3 Do-It-Yourself Options for Removing an Epoxy Coating from Concrete

updated
September 7, 2022
failed epoxy
Contributors

It is possible to remove epoxy flooring as a homeowner, but please know that we do not encourage this and we highly recommend you do extensive research upon deciding to take on a project like this yourself. Webfoot Concrete Coatings does not assume any liability, nor does any of its partners or affiliates, in the event that a homeowner experiences any accident or any life-altering consequences due to improper use of any chemical or machinery.

If you desire to remove the epoxy coating yourself, it is possible with some serious elbow grease and harsh chemicals. Removal may be required if you need to get rid of the old coating and apply a new one, or if the concrete underneath needs to be repaired. This process involves hours of scraping the epoxy away with metal scrapers or an industrial grade concrete grinder. One of the following methods will be needed:

1. ) Using an Acid to Remove an Epoxy Coating:

This method requires soaking the floor for extended periods of time or overnight. Among others, these are some of the different types of acids that can aid in removal:

  • Sulfuric acid
  • Muriatic acid
  • Toluene

These chemicals require ventilation and the proper use of personal protective equipment such as:

  • Rubber boots
  • Acid-resistant, protective gloves
  • Respirator with a filter to keep out fumes
  • Goggles to protect your eyes
  • Cap to cover your hair

You’ll need to mix a combination of chemicals to water, or use a method that allows you to heat the chemicals to a certain temperature to get them to penetrate and soften the epoxy. Some chemicals work better on smaller areas. Do some research and find out what the best approach may be for your particular coated space.

2. ) Using a Solvent to Remove an Epoxy Coating:

Alternatively, you can use solvents to remove epoxy coatings, but this method requires more work and time to achieve success. Paint thinners can be used but acetone produces the best results. You’ll need to start by scraping the flooring and removing as much of the epoxy as possible by hand. Afterward, you’ll be able to apply the solvent and work your way through the epoxy little by little. Removal by solvent may require several applications to achieve good results.

3.) Using a Concrete Floor Grinder Machine to Remove an Epoxy Coating:

You can use floor grinders to remove epoxy coatings more easily. These machines are extremely expensive so renting one will probably be your best bet. You will also want to read the directions carefully, concrete services are not indestructible and you don’t want to damage your surfaces by overgrinding. You can use a handheld tool with diamond grinding accessories in order to get into corners or edges.

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