Bookmark and Share
Remove Airfield Markings
SMITH Catalog
SMITH University
Join SMITH Xtreme Team
Workzone Warriors


Archive for the ‘Surface Preservation’ Category

Get to Know SMITH in 5

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Get to know SMITH in 5

Get to Know SMITH in 5

SMITH can help you better prepare your concrete and asphalt surfaces so they become safer and sustainable. The answers to these 5 most commonly asked customer questions will help you get to know SMITH.

1.) What is SMITH Equipment used for?
Every day, a SMITH is used to successfully:

  • Remove failed coatings, contaminants, coverings, or overlays
  • Prepare surfaces with the correct profiles (SP1 – 10) to promote mechanical bond strength
  • Erase striping without grooves or undulations on the final surface
  • Groove-inlay surfaces to recess markings below the surface for longer life
  • Level and smooth down sidewalk or walkway tripping hazards fast
  • Shave down surfaces to prevent micro-cracking for new coatings, overlays, or polishing concrete
  • Reduce high spots that trap water
  • SMITH any existing hard surface correctly for the next required step
2.) Does SMITH make every equipment size and style? 
SMITH makes a gas, electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic-powered machine to fit every size job and budget.  
From the handheld FS050 Scarifiers and FS150 Rotary Erasers, to the walk-behind, self-propelled, ride-on, and skid-attachment FS and SPS Surfacers, to the no-groove X-Series Rotary Power Erasers. All machines, with the proper cutter tools, will help you achieve all 10 surface profiles on concrete or asphalt. All SMITH machines are also equipped with dust-free vacuum ports to attach to SMITH or other HEPA vacuums.
3.) How can SMITH help me if I already own a grinder, planer, scarifier, crack router, diamond shaver, or traffic-line remover?
SMITH ultra-premium-life cutters, drums, and wear components fit all popular machines. Using SMITH components will help you remove faster and more cost-effectively with less downtime. We can also provide you with details on how to achieve better surface profile finishes with our SMITHing process.
4.) What is the SMITHing process?
SMITHing is the highest quality method of the concrete or asphalt surface-preparation process. Proper surface preparation by SMITHing will decontaminate the top surface layer, then create the right surface profile without micro-cracks. SMITHing to the correct SP 1 – SP10 profile pattern assures that whatever is applied on top of the prepared surface will mechanically bond deep into the surface to permanently hold the new binder, coating, overlay, or repair material.
5.) What if I don’t own a machine and want to do the work myself, or hire a licensed contractor?
SMITH can assist you with specifications to help best meet your job expectations. If you want to do the work yourself, SMITH can help you locate a rental company. Looking to hire a quality contractor experienced in surface preparation? SMITH can help you find a contractor to fit your budget.
Should you have other questions and would like to know how SMITH can help you, please contact a SMITH Representative today.
SMITH builds fast, easy-to-use surface-preparation equipment and ultra-premium life cutter tools for hard-working contractors since 1990. SMITH equipment and the SMITHing process helps contractors prepare roads, bridges, airfields, factories and walkways to be safer and sustainable.

SMITHing at Excon Peru

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Excon Peru

SMITHing in Peru at Excon 2017

SMITH Surface-Prep Solutions is currently in Lima, Peru for Excon 2017.  Our Distributor, Edipesa is promoting the benefits of SMITHing for safer, more sustainable surfaces at their exhibit.  Are you going to Excon?  If so, stop by to SMITH and Win with Roger and Juan.

See you in Peru!

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

© 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.