Cutting asphalt differs in a few key ways from cutting concrete. You’ll first need to start with the proper equipment. Because asphalt is softer than surfaces like concrete, or granite, soft bonded blades won’t be effective and typically don’t result in clean cuts. Instead, the best tool for asphalt cutting is a diamond blade with a hard bond. This harder blade cuts cleanly, and easily releases grit. With the proper tools in place, you can begin following the three basic steps of any asphalt cutting job.
Before your saw contacts the asphalt surface, it’s important to clean the area to remove dirt and debris. Obviously, that starts by removing any large objects and rocks that are present that will obstruct your ability to cut the surface. Then, you’ll need to sweep the area to remove small pebbles, dirt, sand, and other debris. These granules can result in damage to your blade or saw, and lower quality cuts.
Mark your lines
With the surface clean, you’re almost ready to begin cutting. But first, you need to clearly mark a path for your cuts. Most asphalt cutting projects are performed to repair an existing surface, or replace an old one. To do that effectively, you straight, solid edges that are best created by first marking your lines. If you’re removing a damaged portion of asphalt, give yourself some extra space by marking lines wider than is necessary. Squared edges will result in a patch that lasts significantly longer than rounded edges. To mark off the lines, start with chalk directly on the asphalt surface. Then, use a screwdriver and hammer to dent the line you intend to cut.
Now you’re ready to put your saw and diamond blade to work. You’ll need to know how deep the surface you’re cutting goes, in order to set your saw to the correct setting. Cut one length of the area of asphalt being removed, then stop the blade and lift the saw in order to re-position for your next cut. Trying to turn the blade while it’s cutting only results in damage, or breaking of the blade. Once you’ve cut each side, you’re ready to remove the section.
In order to maintain your asphalt surface and save yourself from needing to make significant repairs, immediately fill cracks once they appear, and sealcoat every two to three years.
At Maxwell Supply in Tulsa, we carry the supplies you need to install, repair, or maintain your asphalt and concrete surfaces. Call us at 918-836-8606, or stop by and see us at 1719 N. Sheridan Rd.