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Everything You Need to Know About Concrete Coring | A Property Owner’s Guide

Concrete coring is an excellent choice for cutting through concrete, either to create openings for various installations or break it up for removal. It cutting also allows you to create new expansion joints between the slabs, allowing the slabs to expand and shrink without cracking and other damage.

Understanding the basics of coring, drilling, sawing, as well as other cutting services is vital for any property owner. If existing concrete is involved in a potential renovation or cleanup project, click here to check out some vital information about concrete cutting and coring.

What Is Concrete Cutting and Coring?

Concrete cutting is the process of making precise cuts through concrete; these cuts usually fall under a few set categories:

Concrete coring

Source: medium.com

It refers to cutting out rounded sections of concrete. Very small openings, such as 1/2 inch across, offer enough space to run wiring, conduit, along with other fixtures through the material, without having to break up that slab and then reinstall a new over your installation.

Coring out larger sections of it allows you to install plumbing pipes or drains, irrigation equipment, sprinklers, and the like through concrete slabs. Coring is also used in removing large sections of concrete without the mess, vibration, and noise of jackhammers.

Concrete drilling

Source: thisoldhouse.com

It is similar to coring but allows for a very small opening through the slabs, pushing through the slab rather than removing sections of it. Drilling also allows you to run wiring or conduit through it, or to create openings for screws as well as other fasteners.

Flat or slab sawing

Source: cobraconcrete.com

Flat sawing uses a specialty saw that makes cuts along the surface of the material. While coring removes rounded sections of concrete, flat sawing is used to make angular or linear cuts; for example, if you want to install windows in a basement or door in a concrete mudroom, wall flat sawing allows you to remove a square section of it.

Slab sawing is also used in creating expansion joints in the slab. These joints or trenches allow the sections to expand as they absorb moisture; without those trenches, the concrete would push against itself and then risk cracking and breakage. Slab sawing can also be used in breaking up standard four-inch concrete slabs, such as for tearing out an old driveway or walkway.

When Is Concrete Cutting Needed?

Cutting and coring is an excellent choice for many renovation as well as cleanup projects on residential and commercial properties! For example, if you need to remove a concrete mixer, water tower, silo, or other such fixture or outbuilding, it allows you to take it down in small and controlled sections, similar to pruning and removing a tree, rather than relying on a messy and dangerous demolition.

It is also an excellent choice for breaking up and removing unwanted tactile material, as flat sawing or coring offers precise cuts with less noise, dust, and mess than a jackhammer. If you need to tear up a parking lot or remove small fence footings, parking bumpers, curbs, porches, steps, and signage, cutting and coring are excellent choices! Use cutting and coring for removing concrete that’s adjacent to fixtures you don’t want damaged, such as a residential patio installed next to the home.

Coring also allows you to run fixtures through the slabs, without the risk of breakage or having to break up that slab completely. For instance, if you want to install an outdoor kitchen along a concrete patio, use coring in creating openings for plumbing pipes and electrical wiring. Coring also allows you to install a drain in the basement floor, or run pipes through a concrete basement for a new bathroom installation.

Source: homestratosphere.com

Is Concrete Cutting a DIY Job?

Drilling through small tactile areas for lightweight jobs, such as wanting to attach something on an exterior brick wall or remove old fence footings on your property, can be a DIY job. It’s vital that you use tools as well as accessories designed for concrete cutting, so you don’t crush the concrete or grout between brick, or damage standard drill bits and saw blades.

For larger jobs, property owners should always rely on professional cutters, as this job is typically more complicated than you might realize! First note that slabs often contain rebar, which is used in keeping fresh the material in place as it dries and cures. Using the wrong bits and blades when cutting through any metal can damage your tools and end up creating more mess than expected.

Some walls and slabs might also have pipes, wiring, and other pieces running through them already. Cutting through those slabs without checking for existing features can mean expensive property damage. When cutting through thin concrete, it’s also vital that you keep it supported while you work, avoiding the chunks of it from cracking and then falling away.

Also, note that cutting typically means less dust and debris than using a jackhammer, but it’s still vital that workers protect themselves during this process. Its dust can be damaging to your sinuses, eyes, and nasal passages, while also drying out your skin and hair! Cutting professionals know the right clothing to wear and breathing apparatus to use, for proper protection.

How Much Does Concrete Cutting Cost?

Cutting costs vary from location to location, and according to every project. For example, simple flat wall sawing, such as needed to install a basement window, might cost from 65 cents to $1.50 per linear foot. However, cutting or drilling concrete needing removal might cost upwards of $6 per linear foot, as a contractor might need to constantly readjust their tools so they don’t damage surrounding fixtures.

Your price for coring and cutting might also go up if there will be more mess and debris to remove! For larger jobs such as tearing out a parking lot or driveway, a contractor will usually rent a dumpster or trailer and hire added crew members in handling that debris. This can also increase your price, although it’s still recommended you invest in a pro for all the concrete cutting you need to have done!