Preparing Concrete Surfaces: What You Need to Know

When it comes to preparing concrete surfaces for lasting repairs there are several methods available including shot blasting, acid etching and grinding. Learn more about these methods here.

Preparing Concrete Surfaces: What You Need to Know

When it comes to preparing concrete surfaces, there are a variety of methods available. Shot blasting is a popular choice for cleaning and profiling horizontal surfaces, while floor scrapers can be used to remove unwanted materials such as paint, tile, or carpet glue. Blasting machines create a porous surface through steel shot propulsion, while scarifiers can be used to fracture coatings with rotary cutters. Acid etching is a chemical method commonly used to treat concrete floors, and grinders can be used to smooth surfaces.

It is important to understand the steps required for surface preparation and the machinery used in order to make concrete repairs that last.First, remove any unwanted materials such as paint, tile or carpet glue with a good quality floor scraper. Self-propelled and seated floor scrapers have the ability to increase surface preparation efficiency, especially for larger projects. Many people prefer to use shot blasting machines to peel their surface in preparation for coating or painting, as they are often time-saving and cost-effective. By creating a porous surface through steel shot propulsion, blasting machines not only remove the surface of concrete, they have the potential to improve coating adhesions.For heavy-duty surfaces that are likely to cause problems, a scarifier works to fracture coatings with rotary cutters.

However, keep in mind that while they may be more effective in removing heavy epoxies and other coatings, scarifiers do not smooth surfaces like grinders and other machines do. Acid etching is a very low-cost chemical method commonly used to treat concrete floors to eliminate laitance and provide a profile.To assist contractors in making this assessment, the International Concrete Repair Institute has developed reference guidelines for the CSP-a measurement of the average distance from surface peaks to valleys. If two concrete slabs are poorly placed at a different height, the grinder is used to smooth the transition from one slab to the other. If shot blasting or scarifying is used to remove the top of the concrete surface to profile the concrete, this opens the pores of the concrete.Once the contractor removes the old floor, the next step is to prepare the concrete for the new coating.

As mentioned earlier, it is important to realize that concrete is like a sponge, it is filled with ventilation holes. For proper bonding of concrete coatings and coatings, it is important to give the surface the correct concrete surface profile, or CSP. If it doesn't feel as rough as a 180 grit sandpaper or rougher, you'll need to use acid to etch the concrete floor.It should be borne in mind that improperly performed mechanical preparation can seriously damage a concrete floor. Avoiding coating failure due to moisture requires the contractor to perform a simple moisture test on a small area of shot-blasted or ground concrete.

If the customer was expecting a polished concrete floor and the exposed concrete is in poor condition, he will get an unpleasant surprise. Unlike other concrete floors, your garage concrete floor will need a protective epoxy coating to resist oil and grease stains and make it easy to clean.The most important feature for the coating of materials or floor coverings is the texture of concrete. The preparation process determines the success of surface repairs and coating joints. To make sure your repairs last, you need repair material that adheres securely to your surface.

An improperly prepared concrete surface can cause both repair material and coating to peel off.Contractors and manufacturers are divided between roughening concrete by mechanical profiling or acid etching. Pour a bucket of water on any unsealed concrete floor and you will see that almost all of it disappears quickly. It is essential for contractors and manufacturers alike to understand all of these methods in order to ensure successful results when preparing concrete surfaces.

Riley Ryan
Riley Ryan

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