Worker plastering concrete

Surface Preparation Methods Used in Concrete Repair

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Concrete is among the most durable choices for floors. Like all materials, however, it needs retouching from time to time to enhance its appearance and performance or repair cracks.

There are several steps in the repair of concrete surfaces. However, most property owners who opt for DIY repair miss the most crucial step since they do not have the know-how and machines to handle it. This is the surface preparation.

Surface preparation handled by concrete repair experts, such as Cotewell, is vital for the proper bond of the repair material to your concrete. It also boosts the appearance of the repaired concrete. Here are the techniques used for concrete surface preparation.

Acid Etching

In this technique, hydrochloric acid is used to dissolve the dirt and laitance in your concrete. The acid forms a neutral solution, which is washed away, leaving behind a rough surface ready to receive your replacement material. If the surface contains grime, oil and grease, these are washed away with an emulsifying liquid before acid etching.

Acid etching, however, could damage reinforcing steel and the paste on the remaining concrete. But the process has already been refined so as to prevent harmful impacts on the environment. A combination of organic ingredients, emulsifiers and solvents can give the right etching profile.

Abrasive Blasting

This propels moist or dry abrasives in compressed air to dislodge materials from the concrete surface and create an eroding effect. The technique is used to remove adhesive films, surface contaminants and concrete coatings. Abrasive blasting involves the use of water, shot or sandblasters followed by vacuuming or air blasting.


This technique uses a scarifier with teeth mounted to its drum. The teeth will fracture the concrete surface into dust and chip, which can be washed away. Rotomilling is only used on horizontal surfaces.


Man blasting water on the scarified concreteHere, a mechanically driven drum removes concrete coatings on concrete with the use of tungsten-dipped discs. The process allows the substrate to receive high-build trowel on slab toppings, exposing the coarse aggregate. This will then result in a plane that will bond to the new concrete system.

Captive Shot Blasting

This method involves the mechanical firing of steel abrasives onto the concrete surface. This is done with great force for the concrete to have the necessary profile for the next coatings. Studies have shown that captive shot blasting is the most effective technique for the preparation of concrete surface.

Diamond Grinding

Meanwhile, diamond grinding is said to be the most practical method of surface preparation. It is mostly used to repair rain-damaged concrete. It is also used to polish concrete when clear or architectural finish is required. These particular types of finish are not suited to aggressive methods of concrete surface preparation.

The above surface preparation techniques for concrete before its repair are the primary elements that make DIY repair impossible. There are different codes followed by concrete repair technicians for surface preparation based on various tests. With professional concrete repair, however, you are guaranteed that the best method will be used for your surface’s preparation.

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