Most slabs need a considerable amount of effort to be cut away until they can resemble the finished product. You're safe as long as you follow the proper safety tips. The method is the same regardless of cutting a trench in a concrete slab, basement, or anywhere in your house.
The slab would be easier to cut with a dedicated concrete saw. Also, a cordless concrete saw has reduced the amount of concrete dust and work required for cutting through concrete. If you're trying to cut a trench in a concrete slab, you may have valid reasons for doing so, but you should first know that it's a daunting job. The task of cutting a concrete trench regardless of its types, such as patio, driveway, or road, requires the right equipment, the correct technique.
If you want to cut a trench in a concrete slab, you should know how to trench beneath concrete slab. There's no need to worry because we will be able to explain anything you need to know. The document is designed to help you figure out how to do your job. In addition, we've included the instructions here so you can learn how to cut a trench in a concrete slab.
Table of Contents
Required Tools and Materials
- Circular saw
- Diamond blade
- Abrasive blades
- Walk-behind wet saw
Required Safety Gears
Unlike other types of machinery, there are various safety precautions to be taken when doing this kind of work in concrete.
Eye and Ear Protection
Protective eyewear is necessary when working with concrete. Sawing long sections of concrete produces reasonable amounts of dust. However, concrete sawing is often tending to be very noisy, so ear protection is necessary.
Concrete dust can cause damage to the respiratory system. As a result, you must wear a high filtration mask when digging a trench in a slab.
Knee Pads and Shin Guards
You should wear kneepads and shin guards while using the saw to help prevent unintended contact with the knees. It can also help control the dirt and debris and save people from getting hurt while the job is being done.
Heavy-Duty Boots and Gloves
One of the first rules of working with concrete is to wear thick gloves that are specifically made for working with the material, and other specific boots that are created to protect the feet from the worst injuries should be used when doing so. Steel-tooted boots are employed because of their additional safety properties. Just in case you happen to land something heavy on your toes of your equipment, it will not cut or penetrate your skin.
Tips for Smaller Projects
For projects smaller than 6 inches in diameter, a circular saw with a diamond blade is highly recommended. Diamond blades might be effective, but you will probably have to replace them several times. Diamond blades have proven themselves reliable time and time to be harder.
Tips for Larger Projects
If you need to cut a larger trench or several trenches longer than three or four meters, a walk-behind wet saw is a better option. Indoor work using wet saws is advised as long as the workroom allows for it. By running them underwater, they reduce the amount of dust to cut a trench in thick concrete slab.
Cutting a Trench in a Concrete Slab (6 Steps)
Step-1: Choose the Right Equipment
Choosing the right equipment is the very first step in the process of doing some concrete work. Choose the best tool for the project based on the size of the work.
Step-2: Prepare for Dust Management
The concrete trench cut can be very dusty. Another thing to consider is, if you are having the job done indoors, you can seal off the room with plastic and duct tape first. All agree that this is one of the best dust control techniques. Finally, it would also help keep the place cleaner and less dusty.
Step-3: Prepare the Concrete Slab
Until cutting, remove all obstructions from the slab. Although you might be tempted to clean off paint or other markings before cutting, it is unnecessary unless it prevents instructions from being easily seen.
If the trench cut is visible, it is time to dig in and mark the precise location. Chalk is excellent for drawing straight lines on concrete because it is inexpensive and has an even consistency. You should clean your chalk line thoroughly and make your lines as thick and strong as possible with new chalk.
Step-4: Start Cutting
Once you've prepared your work environment and have worn all of your protective gear, you can begin the job. Change the depth of the saw generally allows you to cut to a one-thickness.
To guide the saw, you will have to cut a shallow line. You cannot hold the blade for more than 45 seconds when cutting concrete.
Step-5: Finish Your Cuts
After making your guide cuts, return the blade to its original depth. Keeping the blade cool is important. It is recommended to wait for the blade to cool after each use. Look at the overall structure of the cut as you move slowly and ensure that you retain control of the structure in the cut.
Step-6: Remove Concrete from Trench
To make sure the concrete between the cuts was gone, leave the blade in the patio for a few minutes to dull it down before removing the sawdust. A large sledgehammer is a favorite tool for construction workers because it can easily break up concrete. However, you might want to consider using a crowbar for larger projects.
Can I Cut a Trench into a Post Tension Concrete Slab?
For post-tensioned concrete slab, this is wrongly assumed challenging, costly, and risky. Slab explosion will not occur if you pierce a post-tension slab Injuries happen when the thread breaks, and it would necessitate a new job for the needle. A polymer sleeve protects all the steel cables in the tendon.
People are worried about this because PT construction is badly known, which causes difficulties when locating and installing openings and making penetrations in concrete trench drain.
It is important to take care and precision when making a hole in PT slabs because a tendon can be damaged, and you need to repair trench in concrete slab in this case.
5 Tips for Cutting Concrete Trenches
Choose Right Saw: Wet or dry handheld saws work well for most concrete jobs. A larger work with a walk-behind saw has many advantages: Great and deepest cuts are made with these heavy saws, with no need for frequent shallow cuts. Wet saws are mostly used for heavy-duty cutting and transportation. Water brings down the dust and keeps the blades from overheating. The difference between using a handsaw and a wet saw is largely a matter of personal preference. Since it produces a lot of dust, wet sawing makes a mess but prevents the sawdust from flying.
Choose Right Blade: By far, the most effective is a diamond-ground saw blade. The acrylic crystals on the surface of the blade provide sharpness and precision. As the initial brilliance of the diamonds fades, more brilliance is revealed. You may use a dry cutter. One must not use a damp blade on a dry day.
Mark the cuts before cutting: Determine with chalk the points you want to trim trench drains for concrete slabs. Orange chalk will be a good idea. If you're using a wet saw, use a paintbrush.
Tape the saw correctly: Use a strip of duct tape to hold the saw body to the concrete while you're working around the bottom. Stop the saw from hitting the surface by not running it through the asphalt.
Properly clean the dust: According to the OSHA Reparable Crystalline Silica Norm, this particularly critical for professionals because they are more likely to contract crystalline silicosis from the workplace. To ensure proper dust collection, remember to use a dry saw. A wet sawdust extractor reduces the dust that might potentially create by the saws before it is kicked up into the air while cutting concrete trench drains.
Cutting a trench in a concrete slab is an incredibly hard job. It is very easy. Equipping yourself with the appropriate materials and personal protective equipment ensures the job can be completed easily and safely. Of course, it is useful for installing new plumbing under your concrete slab, but it has several other undertakings. I hope that this guide would help you to cut a shallow trench in concrete slab properly.