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

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

THINSET

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

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

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.

The PORTAMIX MEGA HIPPO® – New Innovation For Faster On-Site Mixing and Pouring

New CS Unitec MEGA HIPPO MixerMuch of the effort and energy it takes to mix and pour cement, grout, mortar, texture coatings, sealants, adhesives and other self-leveling compounds can be alleviated by using a portable mixer such as a HIPPO mixer from CS Unitec. Now, you can further reduce your crew’s physical effort while boosting productivity and lowering labor costs with the newest portable mixer model.

Mix, transport and pour products even faster — and more easily — with the recently introduced PORTAMIX MEGA HIPPO® Mixing Station:

  • Mix, transport and pour up to six 50-lb bags in minute
  • One operator can accurately place material directly onto the floor
  • Mix in bulk and dispense into smaller containers
  • Excellent mix consistency and easy blend

How did a great mixer like the HIPPO get even better? The new MEGA HIPPO liner canister system makes quick work out of mixing multiple batches. The “Easy-roll Trolley” and the balanced “Easy-tilt Cradle” let you pour and spread material at the same time, eliminating multi-stage pours. Wheel covers keep casters free of screed splatter. Additional features:

  • Standard equipment includes mixing, motor, bucket, removable liner and two paddles
  • Specially shaped mixing bowl eliminates pockets of unmixed product
  • Full-brim capacity of 23 gallons or 350-lbs
  • Two 9″ diameter paddles with helix ribbon and side bars thoroughly mix colors and additives quickly
  • High-torque, 15 Amp, 2-geared motor
  • Liners are pliable and easily cleaned; alternating liners prevents cross contamination
  • Dust extraction port for vacuum connection

If you want to upgrade your concrete and cement mixing machines or portable mixer stations, Runyon Surface Prep carries a full line of CS Unitec concrete HIPPO mixers, paddles and hand grinders for all your surface preparation needs, including the new Portamix MEGA HIPPO model.

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.

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!

M&C Concrete’s Wide Array of Contracting Opportunities and Specialities

Concrete creates an incredibly durable surface, and rightfully so considering how common it is in many industrial and commercial environments. Look around any mall, government building, doctor’s office, or really any business and you’re likely to find concrete floors. Due to its incredible wearability and resistance to stains, foot traffic, etc. (when maintained properly that is), it’s no wonder that polished concrete is quickly taking the place of carpeting, tile or hardwood in commercial floor settings. M&C Concrete is a local Indianapolis contracting company that realizes this fact, which accounts for its wide array of clients, as evidenced below.

Brief Overview

1. Local car dealership: M&C laid the concrete, ground and polished

2. Fire station: CTS RapidSet TRU self-leveling overlay with integral color and AmeriPolish dye used for the logo

3. World of Concrete 2013: M&C helped us lay the concrete slab, grind, polish, etc.

M&C At A Glance

M&C Concrete is a leading concrete contractor in the greater Indianapolis market. Established in 1982, it has successfully completed over 10,000 projects in both residential and commercial sites. As a leader in the industry, M&C strives for customer satisfaction, on-time project completion and being at the forefront of the latest concrete design and construction.

For more information about M&C, the products, the process, etc. please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. Also, be sure to check out our other customer features!

Exposed Floor Design Rebuilds and Refills Sysco’s Joints with Ease

In a previously featured story, Exposed Floor Design Group filled the joints in a new Sam’s Club store, and it turned out really well. The same can be said for the concrete floors located throughout a Sysco Food Distribution center, as per the image below. Joint filling and joint repair are areas of expertise for Exposed – they pride themselves on giving floors new life.

Sysco polish job - Exposed

Project: Sysco Food Distribution in Lewisville, TX

Scope:  Joint Rebuild/Refill

Materials:  ArmorHard Extreme and RS88

This project entailed repairing joints throughout a heavy-use distribution facility. Obviously a food distribution facility has to maintain significant levels of cleanliness and sanitation, all the while, they must maintain production. The Exposed crew could not close them down, so they chose products that would get them back to service before the next morning. The choice was easy for these joint rebuilds: ArmorHard Extreme was the only way to go.

Keys to Success:

  • Preparation is key! Use the right tools to “square up” the spalled edges of the joints.  Remove any contamination in the joint area before you prime the surfaces.  A good bond is vital to the joint surviving.
  • Mix it right! The Exposed crew likes to mix the liquids, then add in aggregate to get the right consistency.  This project worked best at a “mortar-like” consistency.  Make sure the mixture is lump free.
  • Don’t overwork the material! This is where skill and experience comes to play. Get the material in, compacted and smooth, then leave it alone.
  • Recut the joint! It is vital to recut the joint to allow movement in the slab when rebuilding joints. The key here is to make sure you cut all the way through the ArmorHard, so it is not bonded at the bottom of the joint.
  • Refill the joint with RS88 “full depth.” Don’t cheat here! The RS88 in the joint will bridge the joint as traffic passes, and it will minimize stress to the new ArmorHard egdes. If you do not go full depth, you risk stressing the bottom of the joint repair and it may fail.
  • The ability to prep, prime, rebuild and return to service was a requirement of this job, and ArmorHard Extreme allowed Exposed to succeed!

For more details on the products used, the process of refilling or repair a joint, etc. please contact us. And be sure to check out our other WOC featured stories!

Applied Flooring Gives Corporate Hangar an Aesthetic Concrete Makeover

Large industrial, commercial facilities are generally focused on the durability of their polished concrete flooring. However, aesthetics are important too, as was the case at the Dart Container Hangar. Applied Flooring, Inc. was tasked with redoing the floors in both the hangar’s main area and the corresponding office spaces. There were several challenges initially, but the crew easily overcame them and assuaged the Corporate Hangar’s fears by producing outstanding polished concrete floors throughout the facility.

Project Overview 

Dart Container initially wanted to polish the entire hangar for its corporate fleet. However, there was concern with Skydrol damaging the floor, so they ultimately decided to coat the floor with a Skydrol-resistant polymer.  As Dart Container’s concrete contractors, Applied Flooring chose a high build epoxy and polyurethane system from Protective Industrial Polymers.

Main Hangar Area 

The hangar portion was an engineered 10″ slab with double mat reinforcement 2-1/2″ from the surface.  There were no joints or control joints placed in the slab because of the concern of deflection from the weight of jets.  Prior to coating the slab, there were 2 to 3 random cracks that the Applied Flooring crews filled with epoxy filler.  There was also a strong concern about high vapor from the 10″ slab and a tight time frame for coating the floor.  Dart Container chose to have the Applied Flooring crews apply a coat of Protective Industrial Polymers VM-CS vapor, mitigating primer to help alleviate the vapor.  Prior to applying the PIP Hangar System Applied Flooring measured the Vapor Drive with Calcium Chloride Test Kits and found the levels to be less than 4 lbs.  The coating system was PIP 1200WR, PIP 1000 with a broadcast, PIP 1000 grouted to make it smooth, and then PIP 2000 with gloss grip or glass beads.

Office Space

The office portion of the hangar was integrally colored. Architectural saw cuts on 6′ grid patterns matched the angled walls in the space.  The floor was polished prior to wall erection, after the walls were up the joints were filled, and finally, the polish and burnishing steps were performed prior to vinyl base installation.

The Final Results

Everyone was very concerned about the floor coating systems’ impact on the aesthetic look of the Corporate Hangar. In the end however, everyone was thrilled with the look and durability of the new flooring systems. For more stories like this one, visit our customer feature page. And for questions or comments visit our contact us page or utilize the comment section below.

About Applied Flooring

Applied Flooring, Inc. has been repairing concrete floors since the early 1970s. The company thrives on developing long-term relationships with repeat customers. The epoxy flooring profession has seen tremendous advancements over the last 50 years and Applied Flooring has always been at the leading edge of the industry. Applied Flooring’s knowledge in concrete resurfacing is extensive with qualified technicians and well-trained applicators.