Remove Residue Build-Up with 3 Additional Methods (Part II)

As a follow-up to the first removal blog post, there are actually several other methods for surface preparation and concrete residue removal besides grinding, shot blasting, shaving or buffing with a swing machine. Albeit using chemicals, scarifying and scabbling are less common types of removal, they can be just as effective. However, remember to consider the following factors:

  1. Condition of the floor
  2. Type of surface residue
  3. Concrete profile
  4. Square footage of the job
  5. Desired finished floor
  6. Budget

1. Applying Chemicals (Prosoco Cleaner Degreaser, Wax & Cure, Cure & Seal and Oil & Grease Stain Remover)

  • Prepare the floor for hardening, densifying and decorative applications
  • Poultice cleaners pull contaminants out of the substrate
  • Remove high-solid cure and seals, laitance, grease, grime and oil
  • Prevent old coatings from blocking treatment penetration

2. Scarifying

  • Known as planer, milling machine, rotary cutter or surface prep machine
  • Leaves a clean, textured and roughened finish
  • Can groove to create nonslip surfaces and to allow drainage
  • For aggressive surface planing, removes 1/8″ per pass and up to 1/2″
  • Variety of styles and cutter assemblies which clean, grind and mill
  • Removes seamless, roll-on and spray coatings, grouts, paints, self-leveling epoxies and laitance
  • Ideal for pedestrian, car or soft wheel traffic i.e. lab, sports or healthcare facilities, garages, showrooms and amusement parks

3. Scabbling

  • Uses compressed air to hammer piston-mounted bits into the concrete surface
  • Roughens more than grinding or scarifying
  • Leaves a rough, textured finish for new concrete or epoxy mortar overlays, and can also break up tile
  • For aggressive removal of concrete at 1/4″ per pass, up to 1″
  • Ideal for line removal, roll-on coatings, self-leveling epoxies, laitance, spalling and trowel-on epoxy screeds
  • Preferable in heavy industrial traffic areas i.e. forklift, pallet truck, hard wheel, automobile or airplane traffic
  • Common facility types include warehouses, food processing plants, convention centers, factories, farms, etc.

If you have questions about removal or other surface prep-related issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our website or by calling 800.892.8376. Or read this other removal post for additional methods.


4 Common Surface Residues Explained for More Effective Removal

Before you can revitalize a floor with a new overlay, polish or seamless coating, built-up residues left behind by old flooring coverings must be cleaned and removed. Proper surface preparation for any flooring job is key to its success, ensuring that the new treatment will bond flawlessly with the substrate surface, creating a strong, long-lasting installation. Knowing the characteristics of each residue material can help in deciding the most effective removal process. Below is an explanation of the most common built-up residues and suggestions for removal.


Mastic is an adhesive with super strong bonding properties commonly used for setting tile. Builders also use mastic to seal windows, walls and ceilings. Mastic gets its name from the mastic tree, as it is derived from its resin droplets. However, mastic is also manufactured synthetically, which is generally less expensive.

  • Available in thin liquid, thick glue or paste form
  • Typically applied with a caulking gun for construction use
  • Used to join panels of concrete or asphalt
  • Quickly forms a permanent bond for a variety of materials
  • Works best on hard, non-porous surfaces
  • Known for heat resistance and durability
  • Can seep into cracks and crevices causing discoloration and general weakening

Key Removal Methods: Grinding, Shaving


Made with cement and sand, thinset is an adhesive mortar often used to apply tile to floors, walls and countertops. Thinset gets its name because a relatively thin layer of compound – typically less than 1/4 inch (about 0.5 cm) – is used to bind objects together.

  • Available in powdered or premixed form
  • Typically applied with a notched trowel
  • Can be applied directly to the subsurface
  • Provides faster cure and dry times
  • Easier to use than mortar bed applications
  • Can be a brittle compound that tends to crack if the area shifts
  • Can be treated to increase flexibility, often with an acrylic compound additive

Key Removal Methods: Shotblasting, Buffing with a Swing Machine


Epoxy is a superior glue with high-level bonding power used to secure different types of metal, plastic or wood, and forms a hard layer of protection as well. Composed of petroleum products, epoxy gets its name from polyepoxide, which provides bonding strength. Epichlorohydrin provides its protection ability, as well as its resistance to humidity, moisture and temperature shock.

  • Uses a two-component system that requires mixing for activation just before use
  • Fast drying, strong bonds
  • Create an attractive layer of floor protection that lasts for many years
  • Virtually indestructible

Key Removal Methods: Grinding, Shaving


Glue used to install hardwood, bamboo and vinyl floors, as well as carpet can, be made from a variety of components, including modified silicone polymers (MS+), polyurethanes and acrylics.

  • MS+ products generally form a mechanical bond with wood and a chemical bond with concrete, are unaffected by water, typically zero-VOC and eco-friendly
  • Polyurethanes form a chemical bond with wood and a mechanical bond with concrete – a strong, elastic bond that is also unaffected by water
  • Low VOC and generally contains solvents
  • Acrylic adhesives usually consist of polyvinyl acetate emulsions; the polymers fuse, creating what’s called a “particle entanglement” or matrix
  • Highly susceptible to moisture and usually require a flashing off period prior to floor installation

Key Removal Methods: Grinding, Buffing with a Swing Machine

To learn more about each method of surface preparation and removal, read our blog post, Remove Residue Build-Up with 4 Proven Methods.

3 Popular Concrete Densifiers Demystified

Concrete densifiers are also known as chemical hardeners. When applied to a concrete floor, a densifier fills empty spaces in the material and oftentimes forms a chemical bond with the concrete, changing its properties and increasing surface density.

Benefits of Using Densifiers

Densifiers are used specifically to improve the concrete surface when polishing. As long as free lime is present, the complete saturation of a densifier will make substrate harder, which allows a more aesthetically pleasing finish grinding and polishing, and prolongs the durability of the polish. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced dusting
  • Higher, deeper gloss than untreated concrete
  • Increased abrasion resistance and weathering
  • Longer floor lifespan
  • Locks in a topical color application
  • Stain resistance
  • Easier to clean

Types of Densifiers

Different types of densifiers create a chemical bond with concrete in a variety of ways. Runyon Surface Prep carries a wide selection of densifiers; below is a comparison of the three most popular.

Ameripolish – 3D Hybrid Silicate Densifier

  • Developed to help keep concrete looking newer longer
  • Improves performance of new, old or aged and existing concrete
  • Can be used with integrally-colored cements
  • Contains UV stabilizers to help protect color from fading
  • Penetrates fast for a deep seal
  • Hardens deep to improve durability even after grinding

Convergent Pentra-Sil Densifier

  • Developed to increase the integrity and life of concrete floors
  • Patented nano lithium hardener technology reacts with the concrete to produce calcium silicate hydrate (CSH), creating a strong, virtually impenetrable and durable finish with only one-coat and no rinsing
  • Resistant to bacteria

Prosoco Consolideck LS

  • Developed to improve the appearance and performance of architectural masonry
  • Gives new life to historic buildings, monuments, existing buildings, new masonry and reinforced concrete structures
  • Lithium silicate treatment reacts with the concrete to produce CSH
  • Safer, faster and easier to apply than conventional sodium or potassium silicate hardeners
  • Will not trigger or contribute to surface ASR (Alkali Silicate Reaction)
  • Resists damage from water

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about these three concrete densifiers, or if you’d like to purchase please visit our website or call us at 800.896.8665. We look forward to hearing from you!

Dan Knuth and Austin Amos Rejoin the Runyon Surface Prep Team

We’re happy to announce that both Dan Knuth and Austin Amos have rejoined the Runyon Surface Prep Team! It’s been an interesting few weeks, but thankfully all good things come back around. We are enthused to have such knowledgable and experienced experts with us once again, in roles suited to their unique skills and abilities.

Dan Knuth Training and Tech Support Specialist

Dan Knuth
Training and Technical Support Specialist

After spending six months in the field, broadening his expertise and hands-on experience, Dan is thrilled at the prospect of applying this new perspective in his role here. With keen insight and a well-rounded understanding of surface prep, concrete polishing, overlays, dyes, etc., he will serve as the training and technical support expert here at Runyon. Dan travels to job sites to advise best practices and troubleshoot any problems encountered with our equipment and products. If you would like Dan to visit your job site or if you have a technical question of any kind, please reach out to him at or on his mobile at 317.617.0277.

Austin Amos Warehouse and Shipping Manager

Austin Amos
West Coast Warehouse and Shipping Manager

Austin has relocated to our West Coast facility as Leanna’s right-hand man, in charge of stocking, shipping and inside sales. With his extensive knowledge of our equipment and products, not to mention knowing the ins and outs of shipping and receiving, sending Austin to California was a no-brainer. He is thriving in the new facility and expanding his expertise even further. You can contact Austin via email at or via his mobile at 916.208.4776.