How to Get a Surface Preparation Job off to a Good Start
You can't ever be too prepared. The information below will help you get organized before starting surface preparation work. Without taking these things into consideration you could end up doing more harm than good.
Architects, Engineers, Property Owners, and Other Important People: Job Planning
Job planning requires the important people in a project know any special requirements they have prior to the project being put out to bid.
- Time schedules
- How work will be done around existing operations
- Allowing drying time if water is used in the surface preparation process
- Acceptable levels of dust
- Possible fumes
- Noise levels
These are all problems that can be avoided if known about and planned for ahead.
Examine the Surface
Prior to contracting for a job or awarding a project- the contractor must conduct a survey of the concrete surface in its current shape.
If excessive laitance is present (a weak layer of cement and fines on the concrete surface), this material must be removed down to solid concrete. The coating or overlay will not bond properly to the weak layer of concrete.
The surface should be checked for existing sealers, curing materials, grease, oil, efflorescence, and dirt that need to be removed. In short, you want no surprises.
Know the Job Specifications
Most job specifications for surface preparation state the surface should be "sound, free from surface defects dry, and clean." Each of these terms is subjective, so it is important that the job specifications, the coatings or overlay specifications, and the expectations of the architect and/ or project engineer are in alignment.
Specifications should also say how uniform, clean, rough, and what strength the concrete substrate should be prior to a coating or overlay installation. See "Standards You Should Know About"
Other specifications may include time schedules and acceptable levels of noise and dust. Also, is there time in the schedule for concrete to dry to the required moisture level if water is being used in the cleaning process? If the specifications dont cover these issues- make sure they get covered.