Breaking up concrete can be a dusty job. Whether you use a sledgehammer, a jackhammer, or even controlled micro-blasting, the demolition process fills the air with concrete dust, turning a work site into a mess. Dust can get into unprotected equipment and damage it. And if proper respiratory masks aren't used, breathing in concrete dust can cause serious respiratory problems, including silicosis – a serious problem for construction workers.
Not all methods of breaking concrete are equally dusty, however. If you want to minimize the amount of dust you produce, consider the following two cleaner methods to bust up your concrete.
Breaking apart concrete from within takes less force than breaking it from without, and expanding grout takes advantage of this fact. First, holes must be drilled in the concrete in order to place the expanding grout. This drilling will produce some dust, but far less than cutting through concrete or breaking it with a hammer.
Once the grout is placed, it cures and expands, and this pressure causes the concrete to crack apart without producing dust. Expanding grout also has the advantage of being the least noisy way to demolish concrete. If you're working in a sensitive area, you may not be able to use hammers or explosives that send vibrations through the entire area; expanding grout is an excellent alternative. And as an added bonus, it is very safe and can be used without a permit or license, so if concrete breaking isn't something you do often, this grout could be the right choice for a one-off job.
Water is used to minimize dust in all sorts of applications, from diamond saws to dirt roads, so it only makes sense that using water to break apart concrete would be a low-dust option. Hydroblasting uses jets of highly pressurized water to cut through concrete, and since the cuts are wet, almost no dust is produced.
Hydroblasting is also an excellent choice if you want to remove only part of a concrete slab or structure. Because the water can be targeted to precisely the area you want removed and won't damage surrounding areas, you can easily leave some portions of the concrete intact. The rough edges of a hydroblasted cut are also excellent for bonding new concrete, so it's a good choice for repairing concrete by cutting away a damaged area of concrete and then replacing it with new material.
To learn more, contact a company like Garrett Concrete Cutting, Coring & Sawing Inc - Chino.