Redstone Concrete Contractor

Are Saw Cuts Necessary In New Concrete?

The most common use of concrete slabs is building new houses, sheds, garages, and the installation of large aircon units and pool pumps. Concrete slabs differ depending on the soil on which you construct and how sensitive it may be after soil testing is completed. For new residential construction projects, cracks in concrete floor slabs-on-ground may lead to allegations of design and construction defects against a skilled design project or a project contractor, respectively.

Thus, saw cuts are used to produce concrete control joints that help regulate where cracking occurs due to shrinkage. Control joints are scheduled cracks that allow movements caused by changes in temperature and drying shrinkage. In other words, if the concrete breaks, you want to have an active role in determining where it will break, rather than randomly, and that it will die in a straight line.

Remember that a simple rule of thumb is to cut the joints from one fourth to a third of the slab's thickness. That means cutting 1.5 to 2 inches deep for a piece of 6-inch-thick furniture. Ensure that the saw cut depth follows the structural engineering requirements. If the joint is too large to pass loads, aggregate interlocking will not be appropriate. If the cut of the saw is too shallow, there may be random cracking. It should be noted that the spacing between saw cuts, the type of saw cut, the load transfer across the saw cut, the depth of the saw cut, and the timing of the saw cut are essential parameters in determining saw cuts.

For further information, at a predetermined spacing, the cuts should be made, and only after adequate strength has been gained from the concrete but before internal cracking starts. It depends on several factors to decide when to make cuts, including the type of admixtures and aggregates used in the concrete, the air temperature, and the concrete's mixture nature.

The decision of when to saw the concrete depends on the hardness of the concrete and the cutting equipment used to make the saw cuts. With this, to secure their tools, some contractors postpone sawing and saw blades to decrease blade abrasion. Depending on the concrete form and how soon the cuts can be initiated. Also, various kinds of saw blades can be used, such as pushing too hard on edge, using a ben-spindle saw, saw cutting at high velocity, and most especially using an incorrect saw blade. 

It is necessary to choose where these cuts will be carried out before you start cutting concrete. It is advised to begin cutting the saw on or in the middle of the column row. Joints must be spaced 24 to 36 times the slab's thickness, but a structural engineer must validate this. And depending on the amount of reinforcement the table has, joint spacing usually varies from 10 to 18 feet. If you use high shrinkage concrete, you might want to reduce the spacing of the cuts.

Moreover, making and preserving multiple joints makes it easier to have smaller cracks than to raise costs. Also, choosing an area that does not have continuous steel reinforcement from one slab or square to another is essential. In general, as soon as the concrete is strong enough to avoid tearing and raveling, and before spontaneous cracking occurs, saw cut joints should be built.

It is essential to know when to saw-cut concrete, especially in weather conditions. Take note that cutting too early induces raveling, an impact created by pulling the aggregate out of place by the saw blade, leaving along with the cut a messy, damaged edge. This also triggers undo wear on diamond concrete saw blades. While sawing too late will lead to uncontrolled cracking during curing.

Besides, hot weather conditions should be considered since the saw's cutting can begin as soon as four hours after the concrete is poured. You may also want to try forming a larger square and then cutting interior joints under hot weather conditions. You can monitor the fast setting of concrete cracks in more extensive areas by doing this.

On the other hand, in cold weather, the sawing may not proceed for 12 hours. Hence, making trial cuts to check for raveling is the best way to assess if the slab is ready. Saw cutting should begin as soon as raveling stops during the trial cuts performed. Speak to the experts at Redstone Concrete Contractors for all your concrete questions.

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