, energy, and effort. However, you do not have to fret about it because this article contains information that will ensure the reader is well-informed on everything to know about concrete hand sawing. So, you should read until the end for the many secrets we will reveal here if you want to learn about them.
Types of Concrete Handsaw
Before proceeding to cut concrete, you must review the concrete handsaw that will be used for the job. There are different concrete handsaws for a reason, which is for the best results when cutting concretes of varying density to any shape or size.
Choosing a concrete handsaw depends on specific factors, like the thickness or depth of the concrete to be cut, where it is located, the condition of the place it is located (i.e., whether it is outside in an airy area or an enclosed area with limited air supply), and accessibility to electricity and water. Each type of concrete handsaw has its function and condition of use; thus, there are four types of concrete handsaw.
- Two-stroke demolition saw: This type of concrete handsaw is powered by a two-stroke fuel. Two-stroke fuel? Where its fuel is a mixture of petrol and oil. Still, it is meant to be used outside in an airy area as it produces smoky exhaust fumes and a lot of noise. The two-stroke demolition concrete hand saw is meant to cut concrete of 155mm thickness and cannot cut more than that.
- Two-stroke ring saw: This type of concrete hand saw is used for depths deeper than 155mm. It cuts to a depth of 270mm. However, it continues an already-made cut because it cannot be used to start a cut. This saw is used in conjunction with a two-stroke demolition saw because the hand saw’s blade is unstable. Hence, when continuing an already-made cut, the blade appears stable because of the support the already-made depth gives it, enabling a more deep and stable cut. It is meant for outdoor use and also gives off less noise and exhaust smoke compared to the two-stroke demolition saw.
- High-frequency demolition saw: This is an electric-powered version of the two-stroke demolition saw; it is powered by a power converter connected to a 240v power outlet. It cuts to a depth of 155mm and can be used for inside use as it produces no exhaust fumes but is still loud.
- High-frequency ring saw: The high-frequency ring saw is like the two-stroke ring saw, but the electric version. It is used for continuing already made cut and cuts to a depth of 270mm.
Things to Expect When Using a Concrete Handsaw
When using a concrete hand saw, no matter the type, there are some things you need to have in mind, some of which are:
- Have a running water supply: The water is meant to dampen the dust, cool the blade, which heats up as a result of friction from cutting, and also lubricates the blade. Using water when cutting creates a slurry runoff, a mixture of concrete particles and water.
- It is a messy job: Remember that concrete hand sawing is messy, as everywhere around that area, including you, the operator, will be covered in a slur.
- Protection gear is necessary: You will need protection and other hand tools to make your work easier.
- Handsaw sizes vary and influence the energy consumed when cutting: Other available concrete saws cut more profoundly and are more significant than the earlier mentioned, but the more significant the handsaw, the more energy is required to operate it.
Activities in Concrete Cutting
Now you know what to expect and the type of concrete hand saw to use, let’s go into the concrete cutting itself. The activities involved in the process include::
- Planning the cut: This involves creating time to cut (the process can take at least a day), marking out the area to be cut with chalk, renting or purchasing a suitable concrete handsaw for the job, and also other gears to ensure smooth and easy cutting of the concrete. These gears are needed to help ease the difficulties you may experience when cutting and protection because you will be covered in a concrete slur. Some of these gears are:
- A crowbar
- A pinch bar
- A sledgehammer
- An extension cord
- Running water hose
- Steel-capped boots
- Long pants or jeans with a long-sleeved shirt that you will not use again.
- Full face mask
- Ear muffs
It is also essential to know that you will move the cutoff area by hand, so cut it into small dimensions weighing 25kg to reduce the risk of injury and back pain.
- Cutting: After making all preparations and planning, it is time to start cutting. Please ensure the hose is running with water, lift the throttle of the concrete hand saw up, place it gently on the concrete and begin sawing. Make sure you make a back-and-forth movement with the saw for effective cutting.
- After the cut: Use a crowbar to shift cutoff pieces from your central concrete to view what you have done.
- Disposing materials: Clean up the mess created from the job, gather the concrete slur and concrete pieces in a hired skip bin, then contact a concrete recycling facility while ensuring you tell them the amount you intend to dispose of. This is done so they can send the appropriate truck for disposal.
- Clean up: There is much to do when cleaning up, and concrete slur is easier to clean when wet. Hence, hose everything down, clear the slur, and clean the concrete hand saw from the slur before storing or returning it if it was rented.
ConclusionAs mentioned earlier, concrete hand sawing is challenging and demands time, preparation, and energy. Hence, before undertaking the task, ensure the ideal concrete handsaw and necessary gears for the job. Another crucial aspect is to be ready for some hitches when executing the task. Plus, you should also know that hiring a professional concrete-cutting company is an available option if you need help with the task.