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How to Cut a Concrete Driveway for Repair

By Jim Wildman
Driveways take a lot of abuse.

After living in your dream home for a while, the house will begin to show wear and tear from everyday use. Your driveway is one part that takes a lot of abuse. In time, it will crack, and the crack eventually will begin to break apart and crumble. The typical do-it-yourself handyman can make driveway repairs with a few tools available at a rental store.

Snap a chalk line on the driveway where you want to cut it. Use blue chalk for this step in a chalk line. The chalk line has a built-in container that holds powdered chalk. As you pull the line out of the case, the line becomes covered with the chalk. When you hold the line tight between two points and snap it, the line deposits a layer of chalk and a creates a line to follow.

Put on safety equipment to include safety goggles, hearing protection, dust mask, pants and a long-sleeve shirt. When cut, concrete makes a lot of dust that is dangerous to breathe. The saw also throws off a lot of small pieces of concrete that can be dangerous.

Place a 1-inch-by-6-inch piece of wood next to the line. A 12-foot piece of lumber will work best for this. The wood acts as a straight edge to run the cut off concrete saw against.

Score a line 1/4-inch deep along your chalked lines with the cut-off concrete saw. The straight edge of the 1-by-6 piece of wood will guide the score line to keep it straight. Walk along the wood to keep it from moving as you score the concrete.

Remove the wood and continue to cut the concrete the rest of the way through. Where you are not cutting all the way across the length of the concrete, you will have to cut past the intersection of where the lines meet in a corner. The diamond blade is round, so there will be concrete remaining in a corner unless you cut past the corner about 3 inches.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Chalk line
  • Safety goggles
  • Hearing protection
  • Dust mask
  • Cut-off concrete saw
  • Straight piece of lumber, 1 inch by 6 inches

Tips

  • Score the concrete within the damaged section 1 1/2-inches deep. Score the concrete so that the largest portion of unscored concrete is no larger than 16 inches. This will help the concrete to snap along the scored lines. You can then use a sledge hammer to break the concrete into small pieces, allowing it to be removed easier.
  • The concrete saw has a diamond tipped saw blade. The blade is designed to run at high speeds with light pressure. So let the saw do the work and do not force the blade trying to cut faster. You will only dull the expensive blade quickly.

Warning

  • The cut-off saw throws small pieces of debris as it cuts that can cause damage. Be careful of what is behind you before you start to cut.

About the Author

 

Jim Wildman served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication Chief for 10 years. After his tour of duty in Desert Storm he attended Oklahoma State University receiving his Bachelor of Architecture. He worked as an architect for 10 years before starting his own design/build company. He began writing in 2009 for Demand Studios and published on eHow.