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Concrete Preparation

Personal Protection

It’s always recommended to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the task at hand and follow your employer’s safety policy. Commonly known PPE such as safety glasses, gloves, earplugs, respirators, etc, are recommended as needed.
For further information on OSHA requirements, visit

Statistics show 73% of all coatings fail due to bad or improper prep. Prep is the most important step in the installation process.

Acid Etching Step-by-Step

(If applying repairs, see Repair Manual)

  1. Establish water source
  2. Set up mix station
  3. (Option) Apply baking soda around the perimeter of the project, for protection and acid neutralization
  4. Mix Muriatic Acid with water (1 Part Acid to 2-4 Parts water)
  5. Using a plastic water sprinkling container, cover entire concrete with acid, making sure bubbling is occurring
  6. Using a push broom, work mixture into concrete
  7. Using a Hover Scrubber, clean the concrete
  8. Using a pressure washer and wand, clean and rinse the concrete, paying attention to edges and problem areas
  9. Neutralize surface using baking soda mixture (1 Cup Baking Soda to 1 gal. water)
  10. Using a pressure washer and wand, rinse the surface
  11. Make sure project and surrounding area is clean, and free from debris

Acid Etching Benefits and Features

  1. Low cost equipment
  2. Cleans soiled areas
  3. Removes loose debris
  4. Best for exterior applications

Acid etching is used for exterior concrete prepping by cleaning and opening up the pores of concrete. This is the best method of prep for exterior cementitious and Graniflex™ applications.

Acid Etching Products & Tools

  1. 4,000 PSI Pressure Washer - EQ-7137
  2. Hover Scrubber - EQ-7145
  3. Mixing Tarps - TL-7235
  4. Muriatic acid - CT-1017 (270-280 sq. ft. per. Gal of diluted acid)
  5. Push Broom
  6. Five Gallon Buckets
  7. Cordless drill and paddle, or stir sticks
  8. Plastic water sprinkling can
  9. Dust Pan
  10. Baking Soda

Acid Etching Tips and Tricks

  1. ACID ETCHING: Acid etching removes laitance, but cannot remove curing compounds or many of the contaminants found in industrial settings, such as oily deposits and water-insoluble materials, any of which can interfere with the adhesion of a coating.
    Improper surface preparation can result in poor bond and lack of coating adhesion.
    Mask off any areas not wanting etched. Mask off any metal objects that may corrode when acid vapors are present (brass thresholds and brass door kickplates).
    Ammonia (6 parts water + 1 part ammonia) is a great alternative to neutralizing instead of using baking soda.

Shot Blasting Step-by-Step

(If applying repairs, see Repair Manual)

  1. Establish power source
  2. Fill shot blaster with steel shot
  3. Attach shot blaster to vacuum
  4. Shot blast surface, overlapping 30%-50%
  5. Using a magnetic broom, collect excess shot (repeat if necessary)
  6. (Optional Exterior) Remove excess shot with leaf blower
  7. Vacuum Surface (repeat if necessary)
  8. Make sure project and surrounding area is clean, and free from debris

Shot Blasting Benefits and Features

  1. Creates a uniform profile
  2. Minimal dust
  3. Removes sealers
  4. Shot can be reused multiple times
  5. Quick and easy clean up

Shot blasting is used for interior or exterior concrete prepping by cleaning and opening up the pores of the concrete, while creating a profile. This is a good method of prep for interior cementitious, epoxy, and Graniflex™ applications.

Shot Blasting Products & Tools

  1. SB-6 Shot Blaster - BW-SB6
  2. Shot - TL-7345 (1,000 sq. ft. per 50lb. bag)
  3. Magnetic Broom - BW-M30
  4. Pulse Bac Vacuum - PB-7211/PB-7215 
  5. 10 Gauge Extension Cords - TL- 5263 
  6. Generator - GP-1750
  7. Broom
  8. Dustpan
  9. Leaf Blower (exterior)

Shot Blasting Tips & Tricks

  1. SHOTBLASTING: The handle of the shotblaster can be adjusted to allow you to blast in hard to reach places.
    The shot gate can be adjusted wider for quicker/deeper profiling.
    All four wheels must be on the floor while the machine is running (you will throw shot around the room and it can potentially hurt someone).
    Always wear eye protection while running the machine (same goes for others in the area as well).
    Always move the shotblaster while it is running (stopping in one spot will allow the blaster to chew into your concrete).
    When done, collect shot on the ground with magnet, release magnet into cardboard or paper and pour shot into a small bucket to reuse again.

Grinding Step-by-Step

(If applying repairs, see Repair Manual)

  1. Establish power source
  2. Attach desired diamonds (See Chart Below)
  3. Attach grinder to vacuum
  4. Using a Hum- B Grinder, edge grind the perimeter and all areas in need of spot grinding
  5. Grind surface, overlapping 30%- 50%, crosshatch as needed
  6. Vacuum Surface (repeat if necessary)
  7. Make sure project and surrounding area is clean, and free from debris

Grinding Benefits & Features

  1. Coating removal
  2. Smooths out unlevel areas
  3. Can be done wet or dry
  4. Restores concrete surfaces
  5. Great for interior and exterior applications

Grinding is used for interior or exterior concrete prepping by removing previous coatings, sealers, and diminishing imperfections. This is a good method of prep in addition to shot blasting for cementitious and epoxy applications.

Grinding Products & Tools

  1. Warrior Grinder - WE-2204/WE-2692
  2. Pulse Bac Vacuum - PB-7211/PB-7215
  3. 10 Gauge Extension Cords - TL-5263
  4. Hum-B Grinder - PB-7169 
  5. Diamond Tooling - WE-M30/WTM-8530
  6. Generator - GP-1750 
  7. Broom
  8. Dustpan
  9. Leaf Blower (exterior)

Grinding Tips & Tricks

  1. GRINDING: A 16/20 or 30/40 grind is typically where you will want to be to prep before coating. Do not use a finer diamond grit before coating
    (a deeper scratch pattern is required for proper adhesion). Note: grinding is not a proper preparation method to get the full benefits of Permaflex (shotblasting or the acid etching method is needed).
    The smaller the grinder head the more marks you are prone to leave on the surface.
    The idea of grinding before coating is to “break the surface tension” of the slab to allow the coating to properly penetrate.
    Hard concrete requires soft bonded diamonds for effective grinding.
    Soft concrete requires hard bonded diamonds for effective grinding.
    The “bond” refers to the metal matrix that is holding the diamonds.
    Further in-depth details on diamonds:
    It seems counter-intuitive, but a hard concrete floor requires a low wear resistance, or “soft bond;” while a soft concrete floor requires a high wear
    resistance, or “hard bond.” The terms hard bond and soft bond aren’t technically correct, but for the purpose of simplicity let’s stick with them.
    A bond must be matched to the material it is intended to grind or the tool will not function well. For example, if a soft concrete floor is ground with a tool designed for medium concrete, the tool will only have a fraction of the intended life and will wear out prematurely. This is because the wear resistance of the bond is too low for the concrete, which results in the tool needlessly wearing away and releasing new diamonds before the surface
    diamonds have broken down. Diamond size is sorted by mesh or grit size and there’s an inverse relationship between the size of the diamond and the grit number. This means a large diamond has a small number (18/20, 30/40) and a small diamond has a large number (80/100, 170/200). Large diamonds are used for aggressive removal while small diamonds are used for honing and polishing. See chart below.