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What is Surface Preparation?

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You want to update your concrete commercial floors. First, you need to properly prep your surface. Next, you need to find a skilled surface preparation company to get the job done. Surface preparation is when a surface is chemically or mechanically treated prior to being recoated, lined, or painted.

Why is Surface Preparation Important? 

Over time, concrete commercial floors succumb to normal wear and tear. This includes dirt, oil, grease, grime, and other contaminants that can compromise your existing concrete flooring. If messy surfaces aren’t properly treated, the coating’s effectiveness is greatly impaired. Surfaces that aren’t prepared beforehand can cost you more money out of pocket to get the job done correctly.

Surface preparation combats future problems caused by different types of floor damage. 

Surface Preparation Steps

There are several steps in the surface preparation process. The first step is to assess the condition of the concrete surface. Assessments determine the severity of damage. They also determine the type of cleaning needed to complete the job.

The next step is to remove the old coatings before applying the new. Failure to do this causes the coating to flake, bubble, and peel. Then, loose materials are removed from the floor.

The next step is to complete a profile on the surface. A concrete surface profile, or CSP, is the process of determining the concrete floor’s roughness. After this, the floor coating is complete.

Different Methods Used in Surface Preparation

There are several types of surface preparation. As one of the most common techniques, abrasive blasting removes loose particles such as old paint, rust, and mill scale with a compressed air stream. Aerospace and healthcare facilities use abrasive blasting.

Types of Abrasive Blasting

There are multiple types of abrasive blasting. These include: 

  • Industrial blast cleaning: This removes 90% of stains, but will leave stains and streaks caused by mill scale and rust. Floors with thin coatings use industrial blast cleaning.
  • Light blast cleaning: This method works on lightly damaged floors. Light blast cleaning also removes loose material prior to re-coating.
  • Commercial blast cleaning: This removes 100% of tightly bound matter. Streaks and stains remain on 33% of the surface. Non-corrosive environments usually use commercial blast cleaning.
  • Near white blast cleaning: This removes tightly bound materials, including streaks and stains from 95% of the surface area. Marine environments, including shipyards, use near white blast cleaning.
  • White metal blast cleaning: This is the highest form of abrasive blasting and will remove everything, including streaks and stains left behind by other methods. Extremely corrosive environments use white metal blast cleaning.

Solvent Cleaning

Surface preparation also uses solvents to clean surfaces. This method is the process of removing oil, grease, dirt, and other materials with detergents and other types of chemical cleaners. Degreasers remove dirt, oil, and other adhesives from the floor. Apply the degreaser directly to the surface and scrub. Next, wipe away the cleaned area with water. Trisodium phosphate, for example, also removes oil and wax from concrete surfaces. Next, flush the area with water and scrub.

Other methods include: 

  • High-pressure water jetting
  • Acid pickling
  • Flame cleaning
  • Wet abrasive blast cleaning
  • Hand and power tool cleaning

Without a doubt, this process includes several different tools and resources. This is why you need to contact a trusted surface preparation company for help. Furthermore, a skilled surface preparation company also knows how to work with different materials. Regardless of your industry, you’re getting a skilled technician who knows how to work with your surface.