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How Prep Helps Coatings Last on Concrete or Asphalt

11 questions with SMITH – How Surface Preparation by SMITHing Helps Coatings Last Longer on Concrete and Asphalt Surfaces

surface preparation

When the contract calls for surface preparation, the customer expects the surface to be cleaned prior to painting. Experienced contractors know that just cleaning the surface is not enough to get coatings to properly bond with the surface. The problem is that doing the surface preparation work correctly, by SMITHing, costs more than simple surface cleaning. If the contract does not detail this intensive preparation work to include surface profiling, the work will not be done and coatings will prematurely fail.

1. What is SMITHing, and why is it important to specify this on contracts?

SMITHing is the highest level of surface preparation treatment. When you SMITH, the surface is not just clean and dry as required by simple surface-preparation standards, but also sound and profiled prior to the coating application. Assuring a sound, profiled surface (SP1 – SP10) is essential for coating performance.

2. What equipment do you need to SMITH?

You can use any equipment to profile the surface, providing it will not damage or micro-crack the surface.  Selecting the right equipment (outfitted with the right cutter tools) and operating correctly requires skill and knowledge. Properly selected drum-style scarifiers and rotary erasers with the right cutter set-up can accomplish 80% of the surface preparation requirements, when used correctly.

3. How do you properly use drum-style scarifiers and rotary erasers?

After selecting the right cutter set-up for the materials you are removing, and the substrate characteristics, it is important to operate the speeds, travel direction and cut depths uniformly to maintain consistent removal finishes. Allowing the equipment to bounce on the surface because it is too light, or pushed too fast or deeply, will damage the surface and provide inconsistent profile results.

4. What equipment does SMITH offer that can be used on coatings application jobs for surface preparation, application and/or demobilization/clean-up process?

SMITH is a manufacturer of fast and easy mechanical surface preparation equipment with rotating drums, vertically and horizontally that will provide every surface profile from SP1 (flat) to SP10 (coarse).  All SMITH equipment can be used indoors and outdoors, and connected to vacuum equipment to control dust and debris.

5. On what type of substrate(s) can SMITH equipment be used?

SMITH equipment can be used on any hard or soft surface with any coating or overlay material. Simply select the right cutter drum assembly for the equipment to correctly prepare the surface in multiple removal passes.

6. How does SMITH Equipment help coatings contractors on the job?

SMITH equipment produces removal surface preparation equipment in all sizes – for every type of job – including hand-held, walk behind, self-propelled, ride-on, and truck attachments. SMITH equipment is engineered to accept a variety of SMITH-designed rotating cutters that will abrade, slice, cut, level, groove, shave, mill, scarify, erase, plane, finish, smooth, scale, blast, or prep surfaces, leaving a coarse to smooth surface finish as required by the contract plans or material coating specifications.

7. What is the #1 feature of SMITH Equipment?

The biggest benefit of SMITH equipment is its design ability to achieve every surface profile consistently, simply by changing cutter drums and using the SMITHing up-cut removal process.

8. Does SMITH have a “green” or environmentally friendly component?

All SMITH equipment can be operated dust free when attached to vacuum equipment.  The collected dust and debris can be filtered and recycled back into roads during recapping operations.

9. On what types of jobs can SMITH equipment be used?

SMITH equipment and cutter tools can be used on any hard horizontal or vertical surface on bridges, roads, floors, walls, tanks, decks and more.

10. What is the April 2015  new or improved products or processes that have recently launched?

SMITH has recently introduced a sit-down driver that can attach to any manually pushed paint striper, remover, blower, brush, or applicator.  The Sulky Power Driver SR-25 has a unique foot-pedal system that controls the forward or reverse speeds of the applicator without any operator effort, unlike other equipment in the marketplace.


11. What is SMITH passionate about?

We know that the prep process is hard work that no one wants to do, especially if they are not getting paid for it.  That’s why everything we do – from designing, building, consulting, delivering and servicing – must meet this 4-point test: (1) fast, (2) easy, (3) reliable, and (4) cost-effective for contractors. If not, we do not offer it.

SMITH is a strong advocate for contractors getting paid for getting the job site in the right condition to assure their coatings will perform. Many times, contractors are called into a job to stripe or paint that is not ready, and requires surface cleaning or SMITHing, and the contract provisions do not offer any relief. We believe that painting contractors are always getting the short end of the stick, and have to take up many of the responsibilities of others that could be resolved with properly written specifications.

For more details on the SP surface profile chart and SMITHing, please visit Remove Faster News.

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Toll Free: 1-800-653-9311 | Ph: 954-941-9744 | Fax: 954-545-0348
Specifications and data are subject to change without notice.