It can be extremely exciting to watch your surfaces completely transform. However, the correct preparation of the concrete foundation is critical to ensuring the longevity of the surface’s lifespan and functionality of your floor finish in the long run.
Preparation is required for concrete floor finishes such as epoxy coatings, decorative overlays, and polished concrete applications. Improper or insufficient preparation is frequently the cause of early wear, flaking, or other floor defects in concrete.
With that in mind, we will look at surface preparation as a critical component for achieving exceptional concrete finishes in this article.
What is surface preparation?
Simply put, surface preparation is the process of following a series of steps to ready a concrete surface for an application. As a result, the concrete surface becomes clean and level, free of dirt, dust, and oils, making it possible to apply new materials directly. Concrete is thus given more surface area and roughness, allowing for a stronger bond between the surface and the installed concrete finish.
The dangers of improperly prepared concrete surfaces can manifest almost immediately after completion. Although it is important to ensure that your concrete floor provides a stable foundation for your new finish, it does not have to be a time-consuming process. As a result, the importance of professional surface preparation in ensuring the longevity of your floor cannot be overstated.
Inspect The Surface
Inspecting the surface entails determining the concrete’s strength and moisture content. Despite its apparent insignificance, skipping this step would have a negative impact on the adhesion of surface applications. In other words, prior to installation, you must remove anything that will impede your work.
When preparing for a final floor finish, it is required that the surface is cleaned and levelled, as well as this, the moisture mitigation issues must be addressed.
Concrete flooring, in particular, has the potential to crack over time due to wetness or high humidity levels. This is why moisture mitigation technologies should be implemented. Every day, industry professionals use moisture mitigation innovations on job sites to ensure that moisture will not be an issue in the future.
Testing for oil and grease, in addition to moisture levels, is important because they will affect the method used to clean the surface. Certain methods, such as acid etching, are ineffective at removing these contaminants and should be avoided when they are present.
If water droplets bead up on the concrete surfaces, it is usually because there is oil, grease, or some sort of sealing agent on the surface that needs to be removed. If there is any doubt about moisture content, these should be backed up by more rigorous testing that measures condensation on plastic film.
Concrete Surface Cleaning
While sweeping and mopping are acceptable methods of cleaning concrete, the porous nature of concrete makes it difficult to maintain. It does not take much for the accumulation of dust and dirt to take place on concrete.
Dust, dirt, debris, cured materials, oil, and grease must all be removed from surfaces before applying any coating or surface application; otherwise, you risk improper adhesion. To remove grease and chemical stains, special cleaning agents may be required.
Effective concrete cleaners successfully remove grease, oil, and stubborn spoilage. When selecting a technique for profiling the surface, it is critical to ensure that the clean surface is not re-contaminated.
For regular floor maintenance and cleaning applications, powerful janitorial machines, high-speed propane and electric burnishers, floor buffers, and floor scrubbing equipment are suitable.
Concrete profiling, in general, entails smoothing rough concrete surfaces in preparation for future applications. Heavy-duty concrete floor grinding machines and diamond-impregnated grinding segments that mimic tough sandpaper may be required for the procedure. Concrete profiling offers a number of advantages and is a long-term investment.
Concrete Surface Repair
Any protrusions that remain after the concrete has been ground smooth must be repaired. Any cracks that are apparent in the concrete should also be resolved.
Joint fillers and repair products can be used to repair cracked or damaged concrete surfaces. This type of filler product was created specifically to create chemical interactions with the host material (concrete). It is critical to select long-lasting, water-resistant, and chemical-resistant joint filler and surface repair products.
The Importance Of Surface Preparation
Floor finishes are only as strong as the substrate to which they are applied. Hence, if you invest your well-eaned money in new flooring, you should make sure it will last. It is significantly more cost-effective to properly prepare a surface from the start rather than having to reinstall your floor finish after it fails.
The majority of problems caused by poor surface preparation occur because the application’s surface on top is only as good as the one beneath it. Hence, the integrity of the substrate on which you are installing is vital.
Experts prepare the concrete surface by removing any remaining mastic, glues, or grouts from a previous flooring installation. If necessary, experts can use restore the damage. They also remove any contaminants and impurities in the existing concrete, such as oils, drywall mud, or dampness.
Furthermore, skilled workers grind the floor to achieve the desired CSP for the new flooring surface. Finally, surface preparation safeguards the final floor finish, whether it is carpet, coatings, overlays, or something else.
Although these steps may appear minor, skipping them may have a negative impact on surface coating adhesion. If you take the necessary steps during the substrate preparation, you can rest assured that your installation will go more smoothly.