Concrete is an essential element of construction. It is used for floors, roofs, and walls to increase their strength.
Concrete, after drying, is as firm as a rock. Now, drilling into rocks sounds impossible. But you can drill into it quite easily by using the correct methods and tools.
In this article, I will guide you on what measures to take before drilling into newly laid concrete.
How Long Does It Take For Concrete To Dry?
Concrete is a mixture of cement, crushed rocks, and water. For its exceptional qualities, it is the most commonly used construction material around the world.
When it is laid on a surface, it dries up within 2 days. After 48 hours, it is available for walking and drilling. However, the ideal time is to wait for 7 Days.
There can be multiple reasons to why one might need to drill into newly built buildings. Burrowing might be required for;
- Setting a door frame.
- Passing cables across the walls.
- Fixing window frames inside fresh walls and more.
Drilling can’t be done into newly laid wet slab. That is because the holes will be refilled and it is obviously useless to do so.
Letting the new concrete set and cure is necessary. Curing strengthens it and what it is used for, keeps getting more and more durable.
7 days is the ideal waiting time before drilling into newly made surfaces.
After spreading the slab, it will take almost 2 days to dry but curing is completed in 28 days.
Drying is different from curing.
- Drying takes less time and completes within 48 hours. You can walk on or drill into it after the process of drying completes.
- Curing is a continuous process. It is basically the maintenance of moisture provided to make the surface tougher. If no moisture is provided, it will become brittle and break apart when drilled or screwed into.
Once the surface fully dries, you can start drilling right away.
Which Tools To Use For Drilling Into Concrete?
Drilling into concrete requires specific drills and drill bits. Since it is a pain to drill into it, one must use consistent and adequate force and right tools to do the job.
- Use a Hammer Drill. Hammer Drills or Impact Drills are used for heavy duty drillings.
- Use Carbide coated drill bits. These drill bits work best for hard surfaces like concrete.
- Make pilot holes before drilling deeper. Pilot holes help to evaluate whether you are drilling in right directions or not.
- Apply appropriate force to drill holes. Using more or less than needed force affects the functioning of drills and life of drill bits.
- Wet the surface. Wetting the surface will keep drill bits cool and it will be easier to drill.
- Use face protections and gloves for self protection.
- Keep taking breaks. This will allow drill bits to rest and the temperature will also go down. This way, you will be able to use your drill bits for a long time.
Hammer drills or Impact drills are mainly used for solid surfaces. Avoid using standard drills for heavier masonry work. Regular drills are unable to pass through stony materials.
Purchasing an expensive yet long lasting tool is better than replacing multiple useless tools, right?
But you can also drill into concrete without having to use hammer drills. Follow the link given to know how to.
Carbide Coated Drill Bits
While you are at it, get carbide drill bits as well. These drill bits are specifically used for concrete and stone.
Carbide Drill Bits are heat resistant and they don’t wear out fast. You need bits of such qualities because titanium or cobalt drill bits are unable to work for solid surfaces.
You must know that working with concrete is not an easy task. One has to be careful in many aspects.
Adequate force should be applied to use the machinery properly.
Wetting the surface is suggested as doing so will prevent drill bits from overheating. It is easier for sharp tools to burrow into wet walls.
Physical safety must be one of your priorities. Heavy duty machinery and rock hard surfaces; both are hard to deal with. You are also prone to injuries if you are not careful enough.
According to research, concrete is harmful for humans in many ways. Exposure to toxins present in it can cause irritation and strong allergic reactions.
How To Prevent Health Hazards While Drilling Into Concrete?
It is better to use safety equipment while you are drilling. Which material you are drilling into isn’t important.
Before drilling into concrete, you must be using;
- Rubber Gloves. Rubber Gloves prevent toxins present in dried concrete from entering your body.
- Eye Protection. When you drill, a great amount of dust and debris comes flying off and gets in your mouth, nose and eyes. Concrete contains toxins that cause irritation. Using eye protection reduces the risk of irritation while dealing with cement or concrete.
- Respirators. Substances such as silica that are harmful for lungs are present in concrete. Inhaling these injurious particles can damage your organs. Respirators block detrimental debris from entering your mouth and nose.
- Noise Cancelling Equipment (headphones, etc.). Impact drills are heavy duty and produce infuriating noise. Cancelling it is necessary, therefore, you should use noise cancelling earphones or headphones.
By taking these precautions, it will be less difficult to drill.
Drilling into concrete comes with many challenges. People who are unfamiliar with this task often get confused and don’t know what to do. In this blog, easy tips on how to do and what to do are given.