FAQ about Skate Deterrents
The following are commonly asked questions regarding skate deterrents. Our answers are based on our own installation experience (more than 10,000 parts over the past ten years) and our shared experiences with many of our customers (who have installed hundreds of thousands of parts).
NOTE: Although some answers refer to specific brands of tools, the manufacturers are not sponsoring an endorsement (we simply have found that they offer the best product for what we do). If you have a product or technique that you would like to share with others, we are happy to act as the conduit.
What is the black residue left behind?
Believe it or not, skaters and bikers use wax and motor oil to minimize friction for their respective stunts. When the wax gets warm, it gets sticky and picks up ambient particles. In the summer months, the wax becomes liquefied and it is absorbed by the concrete, leaving permanent staining.
How can I clean the wax/oil?
The most cost effective way of cleaning is to use heated, high pressure water - this will generally cost between $150-$700 (depending in the linear footage). If you are planning on high pressure cleaning, be sure that the equipment heats the water (approx. 200 degrees). Heated water helps break down the wax better than cold water alone.
On factory installed jobs, we generally use a grinder with a masonry wheel to cut through the wax and/or paint (we only clean the area to which we are bonding). We have the site cleaned after we have installed product.
Some customers have reported using a torch to burn the wax, but this is labor intensive, and if done incorrectly, torching the concrete can lead to spalling (you will break the concrete).
Other customers have had their concrete sand blasted. This is an effective cleaning method, but it is labor intensive. Contrary to belief, this will not remove all stains (the concrete is porous and will pull the stain in, and sand blasting is only cleaning the surface).
Do not use a wire brush or a grinder with a wire wheel for cleaning - this generally yields poor results. Even if you operate the wire wheel at high speed, you will only smear the wax around the surface.
Do I need to clean my walls before applying product?
Parts are secured with anchors and adhesive (included in your kit). In order to optimize bonding, the area will need to be cleaned. Major clean-up of the site may be performed after installation as long as the area to which product will be attached is cleaned (in some cases, a hand grinder, [with a masonry wheel], can be used to clean the surface for bonding). See last question.
How do I repair broken edges?
Unfortunately, worn or broken concrete cannot be fixed at the edge. We have tried many repair products and we have found that most will crack and break out with changes in whether. Furthermore, most do not look like natural concrete. The best product we have seen for significant repairs (fist size) is a product by Hilti (RM 700 EP) - this product is a blend of epoxy and Portland cement. If your edges are severely worn and broken, consider having a chamfer cut into the corner (45 cut off the corner). A chamfer is an excellent shape for maintaining integrity of edge, and in most cases, the chamfer cut will remove all broken/worn evidence.
For granite, stone, marble and other exotic substrates, the damage is irreparable. Most of our customer who sustain damage on their granite spend tens of thousands of dollars in replacement costs.
How long does it take to install product?
Generally, parts can be installed at a rate of 6-10 pieces per man hour, including set-up, minor hand grinding, and clean-up (6-8/hr for Smart Pin and 8-10/hr for Spiral Drive or Carriage Assembly fasteners). Remember, parts are installed with a combination of adhesive and mechanical anchors, so you will be drilling holes in your substrate (concrete, steel handrail, granite, fiberglass, aluminum, etc.).
How do I drill in concrete, granite, stone and other substrates?
Concrete: Typically, drilling in concrete is best performed with a roto-hammer drill. If you have a "hammer" drill that has a chuck similar to most drills (takes drill bits with a smooth shank), you can drill in concrete with it. However, for the best results, you should use a "roto-hammer" drill (takes drill bits with an SDS shank). A true "roto-hammer" drill has a special locking chuck that allows the drill bit to chisel during the drilling function. Drilling time with a "roto- hammer" drill is about 15 seconds and a quality drill bit will last hundreds of holes. On the other hand, drilling time with a "hammer" drill will generally be longer (1-1/2 - 5 times longer). More importantly, with a "hammer drill" you will burn up the best of drill bits in about 10-40 holes (some drills are better than others). If you will be working on a large scale project and you do not have a "roto-hammer" drill, make arrangements to rent one from your local yard (it will pay).
Granite, tile, marble, stone or any other brittle substrate: Consider hiring a qualified contractor for these types of substrates. If you use a roto-hammer drill or other inappropriate drill, you will likely crack the substrate. We recommend a coring drill. This drill is water cooled and uses diamond tipped drill bits. Since the drill bit spins at 6000 RPM, it leaves a clean hole with little or no risk at cracking or chipping the substrate.
A NOTE ON DRILL BITS - Some of our kits may include masonry drill bits (depending on the dealer). If you are purchasing a drill bit for masonry, be sure that is has a carbide tip (a steel tip will last for 1-2 holes max. and is a waste of your time and money).
Why are there Applicator Guns on my price list?
We have our adhesive formulated specifically to give us characteristics that we want (hold on a vertical surface, quick set time, elasticity, etc.). This two-part adhesive is included in your kit (it is packaged in tubes of 50ml or 400ml). 20 pc kits are generally packaged with 50ml adhesive, which requires an adaptor (CCK) for your caulking gun in order to be dispensed (one "CCK" is included in your kit at no charge). On orders of 60 pcs or more, the kit is packed with 400ml tubes of adhesive. This tube requires an adhesive applicator gun (APP400).
Although our 400ml tubes are industrial standard type tubes, you will not find the applicator at your local hardware store - you would need to go to an industrial adhesive distributor and you should expect to pay at least as much as we offer the applicator for.
Once you purchase an applicator gun, you need not purchase another (it may be used over and over again). Some orders (250 pcs or more will include the applicator gun), and in some cases, you may be able to make arrangements for a "loaner" gun at no charge.
Why are there drill bits on my price list?
The Spiral Drive fastener that we use for concrete requires a metric sized drill bit (Metric #6). The Smart Pin fastener requires a 3/8" drill bit. Some kits may include a drill bit. If your order does not include the drill bit or if you need extra drill bits, you will need to purchase them. We offer them as a service to you so that your installation is not held up while you attempt to locate the appropriate drill bit (the metric #6 is very difficult to find).
Can I install in cold weather?
• Cold temperatures (30-50F) will slow down the set and cure times of our adhesive, but you may still install. We advise customers that are installing in colder whether to be sure that the adhesives are not cold soaked (do not let the material set in the ambient such that it becomes the same temperature as the environment). Practically speaking, you need simply store the adhesive in a warm environment until it is ready for use. If the material is cold soaked, it will be very difficult to dispense from the tubes (warming the material to about 80 degree F makes it easy to dispense). Do not install product if the substrate is wet (regardless of temperature).
If there is a question that we have failed to answer, please contact us and we will be happy to answer it for you.