agree surface preparation is the most important and
critical step of any job. This is especially true when
coatings are involved. Surface preparation will save
you time and money in the long run, and can substantially
reduce the possibility of coating failure and costly
The key to a successful project is successful surface preparation. Why do you
need surface preparation? The prepared area must be able to accept adhesion
of a coating and provide the right amount of profile, or “tooth” for
the coating. Surface preparation is the key to this process!
Shot blasting is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for preparing
concrete surfaces. This labor and time-saving process strips, cleans and profiles
simultaneously. It leaves the surface immediately ready for the application
of coatings or overlays—eliminating drying time and costly disposal procedures
associated with other surface preparation methods such as acid etching.
Shot blasting is the preferred method of surface preparation, recommended by
most coating manufacturers. It produces excellent bonding characteristics that
promote reduced coating failure and maximum floor life.
Different surface profiles can be achieved by varying shot size, shot flow
rate and machine travel speed.
Diamond grinders use horizontally rotating disks to level, smooth or clean
a concrete surface. A diamond tipped or other type of abrasive wheel (such
as a litex disc) is mounted on the grinder. The grinder may have single or
multiple heads (typically up to 3)
coatings or adhesive residues
or flatten concrete slabs (including troublesome curled
expansion joints), and
decorative concrete applications, use the machines to
polish concrete to a high shine or to restore old slabs
for architectural finishes.
Depending on the type of abrasive wheel used on the grinder, it can be used
to lightly prepare the surface (especially useful when applying thin coatings)
or can quickly remove mastics, epoxies, urethane, paint and thick coatings.
Special types of multi-headed grinders can be outfitted with carbide tipped
slicers to quickly cut through heavy, built-up adhesives, elastomeric coatings,
waterproof membranes and more.
Contractors and manufacturers are split between roughening the concrete by
mechanical profiling (shot blasting and diamond grinding) or acid etching.
Large or difficult surfaces will usually be mechanically profiled and is the
industry standard. Acid etching can provide adequate surface preparation for
horizontal installations of coatings, and toppings in areas that are well ventilated
and require a spark and / or dust free environment. However, they will not
remove petroleum-based products or animal vegetable oils from the concrete
and is usually the last resort in surface preparation.
After acid etching is done- the surface must be fully neutralized. Bonding
problems can occur if acidic residue remains on the concrete.
ASTM D 4262-83 is the test method for pH for chemically cleaned or etched concrete
surfaces to test for moisture.
Mechanical profiling is the method of choice. Acid etching should only be done
when no alternative means of preparation is possible. Again, the safest measure
is to follow the floor coating manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Scarifiers are versatile, surface preparation tools used for concrete, and
asphalt surfaces. Scarifiers use steel or carbide tipped cutters (in various
shapes, depending on application) thatare loaded on shafts placed around the
perimeter of a cylindrical drum. As the drum rotates, the cutters impact the
surface at a high speed, fracturing the coating and/or contaminants and abrading
the concrete surface.
Scarifiers are used for repairing common slab problems, such as:curled joints,
high spots, uneven slabs, burned slabs due to over-troweling, trowel marks,
and damage due to weather.
They remove oil, contaminants, traffic lines, epoxy coatings or paint. They
are suitable for smoothing uneven surfaces and trip hazards, or for cutting
safety grooves in ramps, walkways and loading docks. Scarifing is a very rough
way of prepping a surface prior to diamond grinding.
Scraping & Stripping
Scrapers have come a long way since flimsy hand scrapers or using attachments
on skid-steers. No longer is a jack hammer the most efficient way to remove
tile, tile mortar and grout beds.
Walk-behind, powered strippers and ride-on scraping machines which are the
fastest and most efficient ( Costs approx $1,000.00 per 24 hour rental) have
made flooring removal and removal of other materials much easier, faster and
more effective. Even hand scrapers are now contractor-tough with spring steel
blades and comfortable, ergonomic handles. These tools use razor sharp blades
or teeth to slide under, fracture or otherwise remove unwanted materials from
the surface. Different blades and teeth are designed for different removal
applications from carpet to tile to wood, to coatings and more.
Scrapers are used to remove a wide range of floor coverings, waterproofing
membranes, roofing materials and thick coatings.
Scrapers can remove rubber, epoxy, thin-set mortar, elastomeric coatings, adhesives
Saws are pretty straightforward - they all cut - but did you know that there
are specialized saws for different applications? Using these tools can make
your life a lot easier!
Crack and Joint Repair: Crack Chasing and Joint Cleanout Saws
Dust collectors reduce airborne dust created during surface preparation and
repair jobs, helping to provide a cleaner work environment and increased productivity.
Dust collectors are specifically designed for the rigors of commercial/contractor
use, with powerful motors for increased air flow, heavy duty filters, and components
that are protected from dust and debris for longer life.
Dust collectors are system matched for best performance. A range of vacuums
are available for hand tools, as well as walk-behind surface preparation equipment.