Even resilient epoxy flooring will eventually need to be repaired or replaced over time. Either way, you might need to take steps to remove the old epoxy flooring before you move forward with repairing or replacing it. This is generally a fairly labor-intensive process. Since the epoxy bonds with the concrete beneath, it can take a lot of effort to remove. But it can be achieved by the average person willing to put in the work.
There are two main ways to remove epoxy flooring: with a stripping solution or a sander.
One way to remove epoxy flooring is to use a stripping solution or solvent. This is a method used to chemically remove the product and break down its bond with the concrete slab under it. Here’s an outline of how to do it:
- Determine what kind of stripping solution you’ll need. This will depend on the type of epoxy flooring you have. For example, water-based needs a different kind of stripping solution than solvent-based flooring.
- Next, it’s time to prepare the space. Vacuum or sweep up all the dirt and dust on the floor. Open up windows or doors for proper circulation. You also might want to put on rubber gloves, eye protection, and a painter's mask
- Now it’s time to apply the stripping solution. Using a fiber mop, apply the solution starting from the farthest corner of the room, working your way to the exit doorway. Be sure to evenly distribute the solution across the floor.
- Now you wait! Seal off the room and let the solution get to work. Leave it to soak in for at least 24 hours or however long the stripping solution container recommends.
- Once the solution has an adequate amount of time to soak, it’s time to scrape away the old layer of epoxy. Take a long-handled metal scraper and peel up the loosened epoxy. Discard the old epoxy safely.
- If there are any stubborn pieces of epoxy lingering behind, reapply and repeat the previous steps.
- Once all the epoxy is lifted, rinse the floor with cool water and use a shop-vac to vacuum it up. Dry out completely before attempting to install new flooring.
Grinder or Sander
Another method you can use is grinding or sanding off thinner layers of epoxy. We recommend that you leave this to the professional as you can easily damage the concrete if you don’t know what you’re doing. But if you have the skillset and the materials to put this method off, here are the step you can follow to use a grinder or sander to remove epoxy flooring:
- Put on gloves, eye protection, and a painter’s mask.
- Using a light floor sander, grinder, or shot blaster, slowly strip away the epoxy coating. Be sure to grind in one direction rather than in a circular motion so you can remove it in even layers.
- Clear away dust with a shop-vac as you work your way through the room
- Once the epoxy flooring is completely removed, remove all dirt and dust and clean with cold water.
- Let the floor dry out completely. You will likely have to re-etch the flooring with acid before applying new epoxy flooring.
Get Professional Help
It’s understandable if you don’t want to put in the time and effort to remove your epoxy flooring on your own. Both stripping and sanding are a long, tedious process. If you want assistance with taking off epoxy flooring, call on Epoxy Colorado. We are not only experts in applying beautiful flooring, but we also have extensive experience in repairing and replacing it too.
If you’re on the Colorado Front Range and you need assistance with your epoxy flooring, reach out to us! We would be happy to give you a free estimate!