If part of your concrete patio is damaged, you may decide to take it upon yourself to remove the damaged area and pour new cement. However, before you start cutting into your patio, make sure you avoid the following mistakes when attempting to saw through the concrete slab.
Forgetting to Wear Personal Protection
Before you even pick up the saw to start cutting, you need to make sure you are thoroughly protected. Cutting into even a thin slab creates a lot of dust and throws pieces of concrete in every direction.
If you breathe in the dust, the silica it contains could damage your delicate lung tissue. Also, since the dust is heavy, residual silica can remain in your lungs for years, where it could contribute to cancer.
To keep from breathing in the concrete dust, make sure you at least put on a paper mask. If possible, invest in a respirator mask that can keep even the smallest dust particles out of your nose and mouth.
You also do not want to forget eye protection. Especially when you work over top of the cutting area, there is an increased chance that a piece of the concrete could fly up and hit you. You should also make sure you wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt to keep from being cut by the flying debris.
Neglecting to Account for Rebars
Another mistake you want to avoid while cutting a concrete slab is neglecting to account for rebars. These pieces of steel are often used to reinforce the concrete and make it stronger.
If you start sawing too quickly, you may end up hitting one of these rebars. If you hit one of the rebars with a regular concrete saw blade, you risk damaging the blade, requiring you to replace it.
Also, if you strike the rebar with the saw, the sudden stop that occurs could make you stumble, pushing you forward toward the blade. This increases the chances of you being seriously hurt.
If you are unsure about the presence of rebars, make sure you take your time while cutting the concrete. If you see sparks fly or feel resistance, stop to check for a piece of steel. If you do see a rebar, a diamond blade will be needed to cut through it.
Avoiding the above mistakes can help you stay safe and have a better success rate when sawing a concrete slab on your patio. However, if you have the slightest doubt about doing the job yourself, you should consider contacting a concrete contractor like Concrete Coring Company to handle the slab sawing for you.