Scarifying is a form of surface preparation with many benefits. Scarifiers are a faster, more aggressive form of removal, and because of its ability to tear through concrete with ease, it is important to understand when to use it appropriately. If you’re looking to finish with a micro topping, or skim coating it is important to keep in mind that the aggressiveness of the profile created by a scarifier can show through those thin coatings.
Are You Working With Hard Concrete?
Knowing the concrete hardness is just as important when working with scarifiers as it is with any other aggressive Surface Prep Equipment. Scarifiers are awesome for hard concrete surfaces. Their strength and power will stand up to even the hardest concrete surfaces. If you’re unsure of the concrete hardness it is a really good idea to use a scratch test kit based on the Mohs scale of relative mineral hardness to make sure the concrete is hard enough to benefit from the use of a scarifier. This kit is readily available for purchase online, and can be relatively inexpensive- otherwise you could end up damaging the concrete surface.
What Are the Coating Requirements?
Scarifiers are ideal for the many overlays and coatings that require an aggressive profile to bond to the concrete that grinders or shot blasters won’t be able to produce. Knowing the profile requirements for the coating you’ll be using before you begin preparing the surface is important so you can make sure it will bond to the concrete effectively.
Is Time an Issue?
In other situations, where it would take way too long to use another coating removal method, many use a scarifier for its speed and aggression and then use a grinder to smooth down the profile if need be.
For Example, let’s say you need to remove a quarter inch of concrete overlay, covering 500 thousand square feet, and are looking to put down a thing coating once finished. A grinder alone would only remove a small fraction per pass compared to a scarifier, which means removing a quarter inch would take a very long time, especially over 500thousand square feet. In this situation it would be significantly faster and more cost effective to use the scarifier first because it can easily remove up to an inch of concrete per pass, unlike the Grinder, and then run the grinder over the scarified profile if need be, for the micro coating overlay.
The various interchangeable cutting wheels and drum setups, tooling and size options makes the use of scarifiers that much more versatile and able to achieve a broad range of profiling and removal. scarifiers are ideal for, but not limited to, removal of concrete overlays, heavy floor tile mastic and rubbery elastomeric or epoxy materials, removing trip hazards or grooving concrete walkways to make them slip resistant, leveling uneven concrete joints and imbalanced surfaces, and ultimately any removal of a hard topping that will take too long to grind or shot blast.
Another great benefit to scarifiers is that you can achieve different profile by adjusting cutters. The closer the cutters are together, the smoother or more even the profile (e.g. often used in making walkways slip resistant). Wider spacing between the cutters will result in a coarser profile.
Ultimately, it’s important to consider all of the variables when selecting the right piece of equipment to make sure you’re able to achieve the best outcome, but any time you’re looking for fast and efficient removal, if an aggressive profile is needed, or if it makes more sense due to financial or time constraints, a scarifier is by far the best option.