Remove Residue Build-Up with 4 Proven Methods

Stoops Freightliner Mastic RemovalAre you working on the existing floor of an office, warehouse or department store? Old floor coverings leave behind surface residue such as glue, black mastic, rubber membranes, even thin-set materials and epoxy coatings that must be removed before you can revitalize the floor with a new overlay or polish.

Methods of Surface Preparation

Each floor brings with it a unique set of challenges based on a number of determining factors:

  • Condition of the floor
  • Type of surface residue
  • Concrete profile
  • Square footage of the job
  • Desired finished floor
  • Budget

After this initial assessment, contractors choose among several solutions for surface preparation, each with specific benefits and specialties for removing residue build-up. Below is an overview of the four most effective methods:

1. Grinding

  • Ideal for removing almost any coating or mastic, especially epoxy and glue
  • Ideal for large square footage
  • Best for purely polished concrete jobs
  • Achieves super smooth surface profile
  • More costly because of diamond technology
  • 3 tooling options available:
    • Conventional segments or metal-bonded diamonds remove brittle adhesives
    • Carbides remove tacky adhesives, leaving a smooth finish
    • PCDs (polycrystalline diamonds) are best for removing thicker residues or epoxy coatings

2. Shotblasting

  • Ideal for cleaning off thin coatings and paint
  • Ideal for large square footage
  • Best for jobs that first require a concrete overlay application
  • Can weaken a concrete surface or make it uneven
  • Moderate cost
  • Dust-free and dry
    • Accurate blast pattern
    • Wide abrasive selection

3. Shaving

  • Ideal for removing epoxy, mastics and paint
  • Ideal for a job that first requires a concrete overlay application
  • Best for uneven concrete, bumpy surface and to remove failed concrete overlays
  • Achieves moderately smooth surface profile
  • More costly because of diamond technology
  • Cuts deeper in one pass
    • Creating evenly spaced grooves for traction
    • Creating trenches or troughs
    • Leveling and flattening surface

4. Buffing with a Swing Machine

  • Ideal for removing glue and thin-set, floating easily over rough surfaces
  • Best for smaller square footage
  • Achieves a smoother surface profile
  • Most economical cost
  • 2 buffing options available:

Surface Prep Specialty

Nowadays, surface preparation is becoming a specialty among contractors in the concrete polishing business. To eliminate costs and procurement, work with the equipment you already own to deliver effective ways to prepare floors for new surfaces.

When you do need specific equipment, count on Runyon Surface Prep. We carry a full line of EDCO concrete floor removal surface scabblers, walk-behind, self-propelled floor surface scarifiers and accessories, in addition to HTC and Husqvarna grinders and tooling, Contec shavers and shotblasters, and Clarke swing machines.

Introducing HTC’s New SMHX Diamond Tooling Series

As you may know, HTC is rolling out a new series of diamond tooling, the SMHX series, which simplifies the process of determining the best tools for your concrete floor. For instance, instead of identifying that you must use soft bond diamonds on a hard concrete surface, now all you need to know is that the H Series is designed specifically for hard concrete. The SMHX series is straightforward and easy to understand, with overlapping areas of use for greater flexibility and longer life. See the chart below for more clarification.

HTC SMHX Tooling Guide

The H series is already out; it was the first series launched. It replaces the SF series. The S and M series will be out soon as well. The S series is replacing the C series and the M series is replacing the CA series. And finally, the X series will be out later in the year (4th quarter) and will replace the CX series.

If you have more questions about this, please contact us via our website or in the comment section below. We want you to make the transition easily, so your understanding is our first priority.

*Note: image courtesy of HTC Floor Systems

Applied Flooring’s Polished and Colored Concrete Success in Troy, MI

Last week one of our customers, Applied Flooring, had a job in Troy, MI at a Nordstrom store. Along with the Applied crew, the Nordstrom GC and technicians from CTS Rapid Set and Metzger/McGuire helped complete this floor. Below are the before pictures, showing the extensive structural damage. Because of so many cracks breaking up the surface, the crew wasn’t able to polish first thing. Instead, the first step was filling the cracks. Then, once the concrete floor was repaired, an overlay was applied, the control joints were cleaned and recut and the concrete was colored. Below you can see the process from initial pour to finished look.


Concrete Overlay and Color Application

Applied Flooring used CTS Rapid Set’s TRU self-leveling overlay on the floor, and colored it with AmeriPolish OS dye. The crew worked in 20-degree weather and wrangled both the water and pump hoses from outside in the parking lot up a flight of stairs to the work area. The 300′ water hose and 400′ pump hose were at their maximum lengths. Applied made it work though, and after the overlay was laid they moved into the color application stage.

One of the biggest takeaways from this particular job revolved around the importance of color intensity. Initially, OS integral color was used, but the pigment wasn’t strong enough, so the dye was applied after the fact to accommodate the time-sensitive nature of this project and to best utilize resources.

Below you can see the floor after the second pour of TRU, the floor after 3DHS densifier was applied and finally, the polishing stage.


The Finished Look

Although there were a few unexpected surprises throughout this process, as is common with any job, Nordstrom was incredibly satisfied with the final polished floor. You can see below how reflective and high-end this space appears, especially after the merchandise was moved back in.

 

As always, if you have any questions about the products or the processes used for this particular job, please feel free to reach out via our website or in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you! And if you ever need additional support at a job, feel free to reach out to our technical support team and we will assistant in any way possible, even if it means flying to you!