Concrete grinding might seem like a messy and challenging task, but the finish on your floor is well worth the hassle. Concrete grinders are useful for tile adhesive removal as well, and they provide your floor with a level and smooth finish.
Learning to use this machine takes some practice. If this is your first experience with this machine, then this guide will help you with the task.
Concrete grinders are powerful tools, and if you don’t take the necessary safety precautions when using this machine, it could result in severe injury. Start by reviewing the user manual and ensure that you understand all the nuances of operating the grinder before you connect the power and start grinding.
With most machines, the manufacturer will offer you a free online course on operating the machine safely and efficiently.
Preparing the Grinder for Use
Before you start the machine, ensure that there are no blockages in the machine’s vents, as this results in overheating and premature failure of the grinder. Check the cables and make sure all the connections are undamaged.
Floor preparation is key. It’s a good idea to soak the concrete slab you want to grind before starting up the machine. Ensuring that you remove any adhesive with a shot blaster beforehand is imperative if you want to extend the service life of the diamond pads.
Using the Right Grinding Blades
The diamond shoes do all of the work when using your grinder. There are various types of grinding pads available, and each of them offers a different finish.
Grinding pads come in the following options.
- Floor Polishing Pads
- General-Purpose Pads
- Carbide Pads
Floor polishing pads have a high grit rating, and you can use them on dry or wet surfaces. They are best for finishing floors, providing a polished look, as you see in hotel lobbies.
General use pads are a fantastic all-round grinding pad. They’re useful for epoxy and concrete glue removal, as well. These pads have a 30-to-1 grit ratio and are the most versatile pads for use in a variety of applications.
Carbide grinding pads are an excellent choice for concrete resurfacing. These shoes have a tough carbide coating, and are effective for aggressive stripping jobs, like removing epoxy and vinyl glue.
Install New Shoes for Every Job
If you’re starting a sizeable grinding job, then we recommend you use new shoes. If you use the old shoes on the machine, they run out faster, and you’ll need to replace them halfway through the job anyway.
However, replacing the shoes in the middle of grinding affects the final finish of the concrete surface.
Understanding dust Extraction
Concrete grinding creates a significant amount of concrete dust during operation. Your grinder comes with a dust extractor, but you’ll also need to make use of respirator equipment to avoid breathing in the dust while you work.
If you want to avoid dust getting into other areas while you work, install zip-walls to contain the dust to your working area. While grinding a 1,000 square metre floor, you can expect to create almost 500kg of concrete dust.
Plugs and Handle Positioning
Most grinding machines come with adjustable controls and handles. You get three settings you need to be aware of when using the grinder.
- The tooling position – This setting makes it easy to tilt the grinder for replacing the pads.
- The operating position – This position is adjustable for user height, and it’s the setting you use to run the machine.
- Storage and lifting position – Setting the grinder on this position makes it easy to lift and store.
Concrete Grinder Operating Tips
- Check the machines plug attachment and make sure you have the right plug for the job.
- Adjust the handle to the operating position and set it at your height.
- Check the vacuum hose for collecting dust.
- Tilt the machine back slightly before you turn it on.
- Press the start button.
- Grind until you finish the job.
- Most machines have an overload switch that trips the power to the machine if it starts to overheat. If this situation occurs, leave the grinder to cool before starting it up again and finishing the job.