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How to acid etch concrete

Concrete lasts for an incredibly long period of time, especially when it is properly treated soon after it has been mixed, poured, and cured. Protected by a concrete sealer, concrete can withstand the elements, freeze/thaw cycles, UV damage, abrasions, water damage, and the myriad forms of wear that accumulate over time. However, concrete sealers do not last indefinitely unless you have opted to use a penetrating sealer. As these sealers actually strengthen the concrete by changing its chemical make-up, penetrating sealers do not need to be reapplied.

Surface sealers, on the other hand, need periodic reapplication, though that will depend on your particular concrete project. Some, like epoxies, will last longer than others, like acrylics; water-based sealers will typically not last as long as solvent-based offerings. Before you can reapply a sealer, however, it is important that remove all the last vestiges of the old sealer in order to ensure maximum protection from the new application. As surface sealers bond to the surface of the concrete, the presence of old sealer can impede that adhesion process.

The easiest way to remove a concrete sealer is to begin by acid etching the surface of the concrete with muriatic acid. This process can be dangerous if you are unfamiliar with it; however, it is well within the ability of any ordinary homeowner, as long as the proper care is taken. To acid etch, you must first dilute the acid, which minimizes its potential danger. Then you must spray the concrete surface with the acid, scrubbing vigorously. Next, you have to neutralize the acid before washing down the concrete surface for a final time.

The acid etching process will remove the old concrete sealer completely from the concrete slab. In its place will stand a fresh slab of concrete ready for a new application of concrete sealer. Once the concrete has been acid etched, you need to let the slab dry completely before applying the new sealer. If the slab is wet, or if there is any sort of debris obstructing the surface, the new coat of sealer will not bond as well as it should, leaving your concrete open to potential problems. Once dry, you are now free to apply the new coat of concrete sealer, which should last you until you need to repeat the process all over again.

How to acid etch concrete

If you are an industrial user with a large area, then you may be better to consider mechanical preparation. However, for smaller areas / domestic users, an alternative method is with the use of an acid based solution – Polycote Etch IT

Acid Etching

Etch IT is a very low cost chemical method commonly used to treat concrete floors to remove laitance and provide a profile. The objective of acid etching is to dissolve the weak surface layer known as laitance and open the pores to allow penetration of the sealer coat.

How to acid etch concrete

  1. Should you wish to remove greases, oils, or other types of contaminants, these can be treated with Polycote Degrease IT prior to the etching procedure.
  2. Acid Etching will not be effective over release agents and/or most surface hardeners.
  3. In sensitive situations, the use of phosphoric acid (which is non-volatile) could be considered as an alternative to Etch IT – which is a hydrochloric acid. will be of no use whatsoever to a painted surface. It is only for use on bare concrete concrete and metal.

Pre-Dampen The Surface

Pre-dampen the surface with clean cold water taking care to remove any puddling areas or excess surface water. This dampening is only to remove the immediate suction of a dry surface as we do not want the acid soaking down into the substrate. The ‘treatment’ is only for the loose/friable material on the surface.

Diluting The Acid

Polycote Etch IT is a concentrated Hydrochloric Acid and should be diluted with water. The dilution ratio is normally 3 parts water to 1 part acid but can be both stronger or weaker, depending upon the quality / porosity of the concrete being treated.

  1. When mixing the water and acid together, it is important to add the acid to the water – NOT he water to the acid.
  2. Should there only be a weak reaction of the acid solution, or an absence of bubbles altogether, this can be an indication of:
  3. The presence of a surface hardener – which will prevent the reaction of the acid
  4. The solution being too weak / concrete too hard. Increase the quantity of acid solution to the water until there IS a reaction on the surface.

Application

Using a relatively stiff broom, the diluted acid should then be applied uniformly over the surface. The acid will bubble and/or ‘fizz’ for the following 3-5 minutes during which you can scrub the surface with the broom to help facilitate the etching process. The bubbling/fizzing reaction of the solution indicates that the etching is indeed strong enough and is completing its work.

Once etching is completed – and BEFORE the surface has dried, wash the area thoroughly with fresh cold water to help remove the surface dust / loose material and also to neutralize the surface.

Brush the water out of the door and depending upon local regulations, this can now be washed down the normal drainage system. By the time it has been sent down the drain, it should have been well neutralized by the amount of water used to wash the floor. However, should you wish to be absolutely sure then simply send a goodly quantity of fresh clean water down the drain with the use of a hose pipe.

Please note that if the surface DOES dry before this washing process, it can allow the formation of salts on the surface and once formed, these salts are difficult to remove!

Scrubber / Drier

Alternatively, the use of a mechanical scrubber / drier is good for removing the water and debris, although take care to thoroughly wash out after use to ensure there be no degradation to the rubber seals, etc.

Result:

Properly etched concrete will leave the surface hard and slightly textured. More importantly, the pores will now be opened and thereby allow the subsequent treatment/coating to penetrate well into the surface.

Important:

  1. Both hydrochloric and phosphoric acids are commonly used in the preparation of floors. However, please do use with care as they can cause burns to skin and the inhalation of acid fumes can also cause discomfort. Using the correct personal protection, your job can be completed quickly, easily and safely
  2. As the pores of the concrete are now open, please make sure the area is not used / contaminated prior to sealing the floor with your chosen coating.

FURTHER TECHNICAL HELP REQUIRED?

Thank you for your interest and we hope you have found the above information both interesting and helpful. However, should you still have be unsure as to the best solution for your needs, please don’t hesitate to ring our technical helpline now on 01234 846400. We have a fully qualified team ready to give practical advice and help assist you as much as possible.

Smart Seal pool paint and primers help make resurfacing easy!

NOTE: SMART SEAL makes no implied warranty of merchantability, no implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and no other warranty, either express or implied, concerning its products.

Interested in downloading this technical bulletin in PDF format? Please click here!

How To Clean An Inground Pool Surface Prior To Painting

Acid Etching and Surface Cleaning Pools

Pool surfaces must be completely clean and free from slime, scum, body and suntan oils, algae, calcium, and other surface residue before they can be satisfactorily painted or repainted. Paint will not bond to contaminated surfaces. If you paint over any surface residue or foreign matter, it (the foreign matter) will soon disintegrate and fall away from the surface taking the paint with it. New and old plaster and bare poured concrete pool surfaces must be clean and free from oil, grease, silicone, or wax type releasing agents before they can be etched. Pools are prepared for painting by a three step procedure:

  1. WASHING
  2. ACID ETCHING
  3. WASHING AGAIN

WASHING POOLS

It is important to know that acid will not remove suntan oil, body oils, diluted hair spray, or any oily or greasy substance. These must be removed with tri-sodium phosphate before repainting. Always use tri-sodium phosphate or pool washing compound before and after etching; then scrub and hose off with clear water.

Pools are scrubbed easier by using tri-sodium phosphate. Mix either of these powders 8 oz. (230 grams) to each gallon (3.9 liters) of water. Warm water is best for the compound dissolves faster. Mix about five gallons (18.8 liters) of this solution for each 1,000 sq. ft. (94 sq. meters) of surface to be scrubbed. Most scrubbing is done with a long handled block brush which has nylon or other stiff bristles. By using brushes of this type while scrubbing the pools, you also remove loose particles which could result in poor adhesion of the paint.

The best procedure is to scrub the walls first. Rinse the walls as you scrub so the alkaline solution does not dry on the surface. When that happens, the remaining alkaline salts could cause a loss of adhesion when the pool is to be painted. These could leave a soapy residue which would prevent the adhesion of the paint. Always use a chemical type softener and cleaner such as tri-sodium phosphate. Often when a pool is well scrubbed, the appearance will be satisfactory without repainting or with only a touch up job in a few spots. Again, it may only be necessary to repaint the floor or one or more wall sections. Always hose off tri-sodium phosphate with clear water

ACID ETCHING POOLS

Why acid etching? Acid etching opens millions of microscopic pores. By opening the pores, the prime coat of paint is able to penetrate into the porosity created by the acid etching and create an excellent adhesion for succeeding coats. Acid etching also removes unwanted mineral deposits.

MIXING AND THE APPLICATION OF ACID

All persons participating in acid etching should wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and wear goggles. The etching solution should be mixed in a plastic bucket. Most commercial muriatic is either 20% or 30% hydrochloric acid. Mix one part of 30% muriatic acid with two parts of water. This makes a 10% acid solution. Be sure to check the strength of the muriatic when you buy it. If it is a 20% acid, then mix one part of water to one part of acid to secure a 10% solution. For a 15% solution, mix 30% acid 50/50 with water. For 20% muriatic, mix one part of water to two parts of acid. Also, 2 lbs of sulfamic acid crystals maybe used per gallon of water.

CAUTION! ALWAYS POUR THE ACID IN THE WATER. NEVER POUR WATER IN THE ACID.

Pour the acid solution on the surface and brush it out with a long handled deck brush. Etch a small area at a time. As soon as the acid ceases to effervesce it should be hosed off with clean water. About 5 minutes is the average time for the acid to perform the etching function. Do not permit the acid to dry on the surface, as it will be difficult to remove. Figure one gallon (3.79 liters) of etching solution to each 100 sq. ft. (9.39 sq. meters) of surface. Properly etched, the surface should feel like fine sandpaper. On vertical surfaces, the etching solution should be swabbed on liberally with a mop, long handled deck brush, or garden sprayer. Drop or splash a small spot with water. If the water soaks in fairly quick, the surface is sufficiently etched. If it remains on the surface, it needs additional etching with a stronger solution.

Variations in the hardness and the density of plaster or concrete may result in smooth areas after etching. These spots or areas should be re-etched with a stronger (15%) solution. Be liberal with the acid solution. The more you put on the surface, the better the etch.

After the etching is completed and the surface is hosed off, the surface should be scrubbed with tri-sodium phosphate solution using 8 oz. (227 grams) of the compound to each gallon (3.79 liters) of warm water. Use a deck brush and plenty of “elbow grease” on this final scrubbing operation in order to remove all remaining traces of the acid. Any remaining acid could form soluble acid salts and result in a probably paint failure. The surface should then be hosed off with clear water.

Most pools in good condition, except for discoloration and staining, can be cleaned up to a nice appearance by this acid cleaning. This will also remove light algae and chalk. Heavier concentrations of algae can be removed with Clorox or with a paste made of powdered chlorine and water. Apply paste with a scrub brush.

Pools painted with DURA SEAL pool coating can usually be cleaned to a “new paint” appearance. For repainting our epoxy coatings, they should never be repainted until the finish is almost worm or eroded from the surface. This means that the coating should be cleaned up until requiring paint, which usually takes from five to seven years.

Unpainted concrete or plaster must also be scrubbed with tri-sodium phosphate solution, if they have been in service. Also,if the concrete or plaster is new, they require acid etching. Then, the acid must be neutralized by washing the pool with a tri-sodium phosphate solution.

Cement paints are coarse and gritty and provide a poor appearance.

CAUTION!

Do not mix in galvanized container. Close container after each use. Avoid contact with eyes, skin or clothing. Rubber gloves, rubber boots, and goggles should always be worn by the person etching concrete. In case of contact, flush off immediately with water. For eyes, get quick medical attention. Protect evergreen shrubs, grass and plants from solution.

KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN

Information herein given has been accumulated through many years of experience and verified by our technical personnel and is based upon tests believed to be reliable, but RESULTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED.

How to acid etch concrete

I love a good acid stained concrete floor. It gives a room that cool modern industrial vibe and the best part is that it’s way more affordable than other flooring options.

To me, doing acid stained flooring in a basement just makes sense. The concrete is already there, so it doesn’t take a ton of work to create a nice looking floor. Also, basements are an area of the house that are at most risk of flooding. With concrete, you don’t have to worry about any potential water damage to your flooring.

In the farmhouse, we did acid stained concrete flooring in the basement and we were very happy with the way it turned out. So naturally, we decided to do it in the basement of the new house as well.

It’s a very straight forward process, and in this tutorial, I’m going to teach you just how I did it.

Step 1: Clean the Concrete

When acid staining concrete, it’s extremely important to clean the concrete very well before doing anything else.

I started by scraping any dried drywall mud and paint off the floor. Then I used a vacuum to remove all of the dust, dirt, and debris.

How to acid etch concrete

Then in a bucket, I mixed some soap and water and mopped the entire floor. Then mopped it two more times with clean water.

Step 2: Etch the Concrete

The second step in the process is also very important. I applied a special etching solution to the concrete. So what exactly does this do? It basically opens the pores of the concrete to allow the stain to get down into the surface.

I mixed the etching solution with 4 parts water in a mop bucket and applied it to one 10 x 10 ft section at a time.

How to acid etch concrete

Then I scrubbed that area with a bush and let stand for about 5 minutes.

Since the etching solution will leave a chalky residue if you let it dry, I rinsed and cleaned each section before moving on to the next.

I repeated this until the entire concrete floor was done.

Step 3: Apply the Acid Stain

After I had cleaned and etched all of the concrete, it was time to apply the stain. For this, I used two garden sprayers. Any kind will do. I filled one up with clean water, and in the other one with the acid stain.

I chose the color Graphite, which is a warm gray. I really like the subtle color that it adds to the concrete while still keeping a natural look.

How to acid etch concrete

Again, I worked in 10 x 10 ft sections. Using the sprayer filled with plain water, I dampened the section I was working on. The key here is to only dampen the surface without leaving any standing puddles. This will help prevent acid burn.

Then using the sprayer filled with the stain, I sprayed it on in a back and forth motion until that section was covered. I repeated this process across the entire floor.

Step 4: Clean and Neutralize

I let the stain do its thing for 24 hours. When I came back, I mixed 1 part degreaser neutralizer with 4 parts water in a mop bucket and used it to clean the entire floor.

This removed all of the acid residues while also neutralizing the acid. After I mopped the entire floor with the neutralizer, I went over it a few more times with clean water.

Step 5: Seal the Floor

After cleaning the floor one last time, I let it dry for another 24 hours. Once it was nice and dry, I applied sealer to the concrete.

I opted not to use a solvent-based sealer because of the harsh order. And I like the satin finish that the acrylic sealers produce.

I poured the sealer into a paint pan and applied it using a regular paint roller on a pole. In total, I applied three thin coats, letting each coat dry thoroughly before applying another.

And here is another shot of the finished floor! In this shot, you can see our basement rec room and home gym, along with the double barn doors I built.

How to acid etch concrete

You want your concrete floor coating to last long time, and that means your floors must be prepped correctly. Proper preparation includes opening up the pores of the concrete in order to ensure a bond forms between the floor coating, and the exposed concrete. The number one cause of floor failure is insufficient preparation, leading to a poor bond, and a peeling floor.

Whether old or newly poured, all concrete needs to be opened to have the pores exposed and an ideal texture created for the floor coating to bond to. This process is called profiling.

There are two different ways of profiling the surface of your concrete. The first is by mechanically grinding the surface, to remove the smooth top layer, exposing raw concrete beneath. The second method is called acid etching and involves applying acid to eat through and remove the top surface of the concrete floor, essentially achieving the same results as grinding.

Acid versus Grinding

Many homeowners wonder if acid etching is good enough to prepare the concrete for the application of protective floor coating, particularly if they are thinking about a DIY project. After all, it’s much easier, involves no dust, and provides at least some profiling of the floor, unlike pressure washing.

Under ideal circumstances, acid etching works to expose the pores of the concrete. However, acid etching won’t remove glues, mastics, caulk, and common stains, If your floor is marred or stained by these substances, you’ll need to resort to grinding at least part of your floor.

Grinding allows for a more effective profiling of the floor and puts you completely in charge of the floor’s profile–allowing you to not only expose fresh concrete, but also to level off uneven areas that could have occurred as the foundation settled. Grinding, however, requires expensive equipment and, if not done correctly, can leave gouge marks and uneven areas in your floor. We recommend hiring a professional floor coating company to perform a grind on your concrete surface to ensure a consistent, well profiled surface.

Is Acid Etching as Effective as Grinding?

In our experience, the simple answer is no. While acid etching is better than doing nothing to profile the concrete, it simple does not work as well as a floor grind. There are a wide range of concrete types, varying in composition, hardness levels, and texture–meaning there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Diamond grinders can utilize a variety of grinding heads designed to account for these variations in concrete surfaces, ensuring that you get a proper surface profile and a floor coating that lasts a lifetime.

Many of our customers are do-it-yourselfers who attempted an acid etch floor coating that later peeled off. Acid etching it off the shelf products can look great when they are first applied, but generally they will begin fading or peeling within a year with significant degradation often following quickly.

Go With Professional Flooring Installation

If you’ve contracted with a professional service to apply your polyurea coating, they’ll do all of the prep work and see to it the application of your new floor coating is a success. At White Rabbit, we’re so sure of our process, we warranty all of our interior residential floor coatings for life. Contact White Rabbit and don’t worry about making sure the prep work is done correctly. Our methods go beyond “good enough”.

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION TODAY

White Rabbit has been helping Chicagoland and Milwaukee area homeowners transform their garages and basements for over 30 years. With thousands of happy customers throughout the region, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are working with one of the area’s most respected home services contractor.

Schedule your no-hassle in-home consultation today and see what the White Rabbit magic is all about!

How to acid etch concrete

A surface-preparation product called The Profiler from Surface Gel Tek can be used to create an etched effect with stencils. In these photos, Dane Hantz of Dane Concrete Design in Prescott, Arizona, demonstrates the technique. The surface was a steel-troweled concrete floor in a home. Hantz wanted to create a 60-linear-foot border around the room.

Hantz masked off the border area and applied a rustcolored acid stain. He then applied a self-adhesive 3-mil vinyl stencil to the floor. Surface Gel Tek or a shop that makes vinyl signs can cut stencils to order from your artwork, but you can cut small ones yourself out of 3-mil vinyl contact paper. The stencil was burnished onto the concrete surface with a plastic trowel.

With an acid-resistant brush, Hantz applied The Profiler to the open part of the stencil. The product is an acid gel that reacts with the cementitious material on the surface. The gel formulation minimizes the fumes generated, making it safe for indoor use with ventilation. It’s more pleasant to work with than plain old hydrochloric (muriatic) acid.

In this case, Hantz let the gel work for three minutes, and then scraped it off. Most users let it work for 5-15 minutes. Once the surface has reached the texture of 120-grit sandpaper, the gel has reacted completely with the cementitious material. Leaving it on longer won’t create a deeper etch, though it won’t do any harm. If you want a deeper etch, you must wash off the exhausted gel and apply a fresh coat.

When etching was done (the gel darkens slightly when the reaction is complete), Hantz scraped off the gel, diluted it with water, and discharged it to the sewer. He then flushed the cement surface with water, which also could be discharged to the sewer.

Hantz then removed the stencil and let the surface dry thoroughly before sealing it with a solvent-based acrylic sealer.

The Profiler prepares troweled concrete surfaces for painting or other finishing by giving them a slight tooth. The stenciled area can be left uncolored, as in this example, or colored with an acrylic stain. Acid stain is not necessary, as the necessary acid etch is provided by the gel.

How to acid etch concrete

Whether you use your garage for storage, a workshop or just to park your car, applying an epoxy coating to the floor can transform the appearance of your garage while adding a layer of protection to the concrete. Before installing a concrete coating, however, the surface must be properly prepared in order to ensure adequate adhesion. Acid etching is the method that is used to provide the proper surface for coating applications.

Wear rubber boots, protective gloves and safety glasses when working with acid etching chemicals.

Clean the floor before beginning the etching process. Etching solutions do not clean the concrete. They are used to abrade the surface. Sweep the floor to remove all debris and dust. Use a small stiff brush or paintbrush to get into the corners where dust can accumulate. Remove oils from the concrete with a degreasing solution.

Add the etching solution to water in a plastic container following the manufacturer’s directions. Using a watering can will allow you to pour the solution onto the floor in a uniform manner. Use a container made from an acid-resistant material such as polyethylene.

Wet the entire floor using a garden hose with a sprayer. The surface should be wet but with no standing water.

Apply a small amount of the etching solution to a test area to determine if you have the proper strength. It should bubble vigorously. If not, add more acid.

Pour the acid solution over small areas of the floor at a time. Scrub the space with a stiff-bristled broom in a back-and-forth direction. Then repeat by scrubbing the same area going from side to side. Rinse and squeegee each area as you go.

Scrub small areas at a time until you have etched the entire garage floor. The concrete should have a roughened appearance and feel like coarse sandpaper, which will allow coating to adhere properly.

Rinse the entire floor with a garden hose. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear.

Allow the floor to dry for at least four hours before applying a coating to your garage floor.

How to acid etch concrete

Acid Etching Bad Idea for Cleaning Concrete

Posted by Mike and Connie Hernandez on Dec 13th 2018

Cleaning concrete, bricks, and pavers with an acid (most often referred to as acid etching or acid washing) is a very bad idea and no longer recommended by many coatings manufacturers. It is, however, one of the oldest and most pervasive methods of cleaning concrete used by coatings installers and powerwashers. The most common acids used to clean concrete and bricks are hydrochloric acid (muriatic) or phosphoric acid. For many years it has been the standard cleaning method to prepare concrete for coatings installations, to remove stains of any type from concrete and to remove concrete slurry or efflorescence from bricks. Go to many home stores and ask how to remove stains from your concrete and the answer given most is “Use muriatic acid”. Many websites still proclaim that if you wish to put a coating on your concrete surface that the surface needs to be acid etched to insure proper adhesion of the coating.

Acid etching cleans by removing a very thin layer of the surface of the concrete. If the stain is deeper than the surface of the concrete, acid etching will not remove it. It also does not remove previous coatings, oily deposits and other water-insoluble materials. It is also highly unpredictable and unreliable causing the surface to be under- or over-etched and uneven.

The muriatic acid used on concrete and bricks is extremely caustic which means it can burn the skin of the installer. It also has fumes that can burn the lungs. Muriatic acid is a component of hydrochloric acid and can cause great injury and even death to any plants or landscaping that it gets on. If muriatic acid gets on the soil, it may evaporate from the surface but a lot of it stays in the ground, eventually reaching the water supply and killing or injurying wildlife and aquatic plants and animals.

And one of the worst results of using acid is that it destroys the concrete and bricks over the long term, Why? Concrete is very absorbent and is composed of gravel, sand, water and cement. When these four components are mixed together and cured, they form a very hard material called concrete. The concrete has a high alkaline ph value of 12.5 or higher. When it is exposed to an acid etching process, the acid breaks the balance between alkaline pH and the rest of the materials that make concrete hard and weakens the structure of the concrete. Over time the concrete starts to fall apart. You will start to see things like peeling, scaling, pitting, cracking, etc.

The main problem is that as the acid etching chemical absorbs deep into the concrete and it becomes impossible to neutralize the acid all the way. For example, your typical concrete floor is 4 inches thick and when exposed to acid, the acid will penetrate about 3 or more inches deep into the concrete. No matter how many times you neutralize the surface,there will be areas that will not be neutralized. And even worse, there are many people who use acid etching that do not realize that the surface must be neutralized. Any concrete that is not properly neutralized will begin decomposing immediately. It may take time for the damage to reach the surface where you can see it, but it is happening and is usually irrepairable. You can test the surface pH to determine if it has been neutralized but you cannot effectively test the interior of the concrete for pH levels.

It is highly recommended that if you are preparing your concrete floor for a coating, sealing, flooring of any type, or polishing that you do not use acid to etch the concrete. Flooring solutions will eventually fail due to the weakened structure of the concrete from the effects of the acid..

If you need to clean the concrete, they are really only two safe and effective ways to do it. One is using a safe chemical (NOT AN ACID) or two via a mechanical process such as grinding the surface of the concrete.

Both of these methods are very effective for preparing concrete for a new flooring solution. It is best to do some homework as to the best method to use and to find a qualified product or mechanical grinding system for your application of future flooring.

SealGreen has a complete line of safe cleaners and coating removers for a variety of floor applications or to just clean the concrete.

Problem – Urine, pet smell, kennel cleaner – SealGreen Kennel Cleaner

Problem – Paint, sealer, yellow glue remover – SealGreen SCR1600 Coating Remover

Problem – Rust stains from metal – SealGreen Rust Remover

Problem – Prepare floor for paint, epoxy sealer other flooring – SealGreen Color Stain Primer Cleaner

Combined with the right sealer, concrete is able to successfully withstand UV and water damage, wear and tear associated with long-term use, abrasions, freeze-thaw cycles, and exposure to the elements.

A penetrating sealer for your concrete can give it long-lasting protection by altering its chemical makeup, reducing the need for reapplication. However, if concrete has been paired with a surface sealer, it will need to be reapplied occasionally based on the type of sealer used. Epoxies, for example, can last a lot longer than acrylics (or water-based sealers).

Unless you’ve applied a penetrating reactive sealer, you will eventually need to know how to remove old sealer from concrete prior to a reapplication.

Thankfully, this is an easy process which can be completed in just a few short steps. Let’s take a deeper look at the steps required to remove a concrete sealer.

How to remove concrete sealer from floors

Before applying a new sealer, it’s very important that you make sure the old one is completely gone. This is because any old sealer left on the surface of your concrete can impede the effectiveness of the newly applied sealant, preventing proper adhesion to the concrete surface.

The removal of old concrete sealer can be done in one of two ways: mechanical or chemical. The mechanical way involves using some kind of tool to physically grind, sand, or blast away the sealer.

This method can be noisy and damaging to the concrete. There can be significant scratching or damage sustained during the process of mechanically removing sealer.

How to remove sealer from concrete floors with chemicals

The other method to remove sealer from a concrete floor or patio, or to remove concrete sealer of any type, is chemically. You have some variety of choice when it comes to which products you want to use.

You may have heard that it is possible to use muriatic acid to etch your concrete surface. Unfortunately, muriatic acid is often used because it’s less expensive than professional products. However, using muriatic acid is not a wise idea because it can actually cause damage to the concrete surface and to people, pets and plants.

What is the best product for removing concrete sealer?

Cure & Seal Remover from PROSOCO is a professional-grade product that’s specially formulated for concrete sealer removal.

This product prepares your exterior flatwork or concrete floors for applying colorant, polishing, grinding, or whatever else you plan to do after you’ve removed all the old sealer. It’s able to remove even the toughest high-solids cures and seals from driveways, floors, patios, and many other types of concrete.

It is compliant with all known VOC regulations and works quickly without affecting the color of your concrete. It’s also low-odor, water-rinsable, and contains materials which are readily biodegradable.

Remove concrete sealer with a quality product

If you’re working with a concrete sealer that’s merely topical, at some point you’ll need to strip it away completely before you reapply a fresh coat. Products like PROSOCO’s Cure & Seal Remover penetrate deeply to completely remove all remnants of the old sealer, giving your new coat of sealer a fresh and clean surface to which it can adhere.

If you want to be able to add any kind of finish to your concrete, such as a translucent decorative finish, you’ll need a product that allows for this. A penetrating sealer like PROSOCO’s Consolideck LS will make a concrete floor more resistant to damage from water and surface abrasions. Sealing a concrete floor will also make it harder, less dusty and easier to maintain.