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Frequently Asked Questions


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No. There are many different formulations of self-leveling cements, and they are created to perform differently. These features could include fast return to service, high psi, low tensile pull, freeze thaw resistance or cost effectiveness. Most self-leveling cements require a finished flooring, such as carpet or tile to be installed over top. Only use topping grade self-leveling cements such as Ardex K-520 if you require concrete as a finished surface.
You can use either epoxy or polyaspartic as a basecoat. The important thing is whatever coating system you choose, your concrete needs to be diamond ground or shotblasted to create a proper bond for the coating to mechanically adhere to. Don’t forget that if you use polyaspartic as a base, you cannot use epoxy as a topcoat.
Epoxies and polyurethanes all have benefits and tradeoffs and typically work best in combination. Epoxies can be applied thicker and are used as base coats typically. Epoxies are cost effective, but you sacrifice UV stability and usually require overnight dry time. You can order epoxies with a UV stabilizer added to it already or add in a UV stabilizer that you can purchase separately as well. Polyaspartics provide a topcoat that is more scratch resistant than epoxy and provides UV stability. Polyaspartics provide fast dry times but are usually more expensive per gallon than epoxies.
When concrete is being ground down with a hand grinder or a walk behind grinder, a tremendous amount of heat and friction is created at the point of contact. If enough heat and pressure are created, the silica dust that is being created can melt onto the metal diamond tooling. This is called ‘glazing’. Usually this happens on hard power troweled concrete. To reverse this, the metal tooling can be ground on a soft or abrasive piece of concrete such as a sidewalk paver to remove the silica glaze.
A concrete grinder is designed to grind the top surface and is the most efficient when removing 1/16”-⅛”. Removal of concrete thicker than ⅛” should be completed with a slow pass of a shot blaster or a scarifier. Shot blasters will shoot thousands of tiny beads at the floor and remove the top layer leaving a semi-rough surface. Scarifiers have a drum that rotates carbide tips across the floor in a planing action, scraping the top layer of concrete. Scarifying will be the most aggressive of the three prep methods.