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Archive for the ‘Asphalt’ Category

Your Surface-Prep Briefing for October 2017

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Remove Faster News Briefing

Your October Surface-Prep Briefing

for Safer, Sustainable Surfaces

If you haven’t visited Remove Faster News lately, here are some things you may have missed!

Stripers Can Help Save Hector Davila, Road Marks Puerto Rico 

We were hit by Irma on 9/6, and it was not particularly bad except for electric power (no lights since at my home). Then Maria. We were really devastated, but family and (12) dogs are well.

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Seven Surface-Prep Essentials That Belong in Every Striper’s Toolbox

It’s not always easy to figure out what type of surface-prep equipment tools to own. Even for an experienced pavement marking contractor, putting together the right mix of prep-before-marking removal equipment takes thought, time, and inevitably, money.

As a striping professional, you want to make sure the investment you’re making in surface-prep tools is a good one, especially if you are aiming for quality products where costs can quickly add up.

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OSHA Silica-Dust Rule Enforcement Delayed

Even though OSHA’s rule concerning silica dust began on September 23, 2017, it will be another 30 days before any enforcement will happen. The rule is meant to counteract the over 900 cases of silicosis that happen every year.

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The SMITH FS050 Winner Is Announced!

Congratulations go out to Muna Edward, Airport Operations Superintendent at A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam. He is the lucky winner of a brand new SMITH FS050 handheld surfacer! Congrats again, Edward!

Drum and Rotary-Style Eradicators vs. Shot and Water Blasters

Water, shot, or sand blasting are common surface-prep methods. When selecting the right machine for surface-prep work, contractors and agencies are considering rotary and drum style preparators because of lower operational and environmental costs.

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The Seven Essential Surface-Prep Tools that belong in Every Striper’s Toolbox

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Seven Surface-Prep Essentials That Belong in Every Striper’s Toolbox

It’s not always easy to figure out what type of surface-prep equipment tools to own. Even for an experienced pavement marking contractor, putting together the right mix of prep-before-marking removal equipment takes thought, time, and inevitably, money.

As a striping professional, you want to make sure the investment you’re making in surface-prep tools is a good one, especially if you are aiming for quality products where costs can quickly add up.

Various Examples of Removal Techniques

But there are some standards that every striper should have in his toolbox. The following 7 surface-prep tools are the building blocks upon which you can actually get your marking installations to perform better, erase existing markings without a trace, and get paid for doing this essential value added work.

Whether you’re a striping newbie just growing your business, or a pavement-marking veteran ready to ditch your inefficient tools, take a quick look and see what’s currently missing from your surface-prep arsenal:

1. Basic Push Broom

Why you need it:

A simple low-tech standard. You will need a few basic push brooms just to move the loose dirt from under your stripe. Without them, you’ll never get your stripe to stick to sandy roads. A high-tech luxury option is a sweeper broom truck that will sweep, vacuum, and collect dirt and debris in a single action.

How to use it:

Come on, you know how to work a broom! If you haven’t pushed a broom, you’re in the wrong business. Use as a backup to your blower – which may be too loud for the work environment, or inoperable prior to striping.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
Street Push Broom Rotary Sweeper Truck
b1124abroom_sm 1


2. Air Blower

Why you need it:

Blowers are a reliable surface-cleaning tools. A quality hand-held, backpack, or push-style blower serves as a utilitarian essential. Great blowers are low maintenance, and are one of the most important tools to quickly clear loose dirt and debris.

How to use it: 

You know how to blow; just aim that big nozzle under your feet until the dirt flies away.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
Honda Backpack Blower Billygoat Blower
honda-backpack-blower Billy-Goat-Blower

3. Power Washer or Blaster (water/sand/shot)

Why you need it:

After sweeping or blowing away the loose dirt, you still may need to get deeper into the surface pores and cracks on older pavements. You also may need to remove stubborn stains, oils, and grease. Newer style waterblasters that apply more pressure with less water volume allows for less dry time on hot days. However, you’ll need to check the stability of the surface – especially the fines and binder when ultra-high pressure water blasters are used. These expensive rotary jet discs quickly cause asphalt pavement rutting and micro-cracking on portland-cement concrete. Many stripers own a variety of these blasters that can mix with sand, soda, or beads, depending on the working surface and the materials to remove.

How to use it:

The use of low-pressure water systems is not rocket science, although working with ultra-high pressure systems may require a post-graduate degree in physics to get the surface just right.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
Simpson Power Washer Waterblaster
simpson-washer waterblaster

4. Drum-style Scarifier


Why you need it:

You’ve seen these machines used to grind down trip hazards on sidewalks, or scratch up the surface when removing paint, planing off old asphalt, or diamond shaving or grinding down concrete surfaces. If you ever followed the wrong stripe out of your lane in a work zone, you fell victim to a stripe removed by a drum-style scarifier, planer, or groover.

Since stripers normally own just one style of marking remover, it’s typically the drum-style scarifier. Commonly called a “grinder,” it removes the stripe by destructively cutting a sharp-edged groove deep into the surface until the marking is gone, but the surface has an embossed stripe pattern that appears as a former stripe or “ghost line” in wet conditions.

How to use it:

The drum-style scarifiers, planers, groovers and shavers are best used for prep-before-stripe applications. When scarifiers are used to eradicate surface contaminants with a scratching method, it leaves the perfect profiling pattern to mechanically lock the new pavement marking material to the surface. In snow country, a drum-style diamond shaver is the preferred tool to prepare a controlled slot groove prior to embedding liquid or tapes below the snowplow blade. It’s a debate we don’t have time to fully settle here, but know that if it’s called a scarifier, its going to scar the surface.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
FS209 or SPS10 FS351 or FS391
SPS10-FS209 FS351-FS391

5. Rotary-style eraser

Why you need it:

Not every stripe-removal job calls for permanent stripe removal. Some may allow for cover-up paint, or any scarring device to take off thermoplastics, epoxies, or tape that will be soon resurfaced with new asphalt. But if stripes will be removed and replaced in a new location, then it would be inappropriate to leave a deep scar or mark behind with a scarifier when there are far better tools – like no-scar rotary erasing.

How to use it: 

The best part of owning a rotary eraser is knowing it will only remove as deeply as you set it, and the removal pattern will be bevel-edged since the stripe will be pushed aside and not into the surface. The rotary eraser abrades and scrapes markings off the surface like a polisher, and when you properly use one, you’ll meet all DOT non-scarring requirements.

 The affordable one:  The luxury option:
 LNX8  X3 or X1

6. HEPA Dust Extraction

Why you need it:

Any removal method can create harmful silica dust. A HEPA dust extractor is the best possible tool for removing dust and debris from the job site. It’s also the law.

How to use it:

Simply attach the collection hose to the vacuum port of your scarifiers, planers, groovers, shavers, or erasers for dust-free removal.  

Pro tip: own a separate vacuum broom truck for your large removal or surface-prep projects that will follow behind the removal operation. Your future self will thank us during your next striping project.

The affordable one: The luxury option:
MV1000s MV5500
 MV-1000S  Mv-5500-with-MV-SB

7. Inspection tools, ASTM, SP 1-10 Pads

Why you need it:

Surface conditions can be crazy, and staying objective without work stoppage can be difficult when there are many eyeballs inspecting every detail of the job. The use of a visual inspection guide (like the SP 1-10 surface profile pad or SP chart) where a reference number helps all parties agree on achieving the actual surface profile conditions before and after the surface preparation work.

How to use it:

Before the road is striped, use the SP inspection tool to determine the current surface conditions for the new coating, sealer, or marking to be installed or removed. Then select the best representative pad or profile number for the required surface-prep profile finish. During application, your prior SP# agreement with the inspector will be one of the best assets you have before commencing your prep-before-marking work.

 The affordable one:  The luxury option:
 SP Chart  Profile Pads
Profile-Inspection-Tool profile-pads

Disclosure: This is brought to you by the Smith University Xtreme Removal team. We aim to highlight products and services that pavement and flooring maintenance contractors may find of value.

Have something you think we should know about? We welcome your feedback!

© 2017 Smith University

No Shadow Stripe Removal

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

No Shadow Stripe Removal at AMS 

On August 16, 2016, SMITH demonstrated San Fransisco Airfield Maintenance Operations X3 Rotary Eraser removing paint markings on the airfield. When the markings were removed, no residual markings were present, not even discoloration or shadowing. Since no water was used, the surface was dry, clean, sound and properly profiled for new markings.

The day prior, we participated in the Airfield Marking Symposium “Speed Dating Event.” The following is the program’s transcript.

Good afternoon, Airfield Marking Professionals. Welcome to the Airfield Markings Symposium’s main event, “Speed Dating.” My name is Steven Smith. Over the next eight minutes, you will have the information to help you get the perfect prep, assuring your airfield surfaces are safer and sustainable.

In your hands is the most remarkable catalogue, containing the proven SMITH surface-prep solution. Towards the end of our time together, you will be playing the amazing SMITH & Win game.

Are you Ready to SMITH? Lets all open the book and turn to page 2, “My Story.”

I was a former striping contractor working for my father who founded the USA durable marking industry, a thermoplastic material and equipment manufacturer called Perma-Line and Pave-Mark.

I became its President after inventing a product called Hot Tape, a flame applied durable marking that never failed in heavy traffic conditions provided the surface was properly prepared.

In 1990 I took my “making-markings-last-longer experiences” to the next level when I started SMITH Manufacturing with the goal to design, build and deliver the very best tools in the USA to help make the prep-before-stripe experience faster and easier for professionals like you.

On page 5, you will find the answer to the perfect prep. In short, it’s selecting the right tools and cutters, along with the right process that can be achieved in four steps.

On pages 4, 6, and 7, you will find guides in print and also available online that break down the hard work of surface prep so it becomes more manageable.

Now turn to page 19, to the X3 No-groove Eraser, the most amazing pavement-marking remover that you will ever see. Tomorrow, you will witness this machine removing the most toughest pavement markings with a diagonal epoxy seam underneath the stripe. The machine will completely remove the stripe without damaging the seam or the underlying surface. The secret to the X-series removal is the rotation.

Using the X3, you will achieve the perfect prep for an immediate new application of any markings including Airmark which can be installed immediately. You will notice that the surface will be clean, dry, profiled, and sound. But more importantly, if markings were not to be applied in the same location, the surface would appear exactly like the outlying areas, with no ghost-lines, undulations, shadows or moisture.

The SMITH X3 Rotary Eraser equipment is owned by SFO Maintenance Operations. They purchased this machine the year prior because it was the one tool they did not own that can remove thick markings without damaging asphalt. Plus, it removes like a waterblaster, but without water and with better depth of cut precision.

If you have time, you can also read how Will Kirk, a professional contractor who selected the SMITH X3 because it was the most reliable and cost-effective tool he found to remove airfield markings on one of the most remote airfields on earth.

When you turn to page 22, you will see a list of all 7 surface-prep essentials to determine if your operations, like SFO, owns one or all 7 tools.


Lastly, In a foldout in the back of the catalog is the 10 surface profile inspection tool. These photos and these pads are actual representations of profiles created on asphalt or concrete with rotary and drum style prep tools listed on the flip side. Use this tool to confirm the surface profile conditions before and after your surface prep work.

If we don’t have any questions, lets review the rules for the SMITH & WIN game.

You spin and land on any profile number you win a reflective slap band ruler and a chance to be the grand prize winner announced soon. If you land on profile #9, you lose – and so does your asphalt surface by selecting water blasting for stripe removal.

Let’s now spin the profile wheel and play SMITH & WIN.

To learn more about how to successfully rotary erase pavement markings on airfields, roadways and parking decks, click here.

The grand prize winner is Mr. Edward Muna, Airport Operations Superintendent with A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority in Guam. Please click here within 2 weeks for details on claiming your prize.

© 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.