How Does Marking Removal Work, and Is It Effective?Almost as soon as people began applying pavement markings, they found that they occasionally needed to remove them. In the early 20th century, concealing the markings by painting over them with a gray or black paint that matched the color of the pavement was a common practice, but this did not remove the original markings, so they could reappear as the obscuring paint wore away. Over the years, new technologies, new products, and new methods of marking removal have been developed. Some methods and products have been banned or limited out of environmental concerns or safety issues. Nevertheless, there are still various ways to permanently remove pavement markings. Each has its own set of pros and cons, so you should ask a reliable contractor to recommend a suitable method for your specific needs.

How Does Marking Removal Work, and Is It Effective?

How Does Marking Removal Work?

The basic goal is to remove existing markings as completely as possible. Depending on the type of pavement, the marking material, and the location of the markings, removal methods may involve grinding, peeling, stripping, scarifying, scrubbing, or abrading the markings to eradicate them. There are also methods of blasting the markings with steel spheres, sand, water, or chemicals. However, some methods may need to be reserved for exterior pavements, and the proximity of the work area to rivers, harbors, or lakes may also restrict some methods.

How Effective Is Marking Removal?

When the correct method is chosen, competent contractors can remove virtually any type of marking completely. One highly effective, environmentally safe removal method is a relatively new technique known as hydro blasting.

How Does Hydro Blasting Remove Pavement Markings?

Hydro blasting is pressure washing’s much more powerful cousin. Although both methods blast pressurized water at a target, pressure washers seldom exceed 3,000 to 4,000 psi. A hydro blaster produces a minimum of about 10,000 psi, and they can be adjusted to produce up to 40,000 psi. Powerful jets peel or pulverize water-based paints, thermoplastics, and oil-based paints with ease. When enclosed, hydro blasters can reclaim the water and any contaminants or marking material removed during the process. Hydro blasting is typically the fastest method for removing markings completely.

What Are Some Other Methods for Removing Pavement Markings?

The method needs to match the scope and location of the job. For example, a hydro blaster would be unnecessary for the removal of one stencil in your parking lot. Here are some other popular ways to remove pavement markings.

• Sandblasting: Sandblasting involves propelling sand at a high velocity toward an object. It is a messy process, but it can be an effective removal method under certain conditions.
• Shot Blasting: Shot blasting is a popular method for removing paint from concrete pavements, especially in warehouses or manufacturing facilities. However, shot blasting can alter the appearance of the concrete, so it is typically too aggressive for asphalt pavements.
• Grinding: Markings on both concrete and asphalt pavements can be removed through the use of grinding machines. However, the process is slow, and it will have a high impact on the surface appearance.
• Scrubbing: For correcting a striping error, removing a curb stencil, or handling other small jobs, scrubbing with a wire brush can be an effective method. However, it is too slow and too labor-intensive for large-scale removals.
• Chemicals: Used alone or incorporated in pressure washing, some chemicals can be highly effective at stripping paint. However, there are environmental and safety issues that could preclude their use. You do not want to risk having a thirsty deer drink from a puddle containing the chemicals, and you do not want to risk contaminating a waterway with the runoff. Furthermore, you do not want to risk having a mist laced with a caustic chemical blow into someone’s eye or get on their skin.

At Marathon Solutions Group, we are familiar with all methods and products used to remove markings from concrete and asphalt pavements. We would be happy to discuss your removal needs to help you determine the best method for your situation. We offer an extensive list of paving services, including the removal of pavement markings, asphalt sealcoating, pavement repairs, asphalt resurfacing, parking lot signs, bollard installations, drainage improvements, asphalt paving, parking lot maintenance, concrete installation, parking lot striping, and thermoplastic markings. We have earned an exemplary reputation for high-quality workmanship and unmatched customer service. We offer free quotes, so submit your request today by filling out the online form, emailing, or calling 800-879-1147.