The Right Equipment

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If you’re a professional contractor that specializes in the installation of epoxy, polyurethane or polyaspartic floor coatings, then you know the importance of concrete preparation. Using the right equipment during this step is critical to installing high quality floor coatings.

Concrete Surface Profile (CSP)

For epoxy coating products to properly “bond”, the concrete needs to be rough. That is, it must have a concrete surface profile (or CSP). Smooth concrete just doesn’t provide a receptive substrate. According to the International Concrete Repair Institute, the roughness of concrete surfaces can be ranked. A very smooth surface will have a CSP of 1, while the roughest surfaces, a CSP of 10.

Take a peek at the following link for concrete surface profile photographs:

http://www.tccmaterials.com/userfiles/file/ConcreteSurfaceProfiles.pdf

Methods of Concrete Preparation

There are many methods that can be used to prepare concrete from low-pressure water jetting and acid etching to aggressive sand blasting and rotomilling. Low pressure water jetting and acid etching produce too low a CSP (2 and lower). They are simply not good enough for long-term bonding of a newly applied epoxy coating. A too low CSP may lead to peeling, especially in high-traffic areas like garage floors.

Conversely, sand blasting and rotomilling produce high CSPs (greater than 4). CSPs in this range simply aren’t needed for the purpose of epoxy, polyurethane and polyaspartic application.

Meet the Diamond Grinder

A diamond grinder can produce CSPs of 3 or more, up to 4 in some cases, which, when prepping concrete for epoxy, polyurea or polyaspartic applications is in the Goldilocks range.

Albeit, the type of grinder selected is as important as the method of concrete preparation. Although electric grinders are a lot cheaper to buy than propane grinders, they are less powerful and may produce a lower CSP. Equally important, electric grinders take much longer to grind an equivalent space than their propane counterpart.

Take a look at our “Grind-Off” video to see the obvious difference:

The solution is easy…use a propane grinder.

Propane Grinders are Safe

Propane grinders are safe and are especially important for use in commercial flooring environments. (Don’t try to grind large commercial spaces with an electric grinder; trust me, you’ll regret it.)

In addition, propane grinders don’t require electricity and therefore move freely through the work space without the worries of electrical extension cords, especially in spaces that tend to be wet or damp.

For those that worry about the flammability of propane, know that it has a very narrow and very high temp range of flammability (unlike the gasoline in your car!). Because a propane grinder produces a near zero exhaust emission, it may even be used indoors.

The Wrap

Ensure your hired contractor is using the right equipment. A grinder should be used to properly prepare concrete…preferably a propane grinder. Any other method of concrete preparation that produces a CSP outside the “Goldilocks range” may bring you unneeded headaches in the form of concrete repairs.

Contact us at www.garagefloorcoating.com to ensure you’re getting professionally installed epoxy flooring.

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