While fresh concrete can be molded easily into just about any shape because of the fluid and its plasticity , hardened concrete is known to crack easily. It is because of the shrinkage involved in the process and temperature fluctuations.
Control joints are the planned cracks which allow movements caused by drying shrinkage and temperature changes. Meaning that if the concrete does crack, you want to have an active role in deciding where it will crack in a straight line. Placing a controlled joint into a slab means that you should carefully place the planned cuts into the concrete to allow the cracks beneath the surface to be straight and not disturb the surface aesthetics.
When is the Best Time to Cut Concrete After Pouring?
Cutting control joints into concrete takes experience. The timeline for cutting poured concrete depends on the weather conditions and mix designs. Cutting freshly poured concrete too late can cause unwanted cracks in the concrete, rendering the joints ineffective. Cutting too early, the concrete will not have cured enough to support the saw and operator. It would be best if you cut the concrete as soon as it can withstand the energy of sawing without dislodging aggregate particles.
It will help if you begin to cut within the first 6-18 hours and never beyond 24 hours for most concrete work. While sealing or filling control joints, it is essential to wait longer and allow the joint to wide and if any cracks can take place.
How to Cut Control Joints in Concrete?
You can use concrete saws to accurately cut control joints into concrete slabs once the poured concrete has had enough time to dry. It is to prevent the saw blade from chipping away the edge. When dealing with freshly poured concrete, you should use grooving tools for cutting the control joints.
There are various saws that you can use for cutting concrete. Choose the one as per the requirements of your project.
Hydraulic saws are easy to use and offer maximum power to weight ratio. Although this type of equipment is expensive, it works by building up pressure in the hydraulic line. Hence it will be great to utilise this saw to cut huge concrete slabs or cut through walls.
They have a similar look to wood-cutting chainsaws, but they come with a chain, guide bar, and a powerhead. The saw by creating a grinding action to cut concrete. They have the power to cut slabs that are more than 28 inches thick.
Concrete usually cracks as it dries because of shrinkage. You can use control joints to make sure that these cracks do not affect the strength or appearance of concrete slabs. It will help if you properly plan to achieve the desired results. Also, you can choose to connect with concrete cutting melbourne and hire some professional help to do the job. It will be more cost-effective for you.