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How to safely demolish rocks and concrete slabs without heavy equipment or explosives

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Traditional demolition methods of using heavy equipment and explosives often come with risks and inconveniences.

Along with the possibility of damaging the surrounding areas and structures, these approaches can make people uncomfortable through excess noise pollution, vibrations and flying debris they can produce.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative solution you can rely on – that is, a highly expanding mortar product.

Highly expanding mortar is a safer and more economical option if you need to shatter, crack or demolish rocks and concrete slabs, especially in sensitive places like adjacent to a pool.

Let’s discuss how this product works, including the benefits it offers.

What is highly expanding mortar?

Highly expanding mortar (or expansive mortar) is a cracking, non-explosive demolition agent that is used to cut concrete, break granite and crack rocks. It is a powder form product that hardens and expands when mixed with water and poured into holes.

This solution silently breaks up hard materials while minimising noise and toxic pollution on site. Highly expanding mortar is also easier to use than other conventional concrete and rock breaking methods because it only requires you to drill, mix and pour. In fact, you don’t even need permits or special certifications to use it.

At Scientific Waterproofing Products (SWP), we have our own expansive mortar called MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE which is a non-explosive rock splitting and concrete slabs cutting solution. It is a trusted, cost-effective and environment-friendly product for safe demolition, preventing structural damage from blasts, heavy vibrations and flying rocks.

When is it best to use highly expanding mortar?

Using a highly expanding mortar like SWP’s MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE is recommended when:

  • you need to shatter loose rocks and fixed bedrock without using dynamite or heavy equipment and machinery (just a jackhammer)
  • there are special precautions and accessibility restrictions required in demolishing buildings, bridges, water reservoirs, safety boxes, silos and chimneys
  • there are fragile structures located close by that won’t be able to tolerate the noise and vibrations of alternative methods (such as an aquarium)
  • you want to have quicker and more economical demolitions while eliminating hammering noises, tremors, gases and sparks
  • you aim to avoid any contamination, ecological assault or ecosystem damage
  • there are risks involved like the presence of flammable or explosive substances

Apart from these cases, highly expanding mortar is applicable for excavation, mining, landscaping and trenching purposes as well.

A client case study

We had a client recently use this product as they needed to remove a slab that was adjacent to an aquarium. While jackhammers were their first choice, they realised that, as water is denser than air, the noise vibrations would disrupt and potentially hurt the aquatic animals inside the tank.

So, they used SWP’s MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE product to break and remove the slab successfully instead.

10 tips to remember when using highly expanding mortar

The recommended application of expansive mortar depends on different factors such as temperature, the type of element to be demolished and the depth, diameter and placement of the holes drilled in the material.

However, to help you get excellent results from our MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE, we’ve compiled the following tips that you can take note of:

  • Drill holes with an electrical drill, rock drill or crawler drill to the diameter and depth required.
  • Grease, loose concrete, contaminants or any other materials that could affect the performance of the highly expansive mortar must also be removed.
  • Before the application of MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE, especially with very porous and absorbent material such as concrete, the hole surface must be dampened with clean water using a swab. It also must be surface dry to avoid any free-standing water.
  • Do not mix MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE with other compounds other than water.
  • Avoid using more water for mixing than the recommended ratio (see product technical bulletin)
  • Place the expansive mortar into the drilled holes within 5-10 minutes after mixing. In order to minimise the chance of air entrapment, MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE must be poured in a continuous way.
  • When filling the drill holes, leave a space of at least 2 to 3 cm without material at the top of the drill hole.
  • Do not look directly at the drill holes filled with MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE mix for at least the first 8 hours. Always use safety goggles when checking the area.
  • Once the holes are already filled, make sure that no pedestrians are passing close to the area.
  • Remember to read all specific application instructions and data provided in the technical bulletin for MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE. If you’d like further guidance, just speak to your local expert team at SWP.

Once the mortar is poured into the drilled holes, you can observe that MAXMORTER® EXPANSIVE will begin to work immediately.

It will provide expansive stress to rocks and concrete slabs that gradually increases with time. Cracking will occur between 12 to 48 hours, while the maximum expansion will be achieved on the fourth day. Just keep in mind that the higher the temperature, the quicker the reaction.

Get the best highly expanding mortar solution today

At Scientific Waterproofing Products, our team is here to provide you with the right solutions for your unique situation. We offer a wide range of Drizoro cement-based waterproof coatings for all of your maintenance and restoration requirements.

If you’ve got any questions or issues, or you’d like to find out which product is best for your needs, contact us today! You can also check out a list of local Drizoro resellers and applicators here.

As always, SWP is committed to providing high-quality waterproofing coatings, restoration products and maintenance solutions to any problem.