One of the best ways of protecting a concrete floor and cutting down on maintenance costs at the same time is applying an epoxy coating on the floor. The coating can also be applied to the driveway. An epoxy coating is resistant to abrasion, staining and water damage. It is also incredibly durable and looks great on the floor especially when tinted. Epoxy coating is usually made by mixing epoxy resin with an epoxy hardener.
Usually, an electric mixer is used for this purpose. After mixing, the epoxy has around 40 minutes or less before it hardens, so you need to work fast.
How to Remove Epoxy Floor Coating
The qualities that make epoxy floor coating useful also make it difficult to remove. If you want to renovate the driveway, garage floor or carry out repairs, you will need to remove the epoxy floor coating first. This can be a difficult and potentially risky process, so you need to take the necessary safety precautions.
How to Keep Yourself Safe
It is important you wear protective clothing, rubber gloves and rubber boots when working to remove epoxy coating from your floor. In addition to that, you must put on safety goggles, a cap and open both windows and doors to keep the area well-ventilated.
Method 1: Using Solvents
Epoxy coating is the product of a chemical reaction that occurs when epoxy resin and epoxy hardener are mixed. Therefore, chemical solvents can be used to remove the coating from your concrete surfaces. It is important to note, however, that this approach takes time and requires a lot of work on your part. Start by removing as much epoxy coating as possible using a scrapper blade or any other tool that can help with the process. Next, apply lacquer thinner sparingly onto the epoxy coating. Alternatively, you can apply acetone generously to the floor to remove the epoxy coating. The latter is known to produce the best results. Try to scrap as much epoxy from the floor as you can before you apply the solvent and repeat the process over and over again until you are done. Clean the solvent off the floor by applying water at high pressure.
Method 2: Acid Wash
When dealing with acids or other corrosive chemicals, you should always take all the necessary safety precautions. Add 12 ounces of muriatic acid to one gallon of water and apply the mixture to the epoxy coating using a scrubbing brush. Let it soak for 15 minutes before sprinkling baking soda to the surface to neutralize the acid. Pressure-wash the floor to remove the acid wash, epoxy, excess baking soda any other by-product. If there is still some epoxy on the floor, repeat the process until the floor is clear of any epoxy.
Method 3: Using Floor Grinders
Floor grinders are incredibly effective in removing epoxy coatings from floors. You can rent one easily from a local equipment hire company. Be sure to choose grinders with diamond or carbide-tipped blades to effectively get rid of the epoxy. You may also need to use a hand-held rotary tool to remove epoxy from corners, edges and other hard to reach areas. Once you are done, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the epoxy coating debris from the floor.
If you are not comfortable working with power tools or dangerous chemicals, you should consider hiring a professional to help you out. Only licensed contractors with sufficient liability protection should be given any consideration. Remember to also compare the experiences of the top-rated contractors to identify the most competent service provider. Ideally, you should not be in a rush to commit yourself.
Proper disposal of chemicals is necessary. Once you have removed the epoxy coating from the floor, you need to throw the debris in the hazardous waste container for proper disposal. When you hire a licensed contractor to remove the epoxy floor coating, you will not need to worry about waste disposal.