Extend Floor Coating Life with Surface Prep

June 4, 2012

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Extending the life of any floor coating will cut the need for essential maintenance in the future. To do this, the surface preparation of the floor is important. Properly preparing the floor for a coating will add years of use to the floor. However, the type of floor and the coating to apply will decide the methods to use for preparing the floor. Preparing the floor guarantees durability and finish quality of the coating. To properly prepare the floor, the equipment to use must be considered. 
Removing the existing surface of the floor can be performed using a variety of methods. One way to remove debris such as dirt and paint can be done by using a grinder. This tool may also include a vacuuming system to clean up dust that is created. A typical grinder will have a diameter of 15 inches to 30 inches for a small or large job. This tool will usually have three counter-rotating blades that are powered by an engine that has 2 horsepower and between 400 and 800 rpm. 
A second method to prepare a floor for a coating is to use a polisher. This is a tool that can be used on a new concrete or wood floor. A two-step approach is used for this method. A diamond polish is done and then a high-speed buffer is used to create a surface that is shiny and maintenance free. 
Sand blasting is another method that can be used to prepare the surface of a floor for a coating. This is a process that uses compressed air to blow a mixture of sand and air to remove an existing sealer and dirt to reach the original surface. The process of sand blasting is used on a concrete surface. The path that is produced with this type of machine is between 10 inches and 30 inches. 
When sand blasting is not an option, another solution is to use water. Water that is under pressure easily removes dirt, debris, rust, grime, old paint and other coatings from the floor surface. The use of water is available for a steel or concrete surface. The nozzle of the tool clears a 4-inch wide path with water that is at 40,000 psi. 
Large floors that need to be ready for a coating may need a carbide scraper. This type of tool consists of a rotary scraper to cut at the surface. A carbide scraper will remove materials that are on an existing floor such as tiles, epoxies, thin-set, asphalt and glues in one process. The cutter will consist of three heads that move in an oscillating motion and are up to 30 inches wide. A vacuum attachment is available to clean loose materials and dust. 
Depending on the size of the floor that needs to be ready, portable tools may need to be used. Using a smaller tool is beneficial for areas such as hallways, garages and small rooms. The use of a small tool is an option when larger tools are not practical.

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