Concrete drilling – How to drill concrete?

concrete drilling

If you are a handyman of any level, there is a good chance that you need to know how to do concrete drilling or masonry at some point. Whether it’s mounting shelves on a cinder block garage wall, installing a planter on a brick veneer or stucco, or mounting exterior lighting on a stone, you’ll need to know how to drill concrete.

Concrete drilling with a drill hammer

A drill hammer is different from a regular rotary drill. Like a rotary drill, the drill hammer rotates. Unlike a rotary drill, it hammers while turning. Hammering allows the concrete to be sprayed, while rotation forms the hole.

If you plan to drill many holes in the concrete, it may be advantageous to buy a hammer drill. Drill hammers are available in cordless or cordless versions. Most drill hammers have two modes: simultaneous hammer/drill mode and drill mode only.

Concrete drilling with a rotary drill

Concrete can be drilled with a regular rotary drill. Drilling concrete with a rotary drill takes longer than with a percussion drill and requires more physical effort. Excessive heat accumulation can break the wick.

One way to speed up the process and avoid breaking the wick is to keep the wick cold. With cordless drills, you can run a slow and steady stream of water on the surface. With wire drills, holding the tip of a shop vacuum cleaner close to the drilling surface helps cool the drill bit and avoid debris in the hole.

Concrete Drilling: What is the best concrete drilling tool?

While there are a lot of similarities between general purpose tools, many factors come into play to define the best, many of which are subjective and situational. Perhaps the best answer to this question is that the best tool is the one you need to do the job.

In general, tools such as hammers resemble conventional wicks with a carbide tip at the end and tighter splines. With their smooth stem, they can only be used with a drill hammer and its 3-bit chuck.

The split drive system uses a thick bit end and grooves in which the bit moves. They are more expensive and last longer than drill hammers.

Concrete drilling: Why scan concrete before drilling concrete?

During construction, the drilling, cutting and drilling of concrete are essential operations that can damage various underground services, such as conduits and infrastructures, if not carried out with care. This is why it is essential to scan the concrete in order to precisely locate these utilities, so that drilling, coring or cutting processes can be carried out in a more oriented manner.

Sweeping concrete saves time and money, while reducing the risk of damages during a construction project. By locating and mapping the exact area of the public underground infrastructures, you can be sure that you will not suffer delays due to damage caused by a lack of know-how in the subsurface domain. One of the most common tools used to scan concrete is GPR.

Concrete drilling: What is GPR?

GPR or ground penetrating radar is used in several areas to observe artificial and natural elements. GPR can detect underground tanks, metal and non-metallic pipes, electrical lines, detection of underground conduits such as water pipes, rebar and post-tension cables inside concrete.

The GPR waves are equal to those of a cellular phone or Wi-Fi network, while X-rays require 50 feet of clearance before being used for safety reasons. In general, GPR is the most cost-effective option and the fastest method to test concrete.

The principle of using radio waves to determine the internal structures of the soil has long been known. Early work in this area included the use of radio echo sounders to determine the thickness of ice sheets in the Antarctic and Arctic and to measure the thickness of glaciers, which was undoubtedly the greatest success. GPR detection in non-glacial locations was initiated in the early 1970s. Early achievements focused on work on permafrost soils.

Concrete Drilling: Concrete Scan Procedure

As mentioned above, in order to scan concrete, the most common and accurate method is GPR. This tool is secure, efficient and very reliable to locate most of the elements buried deep underground. By using GPR, scanning errors are reduced to less than 1%, compared to 25% when the technology was not yet available.

GPR uses high frequency electromagnetic waves that are transmitted underground and will be sent back by the ground elements. This allows us to know what types of materials are reflected and at their depths, but also to obtain a precise vision of these materials in the ground. This will ensure that contractors know exactly where the objects are located and can avoid damaging them during construction.