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.


A Successful Sam’s Club Joint Fill Job by Exposed Design Group

Sam’s Clubs endure a large amount of wear and tear, not surprising considering their high volume of traffic. So in addition to regularly maintaining these floors with cleaners, scrubbers, etc., it is also prudent that spalls, cracks and joints are periodically repaired. Exposed Design Group prides itself on the ability to restore concrete floors in this very manner, as evidenced in the photo below.

Sam's Club Polished Store - Exposed

The Project:  a new Sam’s Club store in Burleson, TX

Main Materials Used:  Metzger/McGuire MM-80 and RS88

A little bit of commentary

In a high-traffic load setting like a Sam’s Club, MM-80 was the joint filler of choice for repairing the joints throughout the club’s sales area.  The benefit of using MM-80 over other products is its ability to carry heavy loads on forklifts across floor joints. On the other hand, in the deli/food prep areas, Sam’s decided to use integrally colored concrete and RS88 polyurea.  The benefits here include color choice and speed — how little time it took for the material to cure. As an installer, Exposed preferred the standard MM-80, as its crews could more easily fly through the store, shooting thousands of feet a day by hand. Then the next morning they shaved it off.

More About Exposed:

Exposed Floor Design Group, LLP was formed to bring highly specialized skills to the residential and commercial finish-out community. With more than 25 years of experience in general contracting, waterproofing, decorative concrete and polished concrete, the partners of Exposed Floors have the combined background and diversity to provide customers a service that cannot be matched. Exposed Floors has invested in the right equipment and training of its craftsmen. Each of their products and services require specific, skilled processes, as well as impromptu solutions, to give customers the floors they desire.

If you have more questions about the above project, the Metzger/McGuire products used, etc., then please contact us. For more customer highlights, visit our featured section, and be on the lookout for more to be added soon.

Truly Elegant Decorative Concrete Designs Liven Up A Space

The decorative concrete industry is constantly innovating and pushing out new, creative designs, for both residential and commercial flooring. A colorful, patterned concrete surface not only creates a lasting impression, but it can set the tone in a space. This is the case for a recent job completed by Elegant Concrete Polishing in an elementary school in Connecticut. The bright colors and swirling shapes and curves evoke an energetic vibe throughout, as you can see in the images below.

Connecticut Elementary School Project

The pictures above are of the 17,000 square foot elementary school. The Elegant Concrete crew installed the polished concrete flooring using the AmeriPolish SureLock System. The slab was ground and polished from a 40 grit metal all the way up to a 1500 grit resin. The decorative flooring design was installed per the architectural layout, established with another firm that Elegant has built a solid relationship with. In order to accomplish such a colorful finished product, Elegant used 6 different colors from AmeriPolish in the initial overlay stage. Colors include: Patriot Blue, Turquoise, Forest Green, Green, Burnt Sienna and Sepia. After polishing the floors completely, Elegant protected them with SureLock Densifier and sealed them with SureLock Stain Shield.

Elementary School Concrete EdgesUsing Terrazzo to Create a Border

In another project Elegant completed recently, the crew installed CTS RapidSet TRU self-leveling overlay and then used a zinc terrazzo bar around the perimeter to act as a divider for the border. Elegant ground and polished the TRU after it was entirely laid and set. Then finally, the crew dyed the perimeter band with AmeriPolish OS Dye in Terra Cotta to give it a two-tone effect and clearly establish the border from the main center area. In the picture to the right you can see how crisp and polished (so-to-say) the terrazzo strips are in conjunction with the polished concrete. Although a slightly more expensive material to use on a slab, the result is unparalleled.

Get to Know Elegant Concrete Polishing

Elegant Polishing, Inc. is located in New Haven, Connecticut, and area known for its sustainable flooring solutions. Over the years, floor finishing and restoration has evolved to a more durable and environmentally friendly solution. Every year, hundreds of products are introduced into the residential and commercial, industrial market. Elegant Polishing’s goal is to listen to your specific needs and come to the best solution for your project.


Glass + Concrete Overlay: A Colorful and Dynamic Combination

Glass AggregateShiny, yet bland concrete floors are not suitable for every business, which is why the trend toward decorative concrete flooring is so prominent. Decorative concrete is especially helpful for company branding purposes, or to make a bright and impactful statement in an indoor or outdoor space.

One of the main ways to achieve a colorful and dynamic polished look is by incorporating glass into concrete overlay. There are two recommended methods with which to accomplish this – either by mixing integrally or by broadcasting. And throughout both processes, it is recommended you use CTS Rapid Set’s TRU Self-Leveling overlay, glass from American Specialty Glass, integral color from Ameripolish and CS Unitec’s HIPPO Porta-Mix.

Mixing Integrally

For the first option, it is recommended you mix the overlay initially. If you are using Ameripolish’s integral color, the water and dye are mixed together before the overlay material is added. Next, screen the product with a 1/8” classifier to remove any unmixed material or clumps. Lastly, mix the glass with the overlay. This technique is ideal for a 50% load using size 0 or size 1 glass. You want to use smaller glass because then it has a better opportunity to stay close to the surface when placing it on the floor.

In terms of the finishing technique, you can generally gauge the rake depth at 3/8” depending on the load. Be sure not to use a spiked roller – it would only succeed in pushing the glass around. Rather, for mixing integrally, the preferred finishing method is with a smoothie.

Broadcasting Glass

Glass-Infused Concrete OverlayChoosing to broadcast is a much more delicate process than mixing integrally, the primary reason being that this option really depends on the set time of the overlay. If you throw the glass too early, it will all sink to the bottom, meaning it isn’t visible. Conversely, if you wait too long, the glass will sit on the surface, not penetrating, and could be pulled out of the overlay during the initial grind.

The size of the glass influences when to broadcast since the weight of the glass is relational to the size. You can use up to a size 2, but generally size 1 is best. If the glass is larger, thus heavier, then you should wait longer. Whereas, if the glass is smaller and lighter, then broadcast sooner. Again, keep in mind: this is a delicate process, so time this as accurately as possible.

When you do the initial grind, be sure to grind the surface enough to where there is not a void between the glass and the TRU – you want the two to bond or else the polish will be diminished. Also, be aware that when you broadcast, it is difficult not to have pull-out. We have used a grout coat from Husqvarna and Metzger/McGuire to fill the pit left behind when the glass is removed.

For the broadcast finishing process, here are the steps:

  1. Place the product
  2. Gauge rake to set depth
  3. Purge any air pockets with a spike roller
  4. Soon after the product begins to set, broadcast the glass

When you get to the third step, consider using a new porcupine roller on the market, one that Joe Zingale from CTS Rapid Set recommends. The spikes are stainless steel and are 1.25″ in length. The advantage to this new roller – it doesn’t leave spike marks in the TRU like plastic spike rollers do. This new metal roller has pin-like spikes, meaning they aren’t as thick.

Once the four-step process is complete, and the initial set of the overlay occurs, do not use a trowel or any other tool to press down glass that did not fully penetrate the overlay. Doing so will leave an impression, which could be difficult to get out.

Finished WOC Concrete FlooringThe Hybrid Approach

While not usually a common method, it is possible to combine the above two techniques into a hybrid approach. Meaning, you would first mix the glass integrally, and then you would broadcast after the product is placed. However, bear in mind that this is only effective with a load less than 50%.

This is really only a surface level understanding of the glass-infused concrete overlay process, and after mixing integrally or broadcasting the final step is grinding and polishing. If you would like to learn more about the next step, or how to implement the above listed techniques, then contact a Runyon Surface Prep sales rep, or for more on the products needed during this process visit the Runyon Surface Prep website. To view this post in its original article form, see the Concrete Decor post here.

5 Simple Steps to Ensure Stain-Free Concrete Floors

After the precise and arduous process of polishing and grinding your concrete floors to perfection, the final step is to preserve them with a strong and long-lasting stain resistor. Without applying some type of protection, foot traffic and liquids such as oil, vinegar or water could potentially ruin the polished finish. This extra step in the process is incredibly simple, but yields immense benefits.

The SR2 by Ameripolish

A relatively new and innovative stain resistor on the market is produced by Ameripolish – the SR2. This product is revolutionary in that it offers better protection and better resistance to stains than other protectors on the market because it penetrates the surface of the concrete (not like topical protectors that sit on the surface and wear off with foot traffic). The SR2 also eliminates the need for burnishing, which means one less step. Not to mention, the SR2 has more of a natural finish – it gives the truest representation of what polished concrete actually is.

This product effectively covers 1500 to 2500 square feet per gallon and it lasts up to 3 years. The steps are easy to execute and take little to no time. The following video from the October 1st and 2nd Training Seminar demonstrates how to apply SR2 and why it is such a successful resistor.

The Process:

  1. Apply the product using a microfiber pad or an acetone-based pump sprayer
  2. Be sure you use long, even strips to ensure maximum floor coverageAmeripolish SR2
  3. After the floor dries completely, apply the second application (unless it is a tight slab)
  4. Then wait 48 hours and the floor should be apt to repel oil, vinegar and water
  5. If light reflection is an issue, you can go back over the floor with maintenance pads

And that is really all there is to it! The SR2 product application is simple, yet highly beneficial. And for further testament to this product, an expert in the industry, Nick Dancer of Dancer Concrete, says “Based on my test on a sample board the SR2 out performed 3 other popular stain guards. This test was based on using the SR2 and the other stain guards without the use of any densifier. These were used as standalone products on bare concrete.  I also noticed there was no streaking or cloudiness that you may get with traditional stain guards.”

If you would like to learn more about the SR2 stain resistor, or would like to purchase it, please visit the product page here. And as always, our sales reps are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so call us for further details!

[Latest and Greatest:] Free Up Your Hands with a RACATAC

Kneeling and bending are constant movements typical of working with flooring, and concrete especially. Getting up and down so much really takes a toll on your body and eliminates efficiency. So why not consider a tool to help make your work easier and less physically exhausting?  The RACATAC cart roller with chest support allows you to do just that – free up both hands! As you use the RACATAC, you will find that by being supported in a kneeling position, and only having to swivel your knees to move, you eliminate wear and tear.

RACATACModel 01RAC3CS is 1″ higher off of the floor and allows your easier and quicker movement when you are in a kneeling or sitting position. This model is ideal if you need to move rather quickly in a lateral position, using it mostly on rough surfaces, or if you have large feet or long legs, or work mostly kneeling and sitting. Both the seat and chest support different angles, different heights, and slide on a rail front to back. This allows you to use both hands in different working positions while your back and knees are fully supported, and you can control your movement with your feet and toes. The support is made of comfortable dual density foam which connects and disconnects quickly.

Key Features of the RACATAC:

  • Adjustable seat – provides upper body support
  • Knee-pads allow your knees to rest and move freely
  • 3″ casters – roll and move instead of crawling or bouncing
  • Tool tray provides a place to keep necessities while rolling

Now you may wonder which applications the RACATAC can specifically be used for, and the answer is far-reaching. This cart roller is ideal for detailing, grinding, tiling, restoration, painting and autobody. Not to mention, this is such a new product and the first of its kind, which is why the appeal is so great. Why allow your job to be more difficult than it needs to be? Consider purchasing your first RACATAC – you can see the product page here. And, until Sept. 30th you can enter for a chance to win a FREE RACATAC! If this prospect makes you really excited, enter here.

INTRODUCING: The CTS RapidSet Porcupine Roller

Properly leveling and evenly coating flooring often requires great precision and detail. However, a smooth, flat surface is the desired end result, so achieving this is essential.

Well…a new industry product revolutionizes this process, by providing the simple design and functionality needed to achieve a perfect finish. So, if you need proper floor coating adhesion, achieve it with porcupine rollers from CTS RapidSet. These spiked rollers are designed to be used on freshly applied floor coatings for the purpose of releasing trapped gas, as well as, to assist in the leveling process of several varieties of floor coatings. These rollers are meant to be used over and over, and they are designed for easy cleaning. Each roller is made of stainless steel spikes, each 1-1/4″ long, and the roller itself has a 24″ width for wide coverage.

A synopsis of major benefits include:Porcupine Roller

  • Sleek, stainless steel design
  • Ideal for freshly applied floor coatings
  • Releases trapped gas in newly applied floor coatings
  • Assists in the leveling process of several varieties of coatings
  • Can be used over and over
  • Designed for easy cleaning
  • 1-1/4” durable, steel spikes

This product is extremely new, thus in the beginning stage within the market. Runyon Surface Prep is a premier distributor – one of the few authorized to sell it. If you are interested in this product, or would like to learn more, please visit the webpage here or contact And, we will be at the upcoming International Concrete Polishing and Staining Conference (ICPSC) Sept. 12-15 selling these porcupine rollers, so visit our booth!