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Archive for the ‘Roadway Safety’ Category

The Power of Surface-Preparation Work

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

surface preparation

The Power of Surface Preparation Work

Surface preparation doesn’t start with a broom, air blower or power washer. Surface-prep work starts with a drum or rotary-style wet or dry impact device.
Impact equipment of scarifiers, grinders, blasters planers, erasers, or shavers are tools used to alter the surface condition, whereas a broom, air, or power washer simply cleans the surface of accumulated dust, dirt and debris.
Changing the surface condition to an acceptable state for whatever is planned “next” is the objective of proper surface-preparation work. Next can be the applied coatings, markings, overlay, or repair materials. Next can also be just improving the conditions of the existing surface conditions, then leaving it alone.
The use of an impact tool outfitted with the right tools operating in the “impact zone” will get the surface prepared to the right surface profile (SP) condition without causing the surface to micro-crack or bruise. When the surface is properly prepared at the highest level, a condition we call SMITHing, anything applied to that prepared surface will last longer.
Surface-preparation work requires specialized equipment, manpower, and time to complete the work properly. Allowing coatings, overlay, or repair materials to be applied to a surface that is too porous or too smooth results in premature bond failures and unsafe surfaces.
surface preparation
Always remember that an impact device will NOT be used on the job, if
(1) the job doesn’t clearly specify its use, or 
(2) it’s not a final surface condition requirement.
When the surface-prep work is clearly specified, it details what the final surface profile conditions will look like and follow a process like this 4-step.  After the profiling work ends, the final step before application is surface cleaning with a brush, blower, or power washer. 
To assure surface-prep work starts with profiling and ends with clean-up, all parties should agree:
  • The work will be clearly defined in contracts
  • The work will be given a pay consideration
  • The work requires agreement as to what the final SP surface conditions will look like


Proper preparation work can be a rewarding experience for the applicator, the client, and anyone who walks, bikes, rides or uses the surface. When we shine a light on the value of specifying, performing, inspecting, and paying for proper surface-prep work, everyone benefits.
That’s the power of surface preparation work.

APWA Florida Chapter 2017 Public Works Expo

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

APWA Florida Chapter

CSP profiles

Visit SMITH at APWA Florida Public Works Expo!

Booth #210

SMITH will be unveiling a faster and easier way to prepare and make your asphalt and concrete surfaces safer and sustainable.
Only Florida Public Works members will have an exclusive up-close look at the new SMITH Automatic Engagement System (AES). The AES takes the guesswork out of preserving pavements, removing markings, and eliminating ADA trip-and-fall injuries by SMITHing. With a simple push of the AES button, your operator will have the peace of mind knowing his work will be completed quickly, easily, and correctly – every time.
Anyone who visits booth #210 and pushes the AES button will quickly understand how simple the work can be. Leave your business card for a “reflective on-the-job ruler slap band.”
SMITH Manufacturing is the #1 producer of surface preparation equipment since 1990, headquartered in Pompano Beach, FL. SMITHing is a faster, easier, and more cost-effective way to help make your roadways, bikeways, and walkways safer and longer-lasting.
Can’t Attend?
Please click here to schedule a free Removal Analysis that can help you achieve safer and lasting surfaces cost-effectively. We also invite you to visit our factory in Pompano Beach.
See you at the expo!

Why are pavement markings removed?

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Work zones with changing traffic patterns require frequent marking and remarking as the lanes are reconfigured. Pavement markings must be removed when they are no longer required for the safe navigation of the pavement surface. The marking removal work must be done without damaging the pavement surface or  texture.

Why are pavement markings removed?

Thermoplastic pavement marking on asphalt removal by SMITH X3 Rotary Dry Eraser

Pavement striping is a much easier task than removal. 

The reason removal is difficult is due to the various types of pavement surface coarse compositions that stripes are applied to. These porous and non-porous surfaces will absorb the applied pavement markings deep into the surface. The deeper the markings are applied, the more difficult it is to remove the markings without altering the pavement surface texture or color.  

Typically contractors use sharp-edge grinding or blasting equipment to remove the former marking. These methods leave a surface scar that becomes visible under various lighting and weather conditions. When the surface is scarred, the removed stripe becomes more visible to drivers than the new marking.

Bevel-edge scrapers and dry-erasers or water blasters can be used to remove the markings without causing sharp-edge grooving. These machines will remove in a wider area to blend the former stripe with the outlying surface so the area does not appear as the former marking in any lighting or weather condition. When using this type of removal process, the former marking colors and texture will gradually blend with time and traffic conditions.  

The photos depict the removal of a newly applied thermoplastic pavement markings recently applied on a newly paved asphalt surface. The equipment selection was the SMITH X3 Dry Rotary Eraser. The photos were taken before, during and after the work was completed.

The work required that the markings be removed without damaging the pavement surface or the pavement texture. The operator removed 90% of the markings leaving a faint outline of the former marking. 100% marking removal was rejected by the engineer because it required that a larger area of the pavement surface would have to be removed. The engineer set limits knowing that the remaining markings will be blended in time with traffic and environmental conditions. 

If you would like the details, please contact SMITH 

© 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.