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Coated Grinding

Industrial Flooring and The Required Preperation

There are many methods to cleaning and preparing the concrete surface. Many of them require the use of machines and tools. All involve a lot of time and patience. Here are some of the methods for surface preparation:

Chemical Cleaning: This is the most common method of surface preparation, and is the one used in many households. It is the least reliable, but typically the most economical. This is because it can be done by a homeowner without the help of professionals, given that the homeowner knows the process. Concrete stained with oil, grease, and dirt is the main target of the method, and these can be cleaned off by detergent or other appropriate concrete cleaners. Muriatic acid is commonly used for this, but it is relatively ineffective in removing oil and grease. The concrete needs to be scrubbed vigorously and rinsed with water thoroughly in order to remove all residue and particles.

Impact Tools and Scabblers: These devices work primarily to remove a laitance and any soft cement that often is on the top of the slab due to over troweling or installation during cold temperatures. It's like scraping out a layer to bring the next layer out to the open. These operations will result in lots of dust and noise, though. The impact tool will pulverize the concrete and there will be a lot of mess. A very thorough rinsing is needed afterwards. Many will use water jetting or wet sandblasting to clean up the dust and prepare the concrete surface.

Scarifiers: Scabblers and scarifiers are alike in a way that the scarifiers also cut a thin layer off the concrete. The depth of cut is more controlled with the scarifier, though. It is also noise and produces a lot of dust. Luckily, the scarifier can control the generated dust by a dust collector attachment. This machine is mostly used on old floors, but should be operated by a skilled operator as it is a heavy one.

Blast Cleaning: There are several kinds of blast cleaning that can be used in surface preparation. Sandblasting is used to remove laitance, dirt, oil, and other particles int eh final surface preparation. The hardness of the concrete should be determined first before using the sandblasting machine. Shot blasting is another technique used to scour the concrete surface. There are a lot of factors to consider with this technique. As for water blasting, water pressure and speed are the primary factors to take into consideration. Among the three, water blasting is the most preferred method of surface preparation because there are no dusts and particles in the final preparation. There is also minimal structural damage with water blasting.

Diamond grinding is probably the most effective, in terms of completeness and thoroughness. The shortcoming often cited is that it does not leave as aggressive a profile as either scarifying or shot blasting on the other hand it leaves the overall surface open in a more complete fashion. Moreover the HEPA vacuums systems that they typically are attached to do a great job of containing the mess.

Bottom line, while many people insist on trying to save some money by using “painting contractors” to meet their flooring requirements, they are often not equipped to prepare the substrate to enjoy the long term benefits of a properly installed flooring system. The extra fees incurred by hiring the right craftsman will most certainly be realized by their equipment and expertise and the overall life span of your epoxy floor system.

Jeffrey Smedley has been in the protective coatings industry his entire life. He is the president of High Performance Systems Corporation serving the USA in the food and chemical processing, pharmaceutical and virtually all of the manufacturing industries

Please be sure to visit a few of their sites at:

High Performance Systems

Ma seamless Flooring

NJ Seamless Flooring

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