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Sealing interlocking concrete pavement is a process that requires the right environmental factors in order to ensure a proper seal. It also requires the removal of any stains and the cleaning of the pavers prior to sealing. Then, you need to ensure that you apply the sealer consistently following the manufacturer’s specifications and hope that the environmental factors continue to lean in your favor. Needless to say, there is a lot that can go wrong in the sealing process. Pavers are not an insignificant monetary investment, neither is the time spent installing them. The last thing that you want is for a botched sealing job to ruin your project. Though there is typically a solution to help with most problems that may occur in the cleaning and sealing of your project. If need be, you can strip the sealer from the surface of the pavers to then re-seal the project.
How to Remove Sealer from Concrete Pavers
It is not ideal to need to remove sealer from your paver project. There are numerous possibilities as to why you would need to remove the sealer from the surface. Sometimes it is as simple as having sealed over a stain and needing to remove the seal in order to remove the stain and re-seal. It could be more of a headache such as moisture being trapped and causing a cloudy appearance under the sealer causing you to need to strip the sealer. Or even more disheartening is that it rained, somebody drove or somebody walked onto the freshly sealed surface, or some other horrible environmental factor destroyed the sealing job.
Regardless of what has happened, purchasing a sealer stripper is your best course of action in order to remove that sealer. Luckily it is a fairly simple process to accomplish albeit a time consuming one that is not enjoyable.
How to Remove Concrete Sealer
For this process, you will use a sealer stripper. This can be found through a hardscape supplier along with other cleaning and sealing solutions. When it comes to sealer strippers, you will find general information below with steps and instructions on how to use it. However, you should always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions that can be found on the container.
The stripper is generally a paste that can be rolled or brushed onto the surface of the sealed area. It will remain wet over an extended period of time. It is a simple process of applying and pressure washing to remove the sealer. The stripper will remove multiple layers of sealer in one application as well. Any remaining residue can be scrubbed off with a nylon brush and water. Once you are ready to re-seal, you will once again need to ensure all stains are removed, the surface is dry, and then you can apply the sealer.
Test a small area that is the least noticeable on the project by applying the product with a roller or brush. See how long it takes for the product to react with the pavement surface according to the guidelines detailed below and pressure wash it off. This will guide you through the timeline for the remainder of the project.
Here is a breakdown of steps that you should follow in order to remove sealer from pavers to ensure a successful process:
- Saturate all vegetation around the project thoroughly and protect the areas with vegetation. Solvent resistant polyethylene sheets can be used to protect areas.
- Ensure that the pavement is clean and dry. Check the container to ensure that the temperature is in range of the effective application of the product.
- Use a brush or a roller to apply the paste at a thickness of approximately 1/8″. You can work the paste around areas that are more difficult with a nylon brush.
- Reaction time of the product can range from 3-24 hours. Use your test area as a guide for this timeline. Do not allow the product to harden to the surface of the pavement. If it does, apply a thin coat of the product on top and wait 30 minutes to 1 hour before removing.
- Use a pressure washer to remove the product from the entire surface working from the top of the slope to the bottom.
- Use water and a nylon brush to scrub any remaining residue from the surface of the pavement and rinse the entire project with water once complete with a low level on your pressure washer.