As the initial step to industrial floor coating, we have to take the surface preparation seriously. The success of the coating project sometimes depends on the preparation of surface. Failed coatings sometimes happen because of bad concrete preparation. To check if the floor you want coated is wholly cleaned and prepared, you can try to stick a duct tape to the floor and then peel it away. If there are any dust or particles on the tape, that means that the floor is not clean enough.
There are many methods to cleaning and preparing the concrete surface. Many of them requires 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. 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 little of your surface. 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 toole 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. Shotblasting is another technique used to scour the concrete surface. There are a lot of factors to consider with this technique. As for waterblasting, water pressure and speed are the primary factors to take into consideration. Among the three, waterblasting 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 waterblasting.
There are many more ways to clean your concrete for the coating. They include acid etching, mechanical cleaning, and flame cleaning. Before trying one of the following methods, make sure you consult with your coating manufacturer or an expert in this field. Considering how this is a job that requires a lot of precautions, we should make sure that our surface preparation is done right before we apply industrial floor coating.