How To Grind Concrete Driveway [Reduce Dust And Cost]

grind concrete driveway

Plant growth, natural disasters, vehicles, and household or garden machinery can damage outdoor concrete floors. When trees are planted too close to a driveway, their roots can buckle the concrete. Over time, concrete pathways can also become stained by moss, leaves, and colored garden mulch. Over time, rainfall can cause a sidewalk to become a waterfall if there is inadequate drainage on the property.

A concrete driveway or pathway will wear down over time due to everything from shoes to bicycles to cars and trucks. Of course, it is always possible that the professional who installed the original sidewalk did not do a good job. The good news is that all of these common property issues can be easily fixed with concrete grinding. Let’s see how the job of concrete grinding can be done efficiently and effectively and how much does it cost.

grind concrete driveway condition

Firstly, the grinding surface should be free of all moss, dirt, and other debris. Give the concrete a once-over with a degreaser or concrete cleaner if it’s moldy or stained with car grease.  If you plan on grinding a cracked or buckled concrete floor, measure the bend’s depth. Your choice of grinder will depend on the job at hand.

The grinding works best between one-quarter inch and two inches in vertical displacement. Any more than two inches would require a replacement. Grinding machines are high-speed machines. The machines are loud, and they may kick up dust and rubble from the concrete.

Which Grinder To Choose

concrete driveway grinder to choose

If you are refinishing a large area, like a concrete patio or driveway, you will save time by using a more powerful tool. For large outdoor stretches, there are two main types of floor grinders: single and dual disc grinders, and planetary grinders.

There are two spinning discs in a dual-disc grinder. Since they’re larger than concrete grinders with single discs, they can cover a larger area quickly. If you have an outdoor space larger than 1,500 square feet, consider a dual-disc system. You can use a single-disc concrete grinder to fix minor issues, such as cracked walkways. A 15 amp machine can be plugged into a residential outlet instead of propane or gas power, as is the case with dual-disc grinders.

What To Expect When You First Start Grinding

concrete driveway

Concrete is a porous, natural material that is prone to wear and tear over time. If you plan to grind a concrete sidewalk, make sure the customer is aware of this fact. Concrete needs to be resurfaced regularly, anywhere from eight to fifteen years in a typical environment.

Using a scarifier or saw can help you level an edge or surface that’s rough. Catch the dust with a machine that has a vacuum attached. Concrete grinders typically remove about 1/16 of an inch of the floor or pavement in a single pass. Take this into account when determining the depth of the initial trim.

Create a smooth surface by slightly sloping the concrete back from the lip or edge of the crack. Use a dry hand grinder to smooth off the surface. The silica dust can be collected with a vacuum, though this isn’t always necessary when working outdoors.

If you grind the concrete pathway down to the required level, the concrete in the work area will appear lighter in color and show more aggregate than the older concrete surrounding it.

Professional concrete grinders often square off the area after grinding. The aesthetically pleasing finish will be created as long as the un-ground concrete nearby is not ground.

How To Reduce Dust When Grinding Concrete Driveway

grind concrete driveway reduce dust

Masons are at serious risk of serious health problems when cutting and grinding concrete. Concrete slabs, bricks, and masonry blocks are composed of concentrated amounts of crystalline silica. They release silica-containing dust into the workers’ breathing zone when dry-cut. As a result of frequent exposure to this hazardous dust, silicosis can develop, a deadly and incurable lung disease. For construction workers to be protected from airborne silica dust, there are several approaches that can be taken. Concrete cutting and grinding methods and work practices that reduce dust accumulation include:

  • Cutting with water (Water Spraying) -This engineering control helps eliminate silica dust from ever becoming airborne and is the most effective way to control dust when cutting and grinding concrete. Wet-cutting ports are recommended on saws and grinding equipment, or portable water tanks and carts can be provided. To ensure that the resources and manpower necessary for successful wet cutting are available before arriving on the job site, masons should create a plan in advance.
  • Industrial vacuums and exhaust ventilation systems are extremely useful when dust cannot be eliminated at the source. Dust can be sucked up by these systems as it forms, which can be extremely helpful when cleaning up after a construction site. The vacuum system should be equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that prevents dust from escaping.

Cost Of Grinding Concrete Driveway

On the cost of concrete grinding, you’ve probably seen a variety of quotes from different sources.  In one instance, a reliable source recently mentioned that you could have your concrete floor ground for as little as $2 per square foot, or about $21.5 per square metre.

The minimum grinding cost has also been mentioned as $4 per square foot ($43 per square metre).

The truth is that you never know how much the contractor will charge until they tell you. However, you can try to estimate the potential cost.


To sum up, an efficient concrete grinding process depends on the type of blade you are using and the level of skilled labor. Dust is a serious problem during the grinding process and can lead to serious illness. It can be reduced by employing wet cutting or using vacuum systems. The cost of grinding concrete is something that is highly variable and depends on the location of the project and the amount of concrete to be grinded.