How To Remove Epoxy From Concrete

Nick Shushan
By Nick Shusan , Epoxy Expert and the CEO of NYC Epoxy Flooring.

June 14, 2022

To get rid of epoxy from concrete, soak a clean fabric or towel in a paint thinner or nail polish remover. Hard-press it on the tough epoxy on the concrete surface for some minutes till it dissolves, then wipe it off. If it refuses to wipe, use a plastic scraper and scrape the surface gently. Then, soak another clean towel in acetone to clean off any residue from the concrete floor.

In this article, you will see how you can remove epoxy from concrete before and after it cures, how you can remove hardened epoxy resin, and also the easiest way to remove epoxy.

How To Remove Epoxy From Concrete Before and After It Cures (Step-By-Step)

Epoxy is a tough and robust material that you must know how to clean without damaging the surface if it spills on concrete. The appropriate removal of epoxy from concrete depends on whether it has cured or not. The task will be easier if you get to it before it cures. But if it’s hardened already, you can still scrape it and get your surface to appear clean and unblemished again.

If epoxy is yet to cure, act quickly to scrape it off. Completely erase the epoxy with a dry towel dampened with acetone/nail polish solvent before it dries off on the surface.

  1. Evaluate the Surface:

Before removing epoxy from concrete, it’s important to evaluate the surface to determine the best method of removal. If the epoxy is still in good condition and only needs to be removed to install new flooring, it may be possible to remove it by grinding or sanding it down. However, if the epoxy is damaged, peeling, or cracking, it may be necessary to use more aggressive methods of removal.

  1. Heat Gun:

One method of removing epoxy from concrete is by using a heat gun. Heat the epoxy with the heat gun until it softens and then scrape it off with a putty knife. Be careful not to overheat the epoxy or the concrete, as this can cause damage to both materials.

  1. Chemical Stripper:

Another option for removing epoxy from concrete is by using a chemical stripper. Chemical strippers are available in both liquid and paste form and can be applied directly to the epoxy. Allow the stripper to sit for the recommended amount of time, then scrape off the epoxy with a putty knife. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using chemical strippers and wear protective gear.

  1. Grinding or Sanding:

If the epoxy is still in good condition and only needs to be removed to install new flooring, it may be possible to remove it by grinding or sanding it down. This method is also effective for removing stubborn spots or stains on the epoxy. Use a grinder or sander with a diamond blade or sandpaper to grind down the epoxy until it is smooth and even.

  1. Shot Blasting:

Shot blasting is a more aggressive method of removing epoxy from concrete. It involves using a machine that shoots steel beads at high speeds to blast away the epoxy. This method is effective for removing large areas of epoxy quickly but can be expensive and may cause damage to the concrete if not done correctly.

If the epoxy has cured and you want to remove it, follow these steps:

Most important step: Choose a solvent

You can use solvents like adhesive remover, paint thinner, or denatured alcohol to remove the cured epoxy, or you use a sharp blade. You can also combine all the methods.

If you are using a paint thinner, soak a clean rag in the solvent and press it on the cured epoxy on concrete until it softens, then wipe. After removing the cured epoxy, soak a clean towel in acetone or nail polish remover to clean off any residue. Doing this will return the surface to its initial shiny state if it’s a polished concrete floor.

Take precautionary measures when scrapping epoxy off a concrete surface. If you must work with a knife, wear gloves to prevent hand injuries. Do not stay in an airtight area to avoid offensive gas from solvents entering your lungs or coming in contact with your skin.

Is There An Easy Method of Removing Cured Epoxy From Concrete?

The easiest way to remove cured epoxy from a concrete surface is to use a heat gun. Wear a mask, long sleeve, inflammable gloves, and face goggles for safety, then light a heat gun and set it on the hardened epoxy around 90°C. After it dissolves, use a scraper to gently remove it from the concrete, then wipe off to clean the remaining residue.

Tip: After removing the hardened epoxy from the concrete floor, get a strong-waterproof dispenser resistant to frost and heat and use it to repair the surface. Then dry, sand, or drill the surface.

What Can Dissolve Epoxy Easily?

Isopropanol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, can be used to remove epoxy resin that is yet to cure off a surface. Since liquid epoxy is not solid, removing it won’t be hard. Acetone can also help and will remove any remaining solvent.

In Summary

Use solvents like paint thinner, nail polish remover, or acetone to remove epoxy resin from concrete floors. Soak a clean fabric in any of these solvents and press it on the surface till the epoxy dissolves, then clean. For hard epoxies, use a heat gun or a sharp knife to scrape it off gently.