Preparing a floor for a coating is the most important step towards a successful application. There are many different ways to prepare a floor and these include both chemical and mechanical means. Concrete Surface Profile or CSP is a means of measuring concrete texture from smooth to rough with 1 being the smoothest and 10 being the roughest. Here is what a CSP chart looks like.
Depending on what coating you are applying will determine what sort of profile you need to give the concrete. In this article we will cover the 3 biggest prep methods.
Grinding the surface with diamond segments is the most popular means of floor prep and will give you a surface profile between 1 and 2. This is sufficient for most decorative coatings used on residential and commercial floors.
Husqvarna has both an app you can download on your phone (click here) or you can go to their website (click here) to choose the proper diamonds for your application. PowerCOAT Canada is a Husqvarna distributor and to see their machine lineup click here.
Chemical preparation is the most basic means of concrete floor prep and this will typically give you a CSP between 1 and 3. Chemical prep can be very dangerous as people mostly use Muriatic acid, which is a less-pure variant of hydrochloric acid, and is quite dangerous if precautions are not taken. There have been many attempts at safer methods of chemical preparation but most of these products just didn't work. PowerCOAT Canada has just finished testing a new chemical etch product made by PPG and we are very impressed with the results. Duraprep 100 is a "green" product which is safe to use in any environment including residential basements as there are very little fumes and it can be washed down the drain after use. Click here to view the information sheet on this product.
This product is very easy to use and gives a very nice profile. Roll it on, wait 15 minutes, re-roll the surface and wait 15 more minutes and then wash away. Here is an image of what this product can do.
Shotblasting is the most aggressive means of achieving a 2 to 9 on the CSP chart depending on what size of shot blast media you use. Shotblasting propels steel shot against the concrete by means of a wheel. The shot is then recycled back into the unit by means of a vacuum and then re-used. These units are dust free and can achieve very high production rates in comparison to floor grinders so they are used on very large commercial and industrial floors. In November 2020 Husqvarna announced the acquisition of Blastrac (click here to read announcement) who is a leading global company in surface preparation and the leader in shotblasting equipment. PowerCOAT Canada should have these units in our product lineup and showroom by the spring of 2022 or sooner.
There are many more means of concrete prep but these 3 methods are pretty much the standard for our industry. There are much bigger grinders and shotblasters and much smaller ones and they all play a part in preparing a concrete floor for a coating. Please do not hesitate to contact PowerCOAT Canada for any questions you may have on concrete preparation.