- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 02 May 2018
Scabbling in construction
Traditionally, the term ‘scabbling’ or ‘scappling’ referred to the use of axes or hammers to shape a stone. It now generally refers to the process of removing a thin layer from the surface of concrete or sometimes masonry.
This can be necessary in order to:
- Roughen surfaces to give better grip.
- Create decorative effects.
- Prepare surfaces for repairs, grouting, painting, sealing or coating.
- Remove adhesives, coatings, markings, laitence or surface contamination.
- Level surfaces.
- Reduce levels.
Typically, scabbling is carried out with pneumatic devices that pound the surface with pointed rods. However, rotary devices that ‘flail’ the surface may also be used, and more recently, water Jet techniques using high-pressure water.
Scabbling concrete or other construction materials can produce high levels of silica-containing dust. Silica dust (known as Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)) can be inhaled and can lead to silicosis, a lung disease that causes permanent disablement and early death. As a consequence, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) categorise scabbling as high risk. Effective control is necessary, involving assessment, prevention and controls such as on-tool extraction and Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
UK energy policy uncertainty as Welsh project put on hold
What collaborative working achieves and how it can be put in place.
BSRIA publishes the 2019 edition of its small but concise annual databook.
Using QSAND to measure the performance of disaster response.
What U-values are, why they matter and how they are calculated.
The need to ensure that we plan for all aspects of our bio-economy
BSRIA calls on government to reach deeper into the causes of pollution.
George Demetri brings a whole new level of technical knowledge to Designing Buildings Wiki.
Quality professionals need to take an active role in driving the completion process forwards.
The innovations needed to move from rhetoric to realisation.
Creating a sense of place, with radically-low running costs and the highest comfort levels.
A conversation between David Mitchell and Caitlin DeSilvey.
A quick guide to brick sizes.
The Union Street development in Southwark was a passion, as well as a business endeavour.