The prospect of cutting concrete can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult! By simply selecting the right tools, you’ll make your concrete cutting project a whole lot easier (and safer).
Tools for cutting concrete sleepers
The best way to cut concrete sleepers is by using a special concrete saw with a wet-cutting diamond blade.
Using a wet cutting method not only helps to cool and lubricate the blade as you cut through your concrete, but also helps to minimise the dust that’s produced.
Wet-cutting diamond blades can have either teeth or a smooth, continuous perimeter, and they cut faster and with a cleaner result than other methods such as dry cutting or angle grinding. However, they do require a special saw that can both distribute water and be safely used when wet.
Depending on how much you’re intending to use it, you can either purchase or hire a track-guided, wet-cutting saw and diamond blade. Equipment suppliers often carry walk-behind saws for cutting or scoring concrete slabs, as well as a range of hand-held saws for other concrete sawing tasks.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to purchase or hire a wet-cutting saw, you can plug your regular concrete saw into a GFCI-protected extension cord, and then recruit the help of an assistant to carefully direct a small stream of water just in front of your saw as it cuts through the concrete, keeping both the blade and the concrete wet.
Preparing to cut your concrete sleepers
You can use a square tool to measure around your sleeper and mark lines at the sawing location.
Even when using a wet-cutting blade with a constant stream of water at the sawing site, cutting concrete can be an extremely dusty task, and you should always wear a dust mask. In addition, you should make sure to wear safety glasses, hearing protection and sturdy gloves.
It’s safest to always have a second person around to assist when cutting concrete sleepers.
Tips for cutting concrete sleepers
If your diamond blade stops cutting, it may mean the concrete is too soft. A hard material is needed to wear away the metal composite that the diamond cutting edges are embedded in, so to sharpen the blade, make a few cuts through a harder material to reveal new, sharp edges.
When you’ve finished cutting through your concrete sleepers, use a galvanised paint to seal and protect the exposed steel. This helps to prevent rusting and concrete cancer, which occurs when the steel reinforcement within a concrete slab begins to rust, causing the steel to expand and displace the surrounding concrete. The concrete becomes brittle and may crumble or crack, compromising its structural integrity.
In some cases, cutting your concrete sleepers may void your product warranty, so it’s best to check with the supplier or manufacturer beforehand.
Enlist the help of concrete professionals
At Perfect Concrete Care, we have a team of skilled and professional concrete specialists who are qualified to carry out all kinds of concrete cutting services throughout Sydney and New South Wales. We use safe, effective methods and state of the art equipment to ensure a high quality result, and are committed to completing each and every job on schedule, to the highest of standards, and with minimum impact to the environment.
For more information, or to request a free quote, contact us today.