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Anyone know how to remove paver sealer? - need help!

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Humble Earth Mover, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I'm having a problem getting sealer off of a walkway I did. It was actually a small travertine walk that the customer wanted to give the wet look to. I asked my supplier if this were possible and was recommended TechniSeal paver sealer because the label said it would work for natural stone as well as it would be non-slip. Big mistake!! Warning to everyone, don't ever put this crap on natural stone! I followed the directions to the tee and applied three thin coats. Three coats because of how porous the stone is. I also applied to the flagstone on the stoop per the customers request. I know, I know...what the hell was I thinking!

    First was the call about how slippery it was when wet and beyond slippery when there was a morning frost. Also, using the sealer on the flagstone caused it to turn cloudy and you could no longer even see the colors in the stone. Because his wife was pregnant I promised to try and fix the problem right away. I'd hoped to simply remove the wet look sealer and try something different. Easier said than done!

    It's since been about 5 months and I've been back to this job 5 or 6 different times (on my own dime) to try 5 or 6 different chemicals to remove the sealer. I got most of it off of the flagstone because I used a wire brush and a light muriatic acid. The travertine is a different story. After the first chemical I tried, which was some Home Cheapo sealer remover for tile, the sealer came off in patches and what was left started to turn green!! I've tried a bunch of other stuff with mixed results. The other day I used a sealer remover that is like a gel and let it sit on there for 2 hours and then scrapped the whole thing with a flat razor blade and scrubbed it with a nylon brush. This took up more sealer than the other methods and I thought it had worked until it dried. Then I saw that it took it completely off in some spots and others it still hadn't. So now there are some spots shiny and some spots dull. Looks like sh-t!

    Does anyone have any idea what I should do? I feel really bad about this situation. The customer has been very patient and understanding because they see me at least concerned and trying. My biggest problem is that this is in a development that is still being built and there are at least 4 new neighbors that will be moving in across the street and the builder has installed nothing but fake flagstone stepping paths for their walkways. I'd like to land some work from this one, but right now it's making me look bad. Never again!!

    Any ideas? :confused: :confused:

    In hindsight, my biggest mistake was asking my supplier instead of asking you guys first! Thanks in advance.
  2. Guzman Properties

    Guzman Properties LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Flip the stones over....
  3. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    That's actually a great idea. This would work except the stones have a front and back with saw marks on the back.
  4. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    Humble - We are certified Techniseal applicators. PM me. Where in Berks are you located?

  5. etwman

    etwman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,547

    Concrete masonry cleaner (acid) don't dilute. Spray is on, let it sit for 5 mintues, and wash it off. The sealer will come right off. You can buy it at New Holland Concrete for $70 for 5 gallons.

    We stripped a travertine patio with it a while back because the sealers we received were bad. You can do about 2000 sf in about an hour.
  6. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    ETW - would something like Sure Klean 600 Detergent work? Also, do you recommend a different sealer I could use? One to bring out the color without being slick?
  7. etwman

    etwman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,547

    That 600 detergent should work. The "concrete masonry cleaner" is a little stronger acid. If you can get that you'd be better off, but the 600 will suffice if you can't.

    We have to seal a 2200 sf travertine patio soon. We're experimenting with something new at the shop. I'll let you know how it turns out with regards to not being as slippery.

    Check these out on one of our recent jobs. SOLID Travertine eliptical steps we had brought from Peru. Three 18' foot radial steps. Five digit figures on these. More travertine will be added to this project before completetion. It will be pretty impressive when done.

  8. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 273

    looks good
  9. orionkf

    orionkf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 122

    I know it's too late now, but they make non-skid additives for concrete sealers. Kinda looks like white sand. I haven't had to use any in a long time, but I'm sure a concrete supplier would have it.
  10. Humble Earth Mover

    Humble Earth Mover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    Wow, those steps are bad a$$! I'm going to make a trip to New Holland Concrete. I've never been there and as it turns out, it's only 10 miles from my house!!! (Just moved to this area) I'm going to strip the walk and hold off on reapplying anything. Definitely let me know what sealer you go with.

    Non slip additive sounds interesting. I wonder if that would dirty up the look of the travertine. Probably great for concrete though.

    Thanks for all the help. You guys really make a lonely, thankless business much more enjoyable! I'm really thankful to be a part of the lawnsite family!

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