The right tools for the job
A D.I.Y. job doesn't have to be a poor relation to a professional project, usually the part that the pro's concentrate on is skimped on by the layman, the main reason for this is not being aware of what tools are out there that can help with this task. The main emphasis should be on achieving a clean, dry floor (although we have some damp tolerant products), that is free from grease, oil and loose impediments. The best way to achieve that is by mechanical means, if you are over coating existing painted floors, then the main emphasis is removing grease and oil etc, this is best achieved by using a floor scrubber drier with the correct detergent/degreaser, followed by mechanical abrasion to give a key for the new coating, this is best achieved with an STR type grinder with the appropriate pads.
Old uncoated concrete is relatively easy to prepare with a variety of grinding and planing machines on the market, diamond grinding usually being the best and quickest option.
New concrete can provide a few challenges, first of all how long has it been down? Concrete takes a while to release the moisture from the slab and a number of factors, not least the water/cement ratio, affect this, however, without wishing to get too technical an accepted "rule of thumb" time for a slab to dry out would be in the region of 4 weeks for every 25mm thickness, i.e. A 100mm thick ground floor slab drying from one side would take 4 months to dry out, which could be a problem on some projects and products like Reprotec Dampstop have been formulated to help reduce those times significantly.
Again mechanical means of preparation is the best and we do not recommend that you use Acid etching as a means of preparation, this has not been used by the majority of the trade contractors for thirty years. It is messy, dangerous and ineffective.
It actually states in the British Standard BS8204-6, "surface preparation by acid etching of the concrete should not be used because of the associated health and safety implications and because the concrete surface is left saturated with water and calcareous salts which may ultimately lead to debonding or osmotic blistering of the resin flooring system."
There are various ways of preparing a floor here are some examples:
- Produce a profile for the application of resin flooring.
- Remove paints and sealants.
- Create adhesion for the application of a wide range of surface finishes.
- Prepare steel (Commercial and Swedish Standard SA2 ½). prior to painting
- Remove laitance from concrete floors prior to coating.
- Metal bonded discs/plates for general grinding operations.
- Resin bonded diamond accessories for polishing operations.
- Polycrystalline Diamond discs (PCD) for removal of adhesives and elastomeric systems
There are a number of outlets that will provide the equipment and advice on how to use it. HSS Hire are one such provider that operate nationally.
click on the information below to go to their website.