When you’re dealing with concrete flooring, you need to first prep the area if you’re planning on adding overlays or any coatings and sealers. The best way to do this is by shot blasting. Shotblasting gives the floor’s surface the rough profile it needs so that coatings and sealers will bond to it. Shotblasting also prepares the floor for recoating and resurfacing and is a cost-effective way to remove dirt and grime from large areas. It is the preferred process by many concrete contractors because of the results it can achieve.

Some people overlook the process because they may not understand it or how to go about doing it. Let’s find out more about shot blasting and how to get the job done right.

How is Shotblasting Done? 

Shotblasting is done by using a shot blasting machine and small steel balls that you put on the machine’s blast wheel. The wheel flings the shot onto the area that is being blasted. The area continually gets shot with these BB-like balls as the machine goes over it until you get the finished product you’re looking for. During the process, the surface layer of the concrete and any other dirt is taken off.

Is All Shotblasting the Same?

No.Shotblasting can be done to achieve very light etching or can be done more aggressively to get down to the core of the concrete. It all depends on what you’re looking to accomplish. Shotblasting is not recommended to remove hardwood or tile

There are also 10 different shot sizes depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with the process. 

If you’re hoping to remove glue and epoxy, it’s recommended that you use a small to medium shot. If you want to remove paint, you should go with a medium to large-sized shot.

Things to Consider When Shotblasting

Once you determine the result you want to achieve, it’s important to keep several things in mind before you start shotblasting. 

Shot Size

The size of the BB-like ball you choose will play a big role in how textured the result is. If you’re working on the interior of a building, you’ll want to go with a smaller size. But, if you are working on outside surfaces, like sidewalks, you’ll want to choose a larger size.

Amount of Shot to Use

The more shot you load into the machine, the more the surface you’re hitting will break up. The less you load, the less effect on the surface. 

Travel Speed of the Shot

Travel speed plays a big part in what the finished product looks like. The faster your shot goes or the more you focus on one area, the more aggressive your shot will be. If your shot goes slower and you move around while you’re shotblasting, the impact isn’t going to be as great. Again, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your finished product. 

Things to Remember to Get the Best Results

In order to get the most out of your shotblasting there are things to keep in mind so you don’t waste time or money on your efforts.

  • The hardness of the concrete and the presence of any glue or other materials will play a role in the success of your shotblasting.
  • You may notice rows or other marks if your shotblasting overlaps. If you plan on covering it with a glaze or other coating these markings will show through. If you anticipate this being an issue, look for shotblasting machines that use a horizontal feed rather than a center-blast feed.
  • To get the best coverage, consider using a smaller steel shot.
  • Try to keep an even pace with the shotblasting machine. If you go too slow you’ll remove too much while going too fast will leave things behind.

To learn more about shotblasting and various machines and equipment, give us a call today at 815-472-9754 to speak with one of our experts.