Removing Driveway Caulk

 
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:22 PM   #1
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Removing Driveway Caulk


I've caulked a few driveways for customers who wanted there driveway sealed after I did someother work for them. Anyway, I have this driveway that was about 30% caulked but wasn't "fingered in" and other spots where one or both sides have pulled away from the edge. So I want to remove the existing caulk so I can make everything uniform and also "correct" the areas that have failed. I tried using a grinder but that just melted it and made a mess. I also tried cutting some areas and pulling it out but that seemed like it would take hours and I wouldn't get 100% of it out. Thoughts?
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:56 PM   #2
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Re: Removing Driveway Caulk


They have sealant removal tools that cut out old beads but a high leverage razor knife works well.

The longer black knife is the bomb!
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:16 AM   #3
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Re: Removing Driveway Caulk


A flat steel wire wheel on a right angle grinder is very aggressive. I suggest safety glasses and a face shield. I have pulled wires out of my arm that went through my shirt.

I prefer self leveling polyurethane caulk. It wets well and may also s-t-r-e-t-c-h a little more than stiffer caulks. The self leveling aspect means a smoother, cleaner finish product. I also like the color some so called "concrete colors" don't look right at all.

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Old 03-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #4
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Re: Removing Driveway Caulk


Willy, I used the grinder with a "masonry/conrete" wheel on it. All it did was heat up the poly caulk to the point of melting it and flinging it around and basically making a mess. It was also whipping up on my arms. Felt like getting shot with a BB gun. I don't think a wire wheel would be much different, just a bigger mess.

As far as the caulk, I use vulkem and I DO NOT self leveling stuff. Its too thin and can run down sloped driveways.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:03 AM   #5
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Re: Removing Driveway Caulk


Most caulk "sets".
Was this a tar or asphalt based? Sounds like it. I think I disagree; a wire wheel would work better than a grinder disk. It is flexible, reaches in deeper and heats less. Waaaaay faster than hand digging. Anyway, just my opinion.

If it is melting take a pressure sprayer w/ water and wet it as you are spraying; one option.

Well, yeah you can't use self leveling on a steep drive but on reasonable grades it works well and penetrates deep.

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Old 03-20-2011, 04:16 PM   #6
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Re: Removing Driveway Caulk


You might try one of those new oscillating cutting tools. I have seen them work really well.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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Re: Removing Driveway Caulk


Quote:
Originally Posted by superseal View Post
They have sealant removal tools that cut out old beads but a high leverage razor knife works well.

The longer black knife is the bomb!
My guys call the black knife a "get down blade" and it is the bomb.

Removing sealant that hasn't completely deteriorated can be a pain. A knotted wire wheel works pretty well, but you are still going to have some melted sealant. If time is not an issue (when is it not) trim as much out of the joint as possible before grinding. If you do heat up the sealant and make a mess on the joint inner faces, you really need to remove all traces of the sealant which means you'll probably be grinding in to concrete a bit. The key to any successful sealant job is the prep!

You can use self leveling sealant and if you have some slope, just hold back a bit and let it run a little bit and then just fill in what doesn't get filled. If you use a non-sag sealant you must tool it to wet out the joint inner faces and get a good bond between the sealant and the joint inner faces.

Be sure to install the new sealant at the proper width to depth ratio or all of your prep may be for naught.

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