Garage floor coatings are designed to protect concrete and cement and extend their lifetimes, but what if something happens to the coating itself? Is it possible to remove a garage floor coating? Would you ever want to? Could a new coating be applied? We address all these questions and more below.
The Purpose of Garage Floor Coatings
Garage floor coatings keep moisture, mold, and mechanical force from damaging concrete or cement floors. They come in a variety of materials, including epoxy and vinyl. They are applied evenly to serve as durable protective barriers that are also visually appealing. In addition to the impressive results such floors provide, they also improve the value of a home. Surely you’d never want to remove them from the floor, right?
Why Would You Want to Remove a Garage Floor Coating?
Eh, not quite right actually. Under certain circumstances, epoxy coating may need to be removed for structural reasons or simply because of differences in preference. If a floor coating is applied incorrectly, especially as a DIY project, it will need to be removed before concrete below sustains damage.
Floor coating installation is also a highly personalized process, and homeowners have their choice of material, color, and depth. However, if a new owner doesn’t share the previous one’s preferences, he or she may choose to remove a garage floor coating in order to reapply one that better suits their vision.
While there are good reasons to do it, removing a garage floor coating is no small project. The coatings are designed to hold up well under pressure, and they are meant to last. A professional team can remove your floor coating without damaging the concrete underneath. In fact, if there are flaws in the original installation, a professional should perform the removal. When done properly, removing a garage floor coating can actually extend the life of your concrete and improve the look of your space.
Removing Garage Floor Coatings
Garage floor coatings bind to the concrete they protect, so removing them is not just a matter of wiping them off. The process takes a lot of time and energy, especially if you have a large room to cover. However, it is possible to remove a garage floor coating with the right chemicals and tools. If you really want to save yourself time and energy and make sure the job is done correctly, we recommend professional floor coating removal.
Chemically Eat Away the Coating
If you want to remove a garage floor coating by chemically dissolving it, it’s all a matter of choosing the right solvent, and that choice is determined by the kind of floor coating you have. Make sure that when you prepare your solvent you follow all the dilution instructions correctly. Doing so can minimize the risk of injury or damage to the floor.
Apply the solvent with a mop, swirling the diluted solution around the floor to ensure even and adequate coverage. The corrosive solvents will eat away at epoxy coating, causing it to pull away from the concrete below. Once this happens, you can scrape away at the residue with a long handled scraper with a tungsten blade.
You will probably need to repeat the process a few times to make sure all of the epoxy coating is removed completely. The chemical reaction that takes place generates a lot of heat and noxious fumes. Wear appropriate protective gear during its application and clean-up so the solvent never comes into contact with your skin or eyes.
Physically Grind Away the Coating
You can also remove a garage floor coating by physically grinding it away. Floor grinders are machines that operate in the same way a sander does, though they are designed to cut through tougher materials with diamond grinding pads. The grit rating for the grinder’s pads will vary depending on how deeply you want to cut into the coating. For example, grit values between 20 and 80 are better for drilling deeply into floor coatings, while finer ratings closer to 100 are better for detail work and smoothing.
Take care when using a grinder to remove a garage floor coating so you don’t damage the concrete underneath. Always grind in one direction to ensure that the surface looks even and clear away dust and debris as you go. As with using corrosive solvents, it is critical to wear protective clothing when using a grinder or shot blaster to protect your eyes and lungs.
Restoring a Garage Floor Coating
Once a garage floor coating has been removed and the floor has been immaculately cleaned, another coating can be applied. This is a nuanced process that may require etching the concrete floor with etching. For the best result, engage a professional contractor to prepare your floor and recoat your garage floor.