Surface preparation

Concrete surface preparation refers to the various methods that can be used to prepare the concrete prior to coating applications. Concrete substrates must be mechanically prepared to remove cement laitance, existing coatings, curing compounds, as well as dirt, grease, oil, and any other surface contamination prior to any coating being applied. It also refers to the process of levelling surfaces and removing high spots and tripping hazards. Grinding, scarifying or similar techniques are ideally suited for this work.

What equipment do I need?

Concrete Grinder

Grinding machines use rotating discs with abrasive segments to grind away the surface layer of concrete, creating a smooth and even profile. Grinding is suitable for removing thin coatings, adhesives, or paint, as well as levelling minor surface irregularities. Depending on the size of the project and the desired outcome, either a single head (direct drive) grinder or planetary grinder is required. If the concrete also needs to be polished, most planetary grinders have both grinding and polishing capabilities. For tight corners or edges, it is recommended to use a smaller handheld grinder. Always make sure the selected diamond grinding tooling (such as grinding shoes or plates) and polishing resins suit the concrete surface and desired project outcomes.


Scarifying machines use cutting drums with tungsten carbide tips to cut or chip away the surface layer of concrete, creating a rough and textured profile. Scarifying is suitable for removing thick coatings, overlays, or contaminants, as well as reducing high spots or trip hazards. The method of scarifying leaves grooves on the surface, making it ideal for levelling small areas or to create a non-slip, textured surface on footpaths and roads.

Dust Collector

Concrete grinders, scarifiers or shot blasters should always be used in combination with a high-quality dust collector in order to operate safely. Dust collectors, also referred to as dust extractors or vacuums, capture any dirt, dust, or debris particles at the source, preventing them from entering the work environment. Commercial dust collectors feature compliant H-class HEPA filters which provide optimum performance and superior air filtration during any concrete surface preparation projects.

Safety first

Concrete dust and silica particles are extremely hazardous if inhaled. When undertaking any concrete surface preparation project, it is vital to use quality equipment and a commercial dust collector that is compliant with Australian standards, rules and regulations. In addition, appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) should always be worn.

Flextool offers a range of surface preparation equipment. Whatever the demands of your business, Flextool has the right equipment for the job.