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Concrete Surface Preparation Equipment

Whether you need to grind, scarify, mill or blast your way to a properly prepared surface, here's advice on finding a machine that can do the job efficiently and with less mess

Time: 02:42

Get tips on when to use a concrete scarifier to profile a concrete surface before applying an overlayment. See this concrete scarifier in action.

Time: 03:12

Find out when shot blasters are used for concrete surface preparation. You'll learn about the size of steel shot that is used for creating different surface profiles on the concrete.

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Choosing the Right Machine for the Job

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"Lack of surface preparation causes 90% or more of overlay failures," says technical expert Chris Sullivan of Sullivan's Corner. "The surface needs sufficient 'bite' for the overlay to bond, otherwise delaminating failure can result." Sullivan contends that for most decorative overlay projects, contractors should devote more time to surface prep than to the actual overlay installation itself.

Fortunately, an arsenal of high-performance equipment is available that can help you make the most efficient use of this time, enabling you to achieve the exact surface profile you need with less effort and mess than ever before possible. The most effective weapons for getting your concrete floors into shape are shotblasters, concrete grinders and scarifiers. Within these equipment categories, you'll find a wide array of models with applications as diverse as the products themselves, from compact handheld units for small jobs or working in tight spots to high-productivity ride-on machines for covering large expanses quickly. Many of these machines also come with an assortment of attachments, allowing you to remove a variety of different coatings and perform profiling tasks ranging from light roughening to aggressive milling. And in many cases, there's no need to worry about dust and debris. Machines that use dry-cutting methods usually have dust-collection capabilities, minimizing the cleanup work necessary before you apply a decorative treatment to the surface.

To help you explore all these options, here's a guide to some of the latest surface prep powerhouses on the market, along with a few tips from manufacturers for achieving the best results when using their equipment.

Author Anne Balogh, Columnist and Senior Editor of Concrete Network Magazine