Resealing Decorative Concrete
If you have a patio or other surface with stamped concrete and you'd like to strip the sealers, you are likely wondering if it will result in any damage. Most homeowners are hesitant to strip stamped concrete sealers because it could weaken the concrete or alter its color. It certainly isn't a fun job to do. Stripping coating from concrete is difficult and must be performed according to the unique texture of each type of stamped concrete. What's most important is the manner in which the sealer is removed.
Homeowners are justified for questioning how they should go about removing the sealer from stamped concrete. Most of the time, a chemical process should be used as opposed to a mechanical process. Of primary concern is removing the sealer in its entirety without altering the concrete surface's hue and profile. Since mechanical procedures for sealer removal typically make use of intense scraping, blasting or grinding, homeowners are advised to take the chemical route. It won't impact the surface of the concrete as significantly as mechanical processes. Yet in unique situations, homeowners will be better served to use a mechanical method. For example, soda blasting makes use of high pressure blasts and baking soda to remove concrete sealer. Soda blasting won't profile the concrete but will create quite a mess that could impact surrounding plants and landscaping.
Alternatively, chemical stripping will not impact surrounding objects or the concrete itself. If the concrete has acrylic or antiquing colors or powders, there is a chance that the chemical stripper will alter parts of the color. However, this is is the exception to the rule. Chemicals usually break down only the plastic sealer. It will likely take two to three applications of the chemicals to fully remove the sealer.
Be sure to wash the surface with hot water and soap, give it a thorough scrub, and rinse to complete the stripping process. This way, the new sealer can be applied and work effectively. Once you chemically remove the sealer along with the stripper residue, you can proceed to stain or color treat your concrete. Homeowners are invited to take a look at these images of decorated concrete for inspiration and ideas to implement during their own DIY (do it yourself) at-home projects.