All beginner masonry contractors must start somewhere. Unfortunately, this often means making and learning from common industry mistakes. If you’re starting out as a contractor and want to skip some of this trial and error, keep reading to learn five common mistakes to avoid when cutting concrete.
Assuming All Concrete Is the Same
To the untrained eye, all concrete might look the same. However, each type you work with will have different tool and cutting requirements. For example, the concrete builders pour for driveways has a different mixture than concrete poured as a structure’s foundation. When working with softer concrete, most contractors recommend using a masonry drill bit or coarse diamond blade. On the other hand, harder materials require instruments with a sturdy makeup.
Using the Wrong Tools
Using the wrong tools for cutting concrete is another common mistake beginner contractors make. As mentioned previously, the type of material you’re working with will help you determine which tools are best.
When selecting diamond masonry blades, choose a softer bonded diamond blade for harder concrete materials. Always take a moment to examine your working materials and be sure to select the right tools for the job.
Failure To Control Dust
Once you have the correct tools and start cutting, implement a dust control method. Using a dry cutting method for concrete will produce dust and debris, which can pose a health risk. Inhaling silica-laden dust from concrete cutting can potentially cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and will certainly irritate your eyes and throat on the job. Use dust control methods such as wet cutting concrete and vacuuming dust as you cut to protect your job site and health.
Not Following Proper Safety Measures
Controlling dust is just one part of staying safe on the masonry cutting site. To promote proper health and safety at your work site, ensure that everyone has required training and wears personal protective equipment. PPE for masonry activities include a respirator, safety glasses, hearing protection, hard hats, steel-toed boots, and protective clothing.
Cutting Too Quickly
Cutting concrete requires patience and a steady hand. Try to make your cuts in one straight line to promote an accurate cut and ease surface tension. Take your time while cutting and don’t work too quickly. Cutting concrete too fast can result in damaging your blade or the concrete itself. If you need to work fast, use a larger concrete blade that can apply more pressure.
By avoiding these five common mistakes beginners make when cutting concrete, you can save your business from expensive repair costs, wasted materials, and more. If you’re looking for the right tools to get started, browse our supply of diamond blades at ProBlades Outlet.