Epoxy coatings provide a protective layer that is aesthetically appealing and durable. In some cases, property owners may apply a few millimeters on existing floors or an entire screed. In the latter case, it may be necessary to mix the screed with quartz sands to increase the mechanical resistance of the floor. To understand how to remove epoxy floor coating for concrete floors, you should familiarize yourself with the installation process and the materials involved. The laying of epoxy resins is time-consuming as it takes about a week to settle. However, the results are usually impressive.
Meanwhile, under certain circumstances, the epoxy coating may be removed. The undertaking presents a considerable challenge because the resins bind with the surfaces of the concrete. Also, if the application of the epoxy coating is improper, the removal process will require the involvement of an experienced professional.
The removal process
If the work is done by a skilled professional, it will be completed faster. However, with patience, you can follow a few steps and remove the coating.
To remove the old coating, there are a few options :
the sander is one of them but it can damage the liner or even leave lines passing through the floor surface. The most recommended option is to use a tungsten blade scraper or industrial grinder.
Even though it is a safer solution, certain precautions must be taken to avoid scratching adjacent surfaces. Alternatively, you can buy a solvent or stripper, which simplifies the process but generates a significant amount of fumes and heat.
Using the solvent
To achieve the best results with the solvent, you should buy a stripper that is specially designed to remove the epoxy resin. Also, dilute the product according to specific guidelines before applying it evenly using a mop. Make swirling motions to ensure adequate coverage of the entire floor.
Since the solvent generates substantial heat and fumes, you should ensure that the ventilation system is working properly. Additionally, cover your skin during the entire process and avoid direct contact with the chemicals. Puddles will appear on the floor as the coating dissolves. Once the coating begins pulling away from the concrete surface, you can scrape the dissolved resins. The scraper should have a long handle. Pour some water onto the surface to aid the removal of the coating residue. To achieve the best results, you may need to repeat the process.
Using a grinder or sander
A light floor sander or grinder can handle the removal of epoxy flooring. You may need to enlist the help of a skilled contractor to perform the task. The project needs delicate handling to avoid damaging the concrete. Epoxy floors can prove difficult to remove since they are resistant to wear and tear.
To maximize safety, wear protective gloves and glasses as the sanding and grinding generate a considerable amount of debris and dust. Use a grinder or shot blaster to strip areas of the floor with the epoxy coating. A sander is more effective when working on a thin layer of resin.
To ensure that the surface looks even, always grind in one direction. Remove the dust and debris from the working area as you move. Once you have removed all the epoxy resin from the surface, thoroughly clean the entire floor. You should spray water and clean with a broom or mop.
The floor should be free of dust and debris after completing the stripping. The concrete surfaces require acid etching in preparation for the re-coating process. Combine a water solution and muriatic acid to etch the floor. You can apply the solution by gently spraying the sanded areas.
Allow the acidic solution to sink into the concrete before rinsing with water. Once rinsing is complete, let the concrete surface dry for approximately 16 hours. A close inspection of the floor is a vital step that enables you to identify the appearance of any cracks. You may need to repeat cleaning or acid etching in some areas of the floor.