Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How do I remove sealer and wax from my floor so I can refinish it?

   Q.-  I have a floor that was done some time ago and I have 2 dogs. The stain is ok but the sealer and wax is totally scratched up. So I am going to need to get back down to concrete.  And reclean and  reseal and rewax. I have 1400 sqft.  What is the best method to strip back down to concrete?

    A. -  The wax, if there is any left, will come up with the sealer. You can remove sealers by using a citrus stripper, xylene, a paint stripper or our Concrete Stain Prep. Xylene would work the fastest and easiest but it's very flammable and aromatic which means needing lots of ventilation and turning off gas and pilot lights, etc., but it's what many contractors use. A citrus stripper or our CSP would still need ventilation but would be much less aromatic. Though it would take a bit more work, it's how most homeowners go.

Essentially, you're going to put the product you choose liberally onto the floor and allow it to sit and eat into the sealer (CSP/ citrus strippers about 20 minutes and xylene a few minutes), adding more as needed to ensure it doesn't dry. Then you'll use a straw scrub brush to scrub and break up the sealer, then using a wide painter's shield that's on a broom handle and acts as a huge scraper, you'll drag the sealer into a pile to pick it up with a square point shovel and put into a bucket for disposal.
Remember that whatever product you use, the two secrets are 1: the amount of time you allow it to sit, and 2: using a stiff straw scrub brush

Work in sections and work your way out, repeat the process as needed to complete the removal and clean up of the sealer and wax. Then let it dry and settle down. Once it's dry you can wash it with t.s.p.(tri-sodium-phosphate) or soap and water. Rinse with clean water a couple of times, changing the water  often, and allow to completely dry. Then you're ready to reseal and re-wax.

Since you have dogs I would recommend that you put 4 or 5 initial coats of wax to build up a thicker barrier and help keep any nail scratches from going into the sealer. So long as they're only in the wax, then a fresh coat of wax repairs them quickly and easily. And if you ever do need to remove the wax it's much simpler and less expensive than having to remove sealer. With our wax remover it's just a light scrub and mop.

I hope this helps,