After deciding that concrete floors are the solution for your commercial property, you’re only getting started with the entire process. The next important step is preparing your floor. Depending on your specifications, the preparation technique you choose may vary.
Why Does it Require Preparation?
Any expert would agree that proper concrete preparation is undoubtedly the most critical step in commercial floor installation. The concrete will soon be coated with a polymer overlay (epoxy or urethane) that will create a durable, easy-to-clean, and bright surface. However, first, the concrete must be profiled or texturized, to ensure a strong bond between the coating and the underlying surface.
Concrete Surface Profile (CSP)
Concrete Surface Profile is the degree of texture on your uncoated concrete base. CSP is measured on a scale of 1 (the smoothest) to 10 (the roughest). In simpler terms, CSP 1 is similar to a flat plain or field with only mild variations. On the other hand, CSP 10 is more comparable to the Swiss Alps. Of course, CSP is on a much smaller scale.
Thinner commercial coatings require lower CSP. Thicker commercial coatings require higher CSP. Aside from your budget, the thickness of your coating is the primary determining factor in selecting your preparation technique.
3 Effective Techniques of Concrete Prep
1. Acid Etching
Acid etching is a commonly used method that prepares the concrete for its coating. The process involves spreading a solution of acid and water over the concrete. This acid rids the concrete of dirt and other contaminants allowing the coating to adhere better. Muriatic acid, or hydrochloric acid, is the most commonly used acid for this method. You can easily find it on the market as it is commonly used for pool maintenance. The water and acid solution sits on the concrete base for half an hour to an hour before neutralizing it with ammonia.
Acid etching provides the concrete with a low CSP, but it has some excellent advantages. It is a quick process, leaves no dust, and it is not noisy for your neighbors. Additionally, the cost of acid-etching is low.
2. Diamond Grinding
Diamond grinding is one of the more recently developed techniques. This method requires an industrial machine that contains rotating, abrasive blades on the bottom. These blades have diamond bits on them that act like sandpaper when pushed over the top of the concrete. Most diamond grinders also have a vacuum attached to suck up the dust left behind by the grinding.
Professionals tend to favor this technique to achieve a high-quality middle ground CSP, as it creates the most evenly scored surface before applying the coating. However, diamond grinding is certainly going to be a more costly option as it requires heavy machinery and expertise to complete properly.
3. Shot Blasting
Shot blasting can give you a higher CSP, or rougher profile if that is what your project requires. This process involves a wheeled machine that blasts tiny steel balls at a very high speed toward the concrete. The machine controls the pattern and direction of the blasting medium to create an evenly profiled surface. Shot blasting comes in different intensities, so a wide variety of medium to high CSPs can be achieved with this method.
Because it gives a higher CSP, the shot blasting technique is selected for thicker polymer coatings. Shot blasting is efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly. However, proper execution of this method is imperative to avoid unwanted pits or divots. A shot blasting machine is required, but you can rent one if you wish to complete the preparation yourself.
About All Around Surfaces
For commercial flooring installations in Sioux City, All Around Surfaces is your number one choice. Our team of certified coating professionals provides award-winning service. For a free quote or for more information about All Around Surfaces, contact us online or call (605) 610-9255.