How to Remove Epoxy Flooring How to Remove Epoxy Flooring

What You'll Need
Box cutter knife
Stiff-bristled broom and dust pan
Vacuum cleaner, dry and shop-vac types
Epoxy stripping solution
String or fiber mop
Electric fan, as needed
Long-handled putty scraper
Wire-bristled brush
Pointed shovel
Large trash bags
Eye goggles, painter's mask
Rubber gloves

At some point you may want to remove epoxy flooring from your kitchen, basement or garage, to change the color or replace it due to wear. Follow the procedure outlined below to remove epoxy flooring safely and with little difficulty from a space in your home.

Step 1: Determine If Your Epoxy Floor is Solvent or Water-Based

Take a small cutting of your epoxy floor to a building center to find out whether it is solvent or water-based. This will determine the type of stripping solution you should buy.

Step 2: Purchase the Stripping Solution

You can use either water-based epoxy stripper on water-based epoxy, or if you are highly sensitive to volatile compounds, choose a soy-based, environmentally friendly epoxy stripper that emits low levels of fumes.

Step 3: Prepare the Floor for Stripping

Remove all furnishings, wall hangings and window coverings from the room to prevent them being splashed with stripper or absorbing chemical fumes. Sweep the floor surface thoroughly and then vacuum to remove any dust, dirt or flakes from the topcoat of the epoxy floor. Have the windows and doors into the area open to ventilate the room. Put on rubber gloves, eye goggles and a painter's mask.

Step 4: Apply the Stripper

Pour on or spray on the epoxy floor stripping solution, starting in the farthest corner from the exit doorway. Cover a measured area at a time of about 4 by 4 feet. Use a string or fiber mop, not a sponge rubber type, to spread the stripping solution over the floor. Distribute the stripping solution all over the floor evenly.

Step 5: Seal the Room to Let Stripper Soak

Close the doors and windows tightly, and seal off the room so that the stripping solution can soak into and dissolve the old epoxy for at least 24 hours, or as recommended on the container of stripping solution.

Step 6: Peel off the Old Epoxy Layer

Open up the doorways and windows again, and put an electric fan in the room pointed toward a window to vent off the fumes. Put on your protective eye and hand coverings and a fresh painter's mask. Using the long-handled metal scraper, push off the layer of epoxy flooring starting at one edge of the room and moving toward the door. Clear off a row at a time, twice the width of the scraper blade. Using the shovel, scoop the waste epoxy into trash bags and discard it safely.

Step 7: Re-soak Stubborn Epoxy

If sections of epoxy will not come off the floor, soak these parts again overnight with stripping solution, and scrub them the next morning with a brush with stiff wire bristles.

Step 8: Rinse and Vacuum the Floor

When all the epoxy has been removed rinse the floor with cool water and vacuum it up with a shop-vac. Then allow the floor surface to dry completely.

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