How Do You Remove Concrete Sealer?

Concrete can last for decades when properly cared for and sealed. This is one of the many benefits of concrete, but occasionally that durability can be a problem. As decorative concrete has become more popular an increasing number of people are looking to repaint or stamp their concrete surfaces. As a result, it has become more common for people to attempt to remove concrete sealer. While it is possible to remove concrete sealer, it does require specific steps. Let’s take a closer look. 

Let’s start by talking about what won’t remove concrete sealer. More specifically, let’s talk about vinegar. For some reason, this idea that vinegar will remove concrete sealer has become one of the more pervasive myths about concrete, and it is just that: a myth. That’s because almost all concrete sealants are made to be resistant to acid, which vinegar is. As if that wasn’t enough, vinegar can actually damage concrete. If a strong enough vinegar solution is applied to a concrete surface it will become dull and slightly pitted. 

Just because vinegar won’t remove concrete sealer does not mean that concrete sealer cannot be removed. In fact, it’s really quite easy to remove concrete sealer. The first, and in our opinion easiest, way to remove concrete sealer is a powerful pressure washer. If it’s powerful enough, the pressure of the water will easily strip away any type of concrete sealer. 

If a pressure washer isn’t an option, certain chemical strippers are also quite effective at removing sealer. This method does take a bit more work however, as after the stripper has set the sealer needs to be scrubbed away. Combining a chemical stripper with a pressure washer is a sure way to remove even the most stubborn of sealers. 

Sandblasting is a bit more complicated, but is sure to remove any type of sealer. If none of the other methods work, consider sandblasting. Of course, getting the tools for this can get quite expensive. If sandblasting is necessary it’s probably worth hiring a professional to remove the sealer. 

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