Whether you’re talking about excessive UV exposure outside, poor ventilation inside, or issues with maintaining a consistent temperature for bonding, there are a plethora of potential influences that can affect the final outcome of your work. While the goals remain the same, the approach to preparing surfaces for exterior projects vs. interior projects can vary in big ways.

At Runyon Surface Prep, we offer a wide range of equipment and accessories necessary for all things surface preparation. We’ve put together this post to help you get an idea of common differences between indoor and outdoor surface prep projects so you can be better prepared going forward.

Indoor Must-Have Equipment

Working indoors may limit your options and affect your set-up in some respects, but that doesn’t mean you’re without help. 

When in Doubt, Stick to Electricity

An underappreciated beauty of modern industrial equipment is the choice of power source. There are numerous benefits between gas, electric, and propane-powered equipment. Each type shares its own unique qualities and brings perks to every job.

Note that while space and ventilation play a big part in this discussion when you’re working indoors, you may want to err on the side of electric-powered surface prep equipment. It can be tempting to use a device that’s independent of a power cord, but between carbon monoxide poisoning and other potential hazards, electricity is simply the safest option. Besides, you may be surprised by the extent of movement you get out of these modern machines.

Dust Extractors

Especially if you’re dry polishing concrete floors, you’ll want an efficient dust collection (complete with HEPA filters) set-up to ensure you and your workers are safe from inhalation of crystalline silica and other harmful particles. Whether you go with a heavy-duty continuous extractor or a portable industrial vacuum will likely depend on the size of your space and the extent of the project.

A large warehouse job using multiple onsite workers ‘round the clock will likely require the purchase or rental of an industrial dust extractor and, sometimes, the acquisition of additional extraction methods to complement it.

Of course, by highlighting these necessities for indoor work, we don’t mean to imply that outdoor dust extraction isn’t necessary. Proper safety measures should still be taken when producing hazardous dust whether the job is inside or outside. Refer to your industry standards and CDC guidelines for additional information.

Outdoor Must-Have Equipment

As you may expect, outdoor surface prep work comes with fewer limitations and therefore provides ample opportunity for personal preference – especially regarding power-sources.

Liquid Gas or Propane = Versatility

At Runyon, we pride ourselves on our propane-powered products. Some significant machines available with propane-powered motors include (but aren’t limited to) grinders, burnishers, dust extractors, power trowels, and floor scrapers.

Whether you’re working on an outdoor, public recreation space or preparing the exterior of a commercial property, gas and propane equipment give you the versatility you need to cover the surface work in a timely manner. What’s more, when you go with one of these power options you limit your need for setting up and are more likely to get started upon arrival. In other words, there’s no need to seek out the necessary power source or track down an electrician.

And if you really want to get working quickly, covering vast amounts of space in the quickest time, ride-on machines like the propane-powered trowel are your best bet.

What Concrete Coating Is Best for Indoor vs. Outdoor Surface Prep?

Moisture and temperature are going to be the biggest influences in the coating installation step. Where outdoor equipment catalogs are more vast than indoor, the opposite is true for coatings. You’ll find you have more options coating surfaces indoors due to external factors.

Epoxy floor coatings aren’t the best choice for outdoor work. That’s not to say these coatings are incapable of a complete, strong bond and shine when applied in exterior projects. Rather, epoxy doesn’t hold up very well against moisture-laden environments (indeed, few coating options do). But most importantly, harsher climates will result in a longer drying and curing process for epoxy coatings.

When working outdoors, polyaspartic coating products are a solid choice for a quick dry in harsher climates. This option bears many of the same perks as epoxy coatings—style options and durability, for example—but with added benefits. These coatings can cure in as quickly as an hour, they are especially UV resistant, and they don’t give off nasty odors.

Connect With Us to Learn More

We are a full-service rental and sales facility that operates out of Indiana and California and ships internationally. You’ll find our catalog has a variety of necessities for every step of the concrete surface coating process. Unsure what you need or curious to learn more? Use the online contact form or give us a call today.