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.


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!

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.

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!

HIPPO Mixers: Blend and Pour Self-Leveling Compounds to Perfection

Mixing and placing construction compounds can be physically exhausting, time consuming and costly without the proper tools. Why exert more effort and energy into a task that is already rather involved? Portable mixers can easily solve this problem, and the HIPPO mixer from CS Unitec is one of the best on the market. Mixing and pouring cement, grout, mortar, texture coatings, sealants, adhesives and other self-leveling compounds are convenient and simple with a HIPPO mixer. However, if this name is entirely new to you, and you are seriously wondering why it is called “HIPPO,” then take a look at this demo video from CS Unitec for a better glimpse.

Blending Application

With the mixing and application of self-leveling compounds you first create a proper consistency, which in a traditional bucket or wheelbarrow for example, is rather more difficult than using a specific mixing machine, namely a HIPPO. And in order to aptly complete this process, the HIPPO has the following attachments:

  • Mixing paddles effectively and consistently mix due to the helix ribbon design.
  • HIPPO liners fit easily into the bucket and save both time and extend the life of a HIPPO mixer. The liners are removable, rimless and pliable. It is recommended that they are alternated to avoid cross contamination and preserve the working life.
  • In addition, this unique mixer has a variety of pneumatic-powered motors available.

Pouring Application

However, not only does the HIPPO mixer accomplish the mixing step, but its “Easy-roll Trolley” and “Easy-tilt Cradle” allow you to pour and spread material simultaneously. You probably noticed this in the video. Additionally, the HIPPO’s caster wheels (or tires, depending on the model) keep the machine free of splatter and level with the floor.

The HIPPO mixer from CS Unitec is the innovative solution for blending and pouring, fulfilling an ever-present trend to lower costs, increase efficiency and save time. This machine is ideal for rugged building sites, with a streamlined design, perfectly suited for one man operation. If you are interested in purchasing a HIPPO mixer, then please visit our product page for more information. And, check out our current HIPPO sale for special pricing. Or, to see more product demonstrations, visit the CS Unitec YouTube channel.

[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 wendy@runyonsurfaceprep.com. 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!