Concrete coating removal is the process of stripping a concrete surface of its existing coating. It is done as a concrete coating preparation or to repair the damaged concrete surface. This can be done in outdoor projects or in indoor spaces. Concrete coatings can be removed mechanically or chemically depending on the coating material and limitations in job-site, material and expertise.
While preparing a concrete coating can be done to bare surfaces, it can also be done to concrete surfaces with an existing coating. This is why it was mentioned earlier that removal of concrete coating can be done to prepare a concrete surface. The similarities between the two involve clearing the concrete surface of any coating, dirt or residue. This ensures that the coating will adhere effectively to the substrate.
Why remove an existing coating?
Removing concrete coating is a service usually acquired by those seeking to remodel or repair their concrete floors. Those seeking the former don’t need much explanation. After all, you’re entitled to make the necessary improvements that will benefit you and your concrete space. Those who seek to make repairs are probably encountering coating problems that need to be whipped into shape.
Coating problems can arise as it naturally wears down over time. Other causes of coating problems are inadequate surface preparation and high moisture content in concrete. When this happens, the bond that adheres the coating to the concrete can weaken. This causing scaling, frosting and blushing to appear on the surface. These unsightly flaws are the reasons why coating problems are one of the leading concerns that decorative concrete contractors are asked to address.
How It’s Done: Preparation & Removal
Concrete coatings can be removed either through a chemical or mechanical process. This is done to properly prepare the substrate for a new coating application.
Mechanical Stripping – Removal techniques in mechanical stripping are done using physical abrasives. Techniques include, shotblasting, scarification, and diamond grinding or sanding. These stripping techniques are aggressive and are preferred by those who want to expose the concrete aggregate.
However, risks include damaging or altering the concrete surface making it uneven and causing it to appear through a new coating. It is ideal for a textured effect that goes with concrete staining. The textured effect is also ideal for decorative applications such as overlays, epoxies, thick coatings, and polished concrete.
Chemical Stripping – Coatings can be stripped off by using aggressive chemical abrasives that dissolve the coating film or break down the bond between the coating and substrate. Methylene chloride is a popular chemical abrasive that is highly effective in removing layers of coating in one application. However, it is known for being a high-level environmental pollutant and emitting highly toxic fumes.
Biochemical strippers are a more eco-friendly choice because it is derived from raw materials that do minimal damage to the environment. It is an excellent choice for those who want to make a conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint. The downside to this is that industrial strength coatings like epoxy and polyurea polyaspartic may take multiple applications to be effectively removed.
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