There are a number of factors that need to be considered when choosing equipment for the surface preparation of concrete prior to the floor system installation. Here’a an overview of the top five:
1) What is Being Removed?
First, consider what type of material you are trying to remove. Are you working with unsound concrete, epoxy coatings, mastics, paint? This is key to determining the right process for effective removal. A rubbery elastomeric coatings, for example, will require scarification or grinding rather than shotblasting.
Next, you need to consider the thickness of the material that needs to be removed. Parameters here can vary, however, a general rule of thumb is that thin film coatings can be removed using diamond grinders, while thick coatings and overlays will likely need to be shot blasted or scarified.
2) The Condition of the Concrete
The condition of the concrete can dictate surface preparation steps as well. If concrete is delaminated or crumbling, you will probably need to use methods of scarification or a chipping hammer to get to sound concrete.
3) Surface Profile
Once you have your concrete in the right condition, you must determine the surface profile that is necessary for the coatings to properly adhere. There are a few factors that play into this decision.
The first is to consider what type of system will be used to coat the concrete. A stain or a thin coating will usually require only a light profiling while thick overlays and self leveling coatings will do best with a heavily texture surface that can only be achieved with a scarifier or shot blaster. Additionally, coatings manufacturers will often specify the method of surface prep that is best for their system/product, and in some cases, may indicate the specific surface profile number that is needed per the International Concrete Repair Institute guideline.
4) Job Size & Projected Time
It is also important to factor in the size of the job in order to understand how much time will need to be allotted for the surface preparation stage of your project. Most machines will indicate the maximum number of square feet of surface per hour. However, that rate will vary depending on job conditions, and it doesn’t account for obstacles that may slow your progress and require handwork, such as corners and areas around obstruction.
5) Power Source
Lastly, you will need to identify what type of power source is at your disposal. You can find machines that run on gasoline, propane, electricity, or compressed are. Decide what type of power is best suited for your needs and job conditions.