How to remove concrete sealer from stamped concrete
Stamped concrete, also known as stampcrete is one of the great home styling options as it gives the impression of a stone, tile, brick or even wood, all the while being cheaper than them. Many people choose this style of concrete in their patio or outside garden for a more aesthetically pleasing look. However, the problem with this is that after about 2 to 5 years, the sealer gets old, changes its color and starts flaking off, giving the stamped concrete a very old and unfinished look. The sealer is the material which provides the overall finished look to the stamped concrete and hence makes it look new by preventing staining from UV rays or general toxins. It does however get worn off in time which is why you will need to remove it and apply a new layer.
Today, I will be giving a basic how to on removing a concrete sealer from stamped concrete.
Types of sealers:
There are basically two types of sealers, water based concrete sealer and a solvent based acrylic sealer. Both have different ways to remove them.
There are many commercial Strip It solutions which you can use as they are prepared formulas but for basic guidance, a water based sealer gets off with a commercial solution or you can use acid in which case, you have to neutralize it with a base afterwards. You can also flake away all the sealer by hand.
In case of a solvent based acrylic sealer you can use xylene, but only if the sealer was not dyed. A solvent based stripper will also work just fine.
How to find which sealer it is?
So, generally out of these two sealers you can find out which one you are working with y just asking the person who did it in the first place. In case that’s not an option you can try putting xylene on the floor. If the floor becomes sticky then its solvent based acrylic sealer, whereas if the floor remains tacky then it’s a water based sealer.
Generally after all the sealer has been scooped out, you need to clean the concrete perfectly. The most proper way is to use a cleaning solution by a brand if you are working with an indoor area and use a rotary scrubber to clean it out. But if it’s outdoor and you have the resources available then you can use pressure water cleaning to really get out the dirt and mold sitting in the crevices of the stamped concrete.
There are some rules to look out for in case of resealing the floor. If you want to skip the hassle of cleaning the floor you can easily re-seal on top of the previous sealer only after cleaning the floor thoroughly with pressure water wash. But the trick is that you can only use the type of previous sealer you used. This means you can only use water based sealer on top on a concrete previously sealed with water sealer and only use solvent based sealer on top of previously solvent sealed concrete. If you decide to use the opposite type then you will have to remove the previous one and then lay down the new one.
Is there any caution we need to look out for before beginning?
Once you have laid down the stripper solution and started to incorporate it into the floor with a rotary scrubber, the floor will start to get really slippery. Make sure you wear appropriate shoes like rain boots and maintain your balance on the floor.
Why is it necessary to scoop out all the stripper-sealer gel?
It may seem like a hard job, but it is crucial you clean out every bit of the gel as it is a hazard to the plant life and very destructive if left in the garden.
Is re-sealing the floor important?
Yes. As concrete is porous it will not do well in an outdoor environment. Sealing it protects it from toxins, snow, and the UV rays of the sun. You can seal with the two types of sealer mentioned earlier or even with acrylic–resin sealers, epoxies and urethanes.
Do you have to apply sealer to wet floor?
No. Even though it is crucial to keep the floor wet when stripping off the sealer, once you have taken it all out and pressure washed it, you will let the floors dry completely before putting new sealer on. You also have to make sure to lay down very thin layer of the new sealer as thinner the better.
Sometimes the best solution is to hire a reliable concrete contractor for your Concrete projects. If you are searching for stamped concrete contractors near me in the Syracuse area, call us today at (315) 201-5795 for a free consultation and estimate.