Concrete Core Drilling

At R.J. Potteiger Construction Services, Inc. we have the knowledge and ability to execute precise and efficient core drilling in commercial and industrial facilities throughout the Central PA region. Core drilling creates the openings in concrete floor slabs, walls and ceilings that are necessary for installing electrical or plumbing lines, HVAC systems and communication cabling.

Concrete core drilling is usually a necessary step for virtually all concrete structures. Whether clients need to make an opening for a manhole, install plumbing, electrical lines, or to pull a sample of concrete for testing, quality cores are a must. Core drilling performs precise, circular diameter cuts that allow installation holes of various sizes in diameter which can be drilled to various depths. Diamond core drills are used in order to provide the most precise circular diameter cut through the concrete and additional materials. Core holes are drilled in a series of overlapping holes, allowing for one large segment to be removed. Our dedicated team is outfitted to safely and effectively core holes through steel-reinforced concrete, pre-cast concrete, asphalt, masonry, metal and stone.

Our concrete drilling and coring services include but are not limited to:

  • Plumbing / Floor Drains
  • HVAC openings
  • Electrical and communication services
  • Handrail and anchor holes
  • Aggregate analysis
  • Sample and analysis of materials
  • Walls, floor slabs, and ceilings

Core Drilling Services Tailored to the Needs of Our Clients

R.J. Potteiger Construction Services, Inc. provides concrete saw cutting and core drilling services to meet the specific needs of our clients. We work with which each industrial or commercial client to plan every detail of their project in advance.

Using innovative core drilling equipment, we can execute each phase of the project with a high level of precision. Our core drilling team can drill holes in a various range of diameters. There is no drilling task that is too difficult for our team.

Clients greatly appreciate highly competitive pricing that can fit the requirements of even the tightest construction project budgets. When you factor in courteous and attentive customer service, clients can count on R.J. Potteiger Construction Services, Inc. to be their Central PA core drilling force.

 

Cement Your Knowledge Of Concrete Core Drilling

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Even if you are familiar with concrete core drilling, but there’s always more to know about the subject. Core drilling offers contractors and home-owners unlimited possibilities for accomplishing their goals. Whether your area of expertise involves industrial purposes, or just home improvement, our concrete core drilling can assist your project.

In providing builders with the means to bore holes through concrete, concrete core drilling fulfills a variety of needs. If you need to install any utility which runs through concrete, you’ll need a hole. To get that opening, you’ll require core drilling services.

We, at R.J. Potteiger Construction Services, Inc. specialize in the concrete core drilling service you need. Our well-trained and knowledgeable team lives to drill through concrete. Whether you’ve employed concrete drilling before, or count yourself among the novices, we stand confidant in our ability to aid your endeavor.

Most people don’t know much about concrete drilling. Don’t worry if you’re new to the drilling game, we’ll walk you through the steps. In this guide to concrete core drilling, we’ll cover the major areas like:

  • Core Drilling Explained
  • Applications of Concrete Core Drilling
  • Core Drill Concrete Slab
  • Core Drill Concrete Floor
  • Core Drill Concrete Wall
  • Drilling Reinforced Concrete
  • Core Drilling Concrete Requires Experience
  • Drilling Different Types of Concrete

After learning about core drilling, you’ll know how to apply this technology to your home or business. But for now, let’s start at the beginning.

Core Drilling Explained

What exactly is core drilling? When you bore a hole into a surface, with a hollow, rotating, circular drill, you get two things: a hole and a core sample. Applied to concrete, you usually only want the hole, but miners use core drilling for the opposite reason.

Mineral scientists use core drilling to extract core samples from the earth. The depth of the sample tells geologists information regarding the mineral deposits of the rock. But for our purposes, we’ll focus on the other main aspect of core drilling: the hole.

Engineers require holes in a variety of hard materials. When constructing large-scale infrastructure, holes come in handy. Piping and wires often travel underground or through geological obstructions. Core drilling provides a conduit for these utilities to pass.

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In core drilling, no limitations to hole shape or size exist. Although the most popular choices center on round holes, other shaped holes do exist. The hole facilities the means for a material to pass through a barrier, the shape comes secondary to the application. Circular holes best reveal how core drilling works.

The actual drill performs the task of core drilling. The drill head consists of a circular, diamond-tipped blade, which whirs around hollowing out the surface. The blade sits along the rim of a steel tube. Electricity or hydraulics power the mechanism which enables the rotational movement. The turning hollows out the surface, forging the hole.  When the drill reaches the desired depth, the operator removes the drill and the core follows along.

Now you know that core drilling centers on the creation of an agent to allow communication through an object, such as concrete, let’s see what popular applications core drilling provides.

Applications of Concrete Core Drilling

Concrete core drilling services encompass a multitude of purposes. For example, picture a surface. It doesn’t matter what you imagined, core drilling can bore through that plane. There’s no limit to the usefulness of core drilling.

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At R.J. Potteiger Construction Services, Inc., we specialize in a number of areas. Of course, with core drilling, your imagination’s the limit. The most common situations which require core drilling include:

  • HVAC air conditioner openings
  • Ventilation
  • Drainage systems, pipes, floor drains
  • Anchor holes
  • Handrail holes
  • Fiber optic cables
  • Telephone lines

These areas encompass several main areas of core drilling application. In everyday life, core drilling comes up again and again. In addition to these common functions for core drilling, people often will core drill their concrete slabs, floors and walls. We’ll cover these topics on their own.

Core Drill Concrete Slab

When you need to create a hole in a concrete slab, core drilling offers the best option. Some reasons why you might want to drill through a concrete slab include any number of the applications listed above: from installing a place to adhere a handrail to slab siding to drilling through a slab to create a drain. Your purposes will depend on the position of the slab, whether horizontal or vertical. Regardless of your goal, the method remains constant.

Some areas which concrete slab drilling encompasses include:

  • Holes in concrete slabs for handrails
  • Penetration through slabs to create a pathway for cable
  • Any vertical slab which requires an opening for an HVAC

Factors such as width and aggregate hardness play into drilling through concrete. Consider the slab thickness when choosing how best to employ core drilling.

The aggregate hardness also plays a role in drilling through slabs. The diamond core bit must possess the required strength to handle the surface of the slab.  The diamond bit should match the resistance presented by the aggregate hardness of the slab.

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Core Drill Concrete Floor

Concrete floors represent a common application of core drilling. Most basements or law-laying surfaces rely on concrete to provide the foundation. Unless the engineers designed the project to accommodate a requirement such as drainage, then you’ll need to employ core drilling to amend previous designs.

Common uses for concrete floor drilling include:

  • Indoor or outdoor drains
  • Establishing the framework for laying pipes
  • HVAC air conditioner or home heating systems

The primary usage of core drilling, applied to concrete floors, concerns drainage. People often need to add drains and pipes in renovation projects.

Core Drill Concrete Wall

Perhaps the most popular application of core drilling concerns concrete walls. Whether you need a window, a hole for wiring, or whatever, core drilling will make it happen.

Common uses for concrete wall drilling include:

  • Creating openings for windows
  • Boring through existing concrete to create holes for cable
  • Ventilation conduits to allow air circulation

Occasionally, engineers consider the necessity for a hole, but need to pour the concrete first. After all, it’s nearly impossible to set a hole in wet concrete. A much better solution involves setting a concrete wall, letting it dry, and then break out the drills.

Another factor which affects concrete walls is the aggregate. Aggregate refers to the stone particles which provide concrete with extra chunkiness. These stones must satisfy several requirements. They must be course, fine, and hard.

These particles beef up the strengths of concrete walls and make them additionally resilient and strong. The type of stone used in the aggregate will affect the concrete’s hardness.  Larger particles can average around 1/1.2″ in diameter. The average aggregate in high quality concrete is 75%.  Consider the aggregate size and content before drilling.

We always consider aggregate size and content because it has a direct affect on core drilling. The higher the aggregate rate, the stronger the concrete. More aggregate means a greater resistance to the core drilling. Factor in the aggregate content before proceeding with your core drilling plans.

Drilling Reinforced Concrete

Drilling through reinforced concrete requires extra oomph. As the name implies, reinforced concrete is backed up by an internal skeleton of steel rebar.  Rebar protects concrete from overwhelming stress. This asset makes rebar a popular choice in many structures.

The imposing strength of reinforced concrete makes it tougher on drills. Even diamond tipped blades have a hard time cutting into the steel. Of course, no job is too difficult for the right concrete drill bit. With the right drilling techniques, rebar is no match for diamond tipped core drills.

Rebar puts a different type of strain on the drill. Reinforced concrete contains steel rebar which must be cut using a “machining” strategy. Instead of employing crack promulgation, used to fracture concrete apart when drilling, the diamond bit eats into the rebar with each turn, slicing tiny metal particles off.

This strategy of machining the rebar away combines with standard concrete crack promulgation to get the job done. Rebar requires the best of both drilling strategies.

Core Drilling Concrete Requires Experience

There’s a lot to know when it comes to core drilling. It takes years of experience to understand the nature of concrete. In core drilling, there are a lot of factors to consider. It’s essential to possess a complete understanding of the task at hand.

When drilling, it’s easy to focus on the concrete. However, ensuring the functionality of the drill is equally as important. Drills react to concrete differently. Stronger concrete puts greater strain on the drill. Failure to pay attention to the reaction between both can result in overheating and damage to the drill. Adding water to the drill surface helps cool down the point of contact and prevents dust from forming. Maintaining awareness of the threshold of both concrete and drill is crucial throughout drilling. Employing the correct drill bits also requires a high level of knowledge and experience. Drilling through hard surfaces is different from brittle concrete with regard for masonry bits.

In the world of concrete drilling, a firm knowledge of concrete functions as the bedrock for any decision made during drilling. Recognizing which type of concrete is present in a task is important in properly assessing the optimal solution in which concrete core drilling can provide.

Drilling Different Types of Concrete

When preparing to drill concrete, it’s important to know which type of concrete you’re drilling. The elements of the concrete’s composition will determine which strategy you will need to employ.

  • Light Weight Concrete- The weight of concrete directly relates to its density. Density results from the amount of aggregate contained in the concrete. Aggregate comprises the rock particles which, when mixed with cement, provide additional strength. This happens because it makes the concrete thicker. Like adding chocolate chips to cookie dough, aggregate makes concrete heavier, thicker, and stronger.Light weight concrete offers advantages for construction. The lighter weight puts less strain on the support structure. You’ll often find this concrete in the floors and walls of taller structures. It also maintains excellent thermal properties which encourage its use in air condition.

 The low density of light weight concrete affords benefits to concrete core drilling. The lower strength offers less resistance to a concrete core drill bit. This makes light weight concrete a prime candidate for effortless core drilling.

  • Normal Concrete– The most standard variety of concrete is known as normal concrete. Like all concrete, it consists of three ingredients: water, cement and aggregate. The difference centers on the amount of aggregate included in the mixture. Aggregate adds density and strength to concrete. Normal concrete contains a intermediary amount of aggregate. Sitting between light weight and high strength concrete has earned it the name “normal”.

 Normal concrete offers medium strength and takes 30 to 90 minutes in order to set. It gains strength over time. For instance, after one week it can stock up to 5800 psi (pounds per square inch)  but after one month it gains up to 80% of its full strength. After 90 days it begins to bear down on 100% strength.

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 Normal concrete does not possess long term resilience. It weakens as it ages and begins to deteriorate. It lacks adequate tension strength but boasts good compression. All these factors play into how it handles core drilling.

 Normal concrete sits in the middle of the resistance scale. It doesn’t possess the same ease of drilling as light weight concrete, but it still easily undergoes core drilling. No concrete is a match for a strong core drill. Normal concrete doesn’t stand a chance.

  • High Strength Concrete – Stronger than normal concrete, high strength concrete is made by lowering the water content in the original mix to 0..35 or less. This process yields a product which can handle more than 6000 psi. Another ingredient in the mixture is silica fume. This chemical reduces the formation of calcium hydroxide crystals which obstruct the effectiveness of the bond between aggregate and cement. This process occasionally results in an unwieldy mixture, which resists pouring. Super plasticizers often get added at this point to increase liquidity.

 

  • High Performance Concrete- This concrete superstar can support up to 15,000 psi. It’s recipe only includes 25% water, so high performance concrete is thick, strong stuff. If you’re going to attempt to drill through high performance concrete, you’ll need some heavy duty drills. The type of concrete appears in structures build to last. The high durability, long term strength and easy workability of this product make it a popular choice for industrial purposes. If you suspect the surface you want to drill is high performance concrete, you’d better have the right tool.

 

When you need to drill concrete, it’s often easier to just call the professionals. At R.J. Potteiger Construction Services, Inc., we specialize in all types of concrete core drilling. Concrete drilling contractors like us love to lend our skills to help your project succeed. We know concrete. We’re always ready to assess your drilling needs and offer a free estimate. If you have a project you need help with, we’ll be there.

Contact R.J. Potteiger Construction Services, Inc. Today to Learn More About Our Core Drilling Services

To learn more about our core drilling services, please call our office or contact us online today. We will be happy to schedule a no-obligation on-site consultation at your convenience.