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Old 03-14-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
Traci Lee
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stripping unknown sealer

hello all,
i have just been contacted by a hotel to try and solve a problem. usually I do new construction, not so much restoration. the hotel just had the slate floors (2800sqft) stripped and resealed approx six months ago. the problem is, whatever sealer was used is flaking off. they want to strip and reseal but i have no idea what was used. i have used stonetech products to strip, but i knew what was being removed, product wise. this, i have no idea, and no opportunity to find out... the company no longer exists that did the work. can this job be done any other way than by hand?? what do you guys suggest??
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:42 AM   #2
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If it is flaking, it is a topical sealer.

You could try a paint stripper (always test first!). There are some pretty good plant based ones if you are concerned about volatile chemicals. Then, once all the yuck is gone, apply an enhancing IMPREGNATING sealer. Floors (especially commercial types) and topical sealers do not go well together.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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The StoneTech product takes off topical coatings and sealants no problem.

http://www.stonetechdirect.com/servl...Duty%2C/Detail

Try it in a small area to see if it will work. I don't think you'll have a problem. Like GG said though, stay away from topical. It is a lawsuit waiting to happen in a hotel.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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Traci-

You will have to test a stripper to find out what will best remove the product that is down on the stone currently.

Typically, you will need either a water based stripper or a solvent based stripper depending on the type of topical coating that was used.

Miracle Sealants has two very nice products for either type of coating. H2O Strip for a water based coating and their Mira Strip for a fast acting solvent based stripper.

To implement the stripping of the stone for a large area, you may want to consider using a floor machine with a brush on the bottom of it and not a traditional stripping pad. The reason to use a brush is that you are dealing with slate and the bristles of the brush will get into the lower clefted areas better than the pad would. Pads typically will ride up and over a low area, where the brush along with the weight of the machine should be able to get into it a bit better. For removal of re-emulsified coating use a wet vaccuum when taking it up and off of the floor. Be sure to rinse the vac out very well right after use, so that the chemicals you use to strip the slate does not affect any parts/gaskets or other items in the vac.

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Old 03-21-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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so heres a pic of the product used... its weird how its wearing, spots all over. any more opinions?? advice>?? and if i strip it with a solvent based stripper, will this interfere with the penetrating sealer?? is there any leftover residue in the stone?
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:52 AM   #6
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Yes it may prevent the sealer from sticking.typically stripping involves the additional cleaning with a product,usually a high alkaline cleaner,to dissolve residuals.I like Franmar soy stripper,it's biodegradable,totally harmless.You then use Emerge from the same company to clean up the tiles.It is very thick,pulls up the sealer allowing you to scrape it up easily.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
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That picture makes me wonder if there are not any moisture migration issues on that floor as well. Looks like the white flakiness could be topical sealer delaminating due to water vapor pressure. But this is looking at it from Canada. It might look a little different close-up
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
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I totally agree i thought the same thing.Might just be the absorption of moisture.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:41 PM   #9
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oh yeah, this floor is taking a beating moisture wise... its in whistler... ski boots, melting snow for a min of 6 months, nuff' said. that soy product, will it remove a topical sealer?? and after i clean with the other, will it take a penetrating sealer? My worry is that if there is any residue of anything, regardless of penetrating sealer, that it will do a similar thing with the way its wearing. because it sure is wearing horribly...
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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The penetrating sealer will not "wear" the same way a topical does. A penetrating sealer will not be visible on top of the stone and there is nothing that will blister or flake. With a penetrating sealer you need to get it to absorb when you first apply it. It is designed to be a sub-surface sealer and much better suited to your needs.

Are you located in Whistler?
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:41 PM   #11
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Traci,

What you're going to have to do is strip the coating off. You can buy a stripper from a hardware store or janitorial store and like some of the others said it is a high alkaline solution.

It is pretty smelly and can be a bit laborious, but needs to be done to remove the coating. Do small small areas at a time, letting the chemical dwell 20-30 minutes before scrubbing. You should see the coating come right off.

Extract very soon after scrubbing to pick up all the coating. It's best to work in small areas at a time.

Because the stripper is high alkaline, it needs to be rinsed very well and if you want you can use a neutral cleaner afterward if you want to make sure the floor is neutralized.

I would a wait a day before putting down the penetrating sealer. It should penetrate if all the coating is gone. If you want to bring out the colors of the stone, use an enhancing sealer.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:26 AM   #12
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I have recently used this stripper with great results. I have not used any of their other products yet though.
http://www.aldonchem.com/pr-premium-stripper.htm
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