Surface preparation is a series of steps that are taken to prepare the concrete for further use. It removes all existing aggregates and creates a dirt, dust, and oil free surface that is dry and level, allowing new materials to have direct contact with the concrete surface. This increases the surface area and roughness of the concrete surface allowing a stronger bond to be achieved.

There are four types of surface preparation.

1) Chemical cleaning which uses detergents, trisodium phosphates, or various concrete cleaners can be used to clean concrete if it has been in contact with oil, grease or dirt. It is recommended that a thorough rinsing with water and rigorous scrubbing follows the initial cleanse.

2) Mechanical cleaning uses devices such as rotary and impact devices, physically removing all possible aggregates.

3) Blast cleaning includes both wet and dry sandblasting, shotblasting and waterjet cleaning.

4) Acid etching can roughen the concrete surface by removing the cement paste at the top of the deteriorated concrete surface.


While all four types of surface preparation are effective, ensure that you have chosen the right method that suits your projects needs as it will maximize the effectiveness of your product. For questions on surface prep on your next concrete waterproofing project check out our application instructions or contact our technical services.

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