Epoxy flooring is a popular commercial and industrial flooring option because it doesn’t wear or damage easily like other flooring options and requires low maintenance. When it comes to durability, epoxy flooring can last for 2 to 3 years depending on the floor traffic. However, at some point, you may want to remove epoxy flooring or replace it due to wear and tear. Is epoxy flooring removable?
In this article, I’ve shed more light on whether epoxy is removable and outlined to remove it safely from a space in your home without experiencing any difficulty. Read on to learn more.
Is Epoxy Flooring Removable? How Hard Is It?
An epoxy floor is removable if you have the right tools or the work is done by a professional floor removing company. Removing epoxy is not a straightforward task. The project can prove difficult since epoxy adheres firmly to the concrete floor. It’s labor-intensive and may require specialized tools and techniques for successful removal.
Besides difficult removal, the aftermath work is also tedious. The floor has to be cleaned thoroughly once the epoxy resin has been removed from the surface.
How To Remove Epoxy Flooring
1. Using paint strippers
Epoxy paint removers contain a high concentration of methyl ethyl ketone, an organic compound that disintegrates epoxy flooring making them easier to strip. There are several paint stripper products to choose from but to achieve good results, you need to choose products specially designed for epoxy floor removal.
Simply, pour epoxy paint remover in a bucket and dilute it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines before applying it evenly on the epoxy floor using a mop. Apply the product in a circular motion to ensure efficient penetration on the surface. The coating will begin to dissolve and pull away from the concrete surface.
2. Using floor grinder and steel shot-blast machines
There are several machines in the market today specified in removing epoxy floors. Some of the popular machines you can choose for your project include a floor grinder and steel shot-blast machines. The former uses an abrasive surface to stabilize, loosen and scrape epoxy floors from concrete. A steel shot-blast, on the other hand, uses high pressure to chip away epoxy coating with tiny steel balls.
Using a machine is ideal when removing difficult epoxy flooring. Unfortunately, the removal project needs to be done by a professional contractor to avoid damaging the concrete. If it is a DIY project, you will need to rent those machines and buy protective gloves and glasses as the project generates a considerable amount of dust and debris.
3. Using a heat gun
Another effective and efficient way to remove epoxy flooring is by use of a heat gun. The gun emits heat which softens the epoxy resin making removal easier. You need a hot air heat gun with temperature control to achieve the required temperature.
Set your heat gun at 90 °C temperature and aim the run on each piece of the epoxy floor until it softens. Use a spatula or plastic scraper to remove the softened pieces from the concrete floor. If you are removing epoxy from glass or plastic, a heat gun might not be a good option. Instead, use a chemical to soften the pieces.
Since heat guns produce hot temperatures, you need to wear safety gloves and masks when burning the epoxy. Wearing a respirator can also prevent you from inhaling the vapors and fumes.
4. Using epoxy remover
Epoxy removers are special products designed to remove epoxy resin from any coating. These solvent-based products remove not only remove larger epoxy residues but also enamels, fillers and mastics, polyester grout, and other synthetic materials from epoxy floors.
They work by dissolving the synthetic top layers of epoxy floors. The only downside of epoxy removers is that they are more suitable for smaller surfaces.
5. Using a sand-blaster
A sandblaster can also help you remove stubborn epoxy flooring. These machines use compressed steam or air to shoot sand particles over epoxy floors. The tiny particles are shot at a high speed to sand off the coating. You can easily rent a sandblaster from a local hardware store.
Poor recommended sand into the machine and turn the machine on. Shoot the sand on the floor at a high speed. Use a spatula to remove the epoxy coating that has been sanded. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the remaining sand particles from the floor.
Can You Dissolve Epoxy Flooring?
You can easily dissolve epoxy flooring instead of scraping or striping it using machines. There are several epoxy solvents you can use to solve epoxy floorings such as acetone, vinegar, and isopropyl alcohol. Be careful when choosing the right epoxy solvent for the job.
Dissolving epoxy flooring with a solvent is quite simple. Gently rub the solvent on the areas where you need to remove epoxy. Use a soft cloth to apply the solvent to the epoxy surface. Keep the epoxy solvent in contact with the area for at least 20 minutes to loosen the surface.
Once the pieces have been softened, use a scrapping tool or knife to gently remove the epoxy resin coat. Be careful not to damage the concrete as you run your scraper or knife.
Epoxy Floor Removal Cost
The average cost of removing epoxy flooring from a small room is approximately $1500 while the cost range may start from $1,200 and go as high as $2500. When it comes to cost per square foot, expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $2.50 per square foot.
Just keep in mind that the cost may vary depending on many factors such as how much epoxy you want to be removed, the thickness of epoxy materials, tools required if it is a DIY project and the contractor hired.
For instance, epoxy floors measuring between 1 to 2 mm thick cost between $10 and $30 per square meter to remove. While epoxy floors between 3 and 6 mm in thickness cost between $40 to $60 per square meter.