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6 Steps for Lasting Surface Coatings

Although coating specs don’t always detail the surface preparation standards to assure successful coating installations, the following are 6 preventive steps for lasting surface coatings as surveyed by professional contractors:


6 Preventive Steps for Lasting Surface Coatings


(1) Survey Surface to be Coated

A very important step and one that is often overlooked is a pre-inspection review of the working area prior to starting the job. A quick survey can show the defects, floor undulations, surface obstructions, surface repairs, overlays and edgework demands needed so they can be addressed with the right tooling to remove, repair and prepare the substrate for the new coating. Use of an inspection checklist or daily inspection journal form is a best practice to monitor all preparation and removal phases.


(2) Remove Any Failed Coating

After the initial survey, the contractor will have a good knowledge of what to expect, and can now bring out the right equipment and cutter tooling to remove the existing surface coatings or overlayments that would preclude a good surface bond to the new coating.


(3) Repair Any Unsound Surface

After materials are removed and the original surface is exposed, a second survey is required to repair any unsound surface. A simple chain-pull or other ASTM test can be used to uncover any surface microcracks in locations that have to be removed repaired. After surfaces are repaired, any surface undulations can be filled or leveled.


(4) Profile Surface

Another important step to surface preparation is creating the right profile pattern – SP1 (nearly flat) through SP10 (extremely rough), depending upon the new material that will be installed. The surface profile is the measurement of the average distance from the peaks of the surface to the valleys, as seen through a cross-sectional view of the prepared substrate. The texture and appearance of the profile obtained will vary depending upon the concrete and asphalt strength, composition, aggregate and finish (see our free Removal Selection Guide).

On sound surfaces, the range of variation can be controlled to represent these standards, however, as the depth of removal increases, the profile of the prepare substrate will be increasingly dominant by the type and size of the coarse aggregate. Creation of a surface profile can be accomplished using a variety of tools, equipment and materials, and is dependent upon the type of system and material thickness to be installed.

Regardless of the method selected or tools employed, the final surface must be profiled to insure a mechanical bond of the new coating to the substrate.


(5) Clean Surface

After the surface is profiled, there remains loose debris and dirt that requires vacuuming, and a HEPA filtered vacuum with excellent suction and good filter control using a floor brush pick-up tool should be used. If there is any movement of air that may relocate dust and debris back to the area prior to the final coating step, the surface should be protected.


(6) Dry and Moisture-Protect Surface

All surfaces contain moisture, and the movement of water from its source is a reason for many coating and surface failures. Preventing hydrostatic pressures from pulling up your installed coatings is important, and must be correctly addressed at this step. Primers such as two-part epoxy coatings are used to create a vapor barrier with the newly installed surface.


In conclusion . . .

After completing these 6 steps, the surface can be inspected by all parties to confirm compliance that the surface is clean, dry, profiled, sound, and ready for the coating to be installed.

Since all freshly installed coatings will make any surface look good, what separates a good installation from a great installation is in the preparation details. Assuring all 6 steps are properly managed will assure that the installed coating will perform for its entire service life.

Don’t see your step on the list, or would like to include your experience? Please send us your comments on how you achieve lasting surface finishes to Remove Faster News.

© 2017 SMITH Surface-Prep Solutions - 1610 S. Dixie Highway, Pompano Beach, FL 33060-8913
Toll Free: 1-800-653-9311 | Ph: 954-941-9744 | Fax: 954-545-0348
Specifications and data are subject to change without notice.