how-to-avoid-over-breaking-when-scaling-concrete-structuresDue to the nature of mixing concrete and its status as a composite material, no two concrete structures will be exactly identical and a variety of factors will impact how the concrete stands up over time.

Concrete is made by mixing cement, and aggregate materials such as sand and gravel.

The cement acts as a binding agent that fills in the pores and empty space of the aggregate materials to form a relatively lightweight composite material.

This process makes concrete comparable to conglomerate rock when it comes to determining the best way to handle construction projects that involve the removal of concrete.

Degrade from Weather Exposure

Generally over time, concrete will degrade due to exposure to weather and other factors that may include poor quality of concrete or improper finishing and curing. As the concrete loses its structural integrity it becomes weak and brittle.

This can make concrete especially susceptible to over-breaking.

There are several steps companies can take to limit over-breaking during the course of their project.

Preventive Measures Start with Employees

The first step to limiting the negative effects of over-breaking starts with the company’s employees. There is no single resource more valuable to a company than their employees.

A well-trained and reliable workforce can combat over-breaking simply by applying proper technique.

Good operator technique results in a smooth and consistent force applied from the RockWheel to the concrete. Little to no ‘bounce’ applied to the concrete will produce the best results. If the operator is a first time RockWheel user, let them get a feel for the capability and control before digging into the concrete structure.

Proper Excavator Set Up

Another small tip that can make a big difference is simply to make sure the set up on the excavator is optimal. We can check your settings and confirm that your equipment is primed to perform at the highest possible level for the conditions in which they will be operating.

Additional work in preparation can make a big difference during operation.

After these first two preliminary steps, there are also a couple of tips that will prevent over-breaking during your actual operation.

Keep an Eye on Pick Lifeconcrete_scaling2

During the process of scaling concrete structures an important area to keep your eye on is pick life.

For the best results and minimal over-breaking, picks should only be used while in good working condition.

It is easy for picks to face wear and abrasion which significantly diminishes their useful capacity. If the pick wears too much it can begin to crack which will decrease its efficiency and create over-breaking.

It may be tempting to try and save money by using picks as long as possible, but using a pick past its lifespan will produce inferior results.

As you progress through your project you will be able to tell how your picks hold up to the concrete and how many picks will be necessary to finish the project successfully.

The Presence of Rebar

Rebar is very hard compared to concrete and can cause pick cracking and increased wear. Always be sure, if rebar is present, that the picks have not broken out carbide tips or wear that is preventing optimal grinding.

By devoting extra attention to technique, operating life, and the composite material, you will be able to greatly limit the negative impact of over-breaking and enjoy success in scaling concrete structures.