How to Remove Epoxy Paint from Concrete
Concrete is a porous substance and is often sealed by using epoxy paint. The epoxy paint will prevent moisture and insects from affecting the concrete. Epoxy is very difficult to remove. Nonetheless, with the right tools and a little elbow grease you should be able to get rid of the epoxy paint as quickly as possible. Epoxy can be dissolved using various chemicals and sufficient determination.
Step 1 - Be Safe
To complete this task successfully you will need to use solvents. Solvents are a toxic chemical and need to be treated with respect. Never attempt this task unless you have a filter mask. This mask must always be worn during treatment, and a pair of rubber gloves are also extremely useful. If any of the chemicals get into your eyes then you must rinse them with plenty of clean water and seek urgent medical attention. Take the solvent container with you so the doctors know how to treat you.
Step 2 - Mop the Floor
Start by mopping the floor with clean water. This will help to get rid of any debris left on the floor. It will also help remove any oil or chemicals that have fallen onto the concrete. It's important to get all of the debris off before you start, because otherwise this process will be even messier.
Step 3 - Mix the Stripper
Read the directions on the stripper or solvent bottle and mix it with the recommended amount of clean, cold water. Normally, you will be adding 1 part solvent to 10 parts water. Clean your mop the best you can by rinsing it out a few times.
Step 4 - Mop with Solvent
Solvents can be hazardous materials, as they will generate heat and some harmful fumes. Make sure that you open the windows or use fans to remove the fumes, and stop if you feel strange. Start mopping the floor with your solvent solution. Work in slow circular motions, taking your time as you go. The chemicals will come into contract with the epoxy, which will cause the epoxy paint to come away from the floor. It will start to pool together. Make sure you carry on mopping until all of the epoxy has come off the floor.
Step 5 - Remove Epoxy
Once the epoxy paint has come away from the floor you can now remove the epoxy paint by scraping it up. Throw this away and then clean your mop again using plenty of fresh water. Mop the whole floor again with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals. Allow the floor to dry before doing anything else. To speed up the process you can use a large fan.
Step 6 - Repeat
It may be necessary to repeat the process several times before you will be able to get rid of all the epoxy paint from the surface of the concrete. Once you've finished, put the solvents back where they belong, well out of the reach of children.