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How to Deal with Bound Slabs on a Concrete Leveling Job

Posted by Colt Hullander on Sep 15, 2020 10:00:00 AM

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When two adjacent slabs are touching, there is a high likelihood of them being bound. This is definitely something to look out for on slab lifting jobs for a variety of reasons.

Bound Slab Basics

If you try to lift a slab that is bound to an adjacent slab, you could end up:

  • Lifting a part of the slab that you did not intend to lift.
  • Cracking the slab.
  • Lifting the adjacent slab unintentionally.
  • Wasting valuable extra material trying to lift a slab that is stuck.

Even if a seam between two slabs or a control joint (a joint meant to break when the slab is under pressure in order to prevent cracking) is already loose - it's still best to run a saw through it just to be sure before attempting to lift. A concrete saw blade is 1/8-inch wide. When you cut between slabs, you are giving them a 1/8-inch gap to ensure smooth movement.

Pros and Cons of Two Types of Concrete Saws

There are two types of concrete saws to choose from when stocking your arsenal of slab lifting gear. Here are the pros and cons of each…

Circular Saw

Circular-Saw
Photo Courtesy of STIHL.

PROS

  • Fast cutting rate.
  • Low operating cost.
  • Easily sourced blades.

CONS

  • Requires overcuts (the blade typically extends 4 to 6 inches past the edge of the slab).
  • Requires a wide berth. Cannot cut up against edges of walls and structures.

Concrete Chainsaw

Concrete-Chainsaw
Photo Courtesy of STIHL.

PROS

  • Doesn't require overcuts.
  • Can cut up against the edges of walls and structures.
  • Can cut up to 12 inches deep.

CONS

  • Has a high operating cost (chains and bars tend to be expensive).
  • Low cut footage per bar and chain compared to circular saw blade.

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Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs