Concrete Surface Preparation / Water Blasting


Surface preparation is the process by which sound, clean and suitably roughened surfaces are produced on concrete substrates. This process includes the removal of unsound concrete and bond-inhibiting films, strength verification, opening the pore structure, and establishing profiles suitable for the application of the specified protective system. All of the ICRI Concrete Surface Profiles (CSP) are attainable with High or Ultra High Water jetting.


Most coating or sealing projects will have unique conditions and special requirements that must be evaluated to determine which method(s) will best meet the engineers’ and owners’ objectives.

surface prep concrete pillar
surface prep of concrete pillar, perfect aggregate exposure

HPC uses the following list to aid the selection process and ensure meeting the coating chosen individual requirements.

  1. Substrate condition: The strength of the substrate and the presence of unsound or bond-inhibiting materials help define the nature and volume of preparation needed.
  2. Owner requirements: Noise, vibration, dust, and water are effects generated by various preparation methods.  The owner’s need for uninterrupted use of the structure, concerns about operating environment or property damage potential will limit the choices.
  4. Material requirements: Surface preparation requirement will vary with the protective coating system selected.  The properties and application requirements of the selected system should be determined before or during this phase.
  6. Application conditions: Generation of dust, slurries, or water may require containment and safe disposal. Mechanical ventilation, available power sources, the size of door openings, and minimum clearance will affect surface preparation decisions.

In addition to the project specific requirements listed above the following must be adhered to as principles of sound practice:

  1. Given healthy substrate, the structure to be coated should not be damaged.
  2. The reinforcing steel should not be damaged nor its bond with the concrete loosened.
  3. Vibration, impact, or thermal loads applied should not weaken the concrete. The water jetting process improves the application of new coatings as there is no microfracturing of sound concrete leaving only rough irregular profile with protruding aggregate and the final surface is excellent for creating a mechanical bond

HPC has water jetting equipment to handle pressures from 5,000 to 40,000psi at varying gpm (gallons per minute). Suitable pressures allow the removal of virtually all coatings from concrete surfaces as well as laitance, efflorescence, scale, dirt or other water soluble contaminants. We have equipment and operators with the experience to handle horizontal, vertical and overhead applications. HPC also offers water jetting with full vacuum recovery as well on horizontal surfaces.  Surface profile of durable concrete may remain unaffected by water jetting. Pressure and nozzle tips may be adjusted to produce the desired profile. Using high or ultra-high pressures on low-strength or deteriorated surfaces will produce a much more aggressive profile as surface defects are removed.


surface prep of boat
surface prep of boat
surface prep of a "small" boat


surface prep work being done, column at reservoir for City of San Francisco
columns at reservoir for City of San Francisco
surface prep work being done; columns at Sunset Reservoir for City of San Francisco


surface prep work, Prado Dam
surface prep work with spin jet
surface prep work, Prado Dam
surface prep on Prado Dam with light weight spin jet


surface prep with ceiling cleaner in action
surface prep with ceiling cleaner in action
action photo of gun work
action photo of gun work
Coating Removal – Hydrodemolition can be used for the removal of epoxy compounds, urethane, hot applied membrane, and other coatings from concrete surfaces.


coating removal
coating removal using a spinning, multi-nozzle spray head


surface prep work, aluminum
surface prep work, aluminum
surface prep of aluminum


surface prep work, aluminum
surface prep, boatyard
surface prep of boat yard work



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