Cleaning purple PVC primer on concrete??

jenk2008November 12, 2008

Yesterday the central vac installers came to install the pipe, and after keeping a close eye on them the first few hours, I had other things to do, so I left them on their own. After they left, we went over to look at their work, and we found splotches of purple pvc primer on our concrete floors in the basement, and a huge spill in the mechanical room (looks like they spilled the entire can), with cardboard over the spill. We have called the company to complain, and they are trying to figure out what to do, but I was hoping someone might have some suggestions. I don't really care about the mech room (besides their attempt to cover it up when all they had to do was walk 75 feet over to our apartment and ask for some rags to clean it up), but the other spills are in our game room, and we are planning to stain the concrete there. We were planning on using a dark brown stain, so I'm hoping this will not be an issue, but am also worried that the stain will not adhere to the primered areas. DH says he doesn't know of anything that will clean this, any thoughts?? I guess I learned an important lesson-even if the installers seem competent, you have to watch them like a hawk!

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Not trying to send traffic away from this great forum, but you may want to ask this question on a Concrete Staining Forum also.

Such as:

Here is a link that might be useful: Gayegoodman

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 8:07AM
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I agree with lclevel; you need the help of experts. Also contact the primer's manufacturer to find out if they have a specialized removal product, and get their suggestions specifically for stain removal from concrete.

I suspect the finished-stain portion will show a difference in coloration over the primed areas due to the primer soaking downwards, probably bonding literally *into* the cement. And you have a valid concern about how any finish will adhere to the primer-soaked areas which should be discussed with the manufacturer of the finish.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 9:19AM
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I had something similar happen with my HVAC guys. I could have strangled them. Acetone did the trick for me and I think it is an approved product for concrete staining. However, I would use it very carefully. I used a very dark brown to stain my floors and I don't notice the removed pvc primer spots. They are there, but I have to nearly put my face at the floor to see them. The stain actually doesn't adhere to the concrete (assuming you are acid staining), but it reacts with the components of the concrete slab. The spots did take some stain, although they are more really dark gray than brown.

Even worse than the pvc primer is the stains left from where the electrician dropped staples and they rusted. I tried to pick up all the nails and staples, but I missed some. Those spots are very noticeable. Definitely get yourself a long handled magnet and keep all the nails and staples off the bare concrete.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Thanks everyone for all of your ideas, the company says they are researching ways to get this up (they even spilled some on their own concrete to test it), but I don't want to count on them to fix this, and I certainly don't want to look at the spots for the rest of my life! Dannie gal, thanks for your suggestion, we will have to try the acetone in the mech room. We're planning on doing the acid staining so hopefully we're as lucky as you and they won't be very visable!

Also good point on the rust issues, I've been very careful to pick up anything that might rust just in case that would show through the staining. I guess the lesson to learn from this (it's a little late for us, since we won't have any more subs in at this point), put large signs everywhere near your slab if you're going to stain it so everyone knows they need to be very careful!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 9:57AM
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After doing some research in some literature I have, it says do the following for cleaning PVC primer:

Step 1. Clean with Acetone or alchol
Step 2. Use a paint stripper.
Step 3. Clean with TSP.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 10:59AM
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This is an easy one. When we at work (plumbing and heating) spill some purple PVC primer, we just use CPVC Primer to pick it up. Works like a charm.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:47PM
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While there are many options available to remove the stain, one must be careful to choose a solvent that will not impede the acid stain from properly reacting with the concrete. One wrong solvent choice and you have a much larger problem when the stain doesn't take.

I seem to remember (although it's been 18 months since I did it) scraping a putty knife across the spots popped the primer dots off the floor. Acetone definitely worked though. I remember being worried because the only acetone item I had with me was fingernail polish remover! It was the gel kind in the little pump bottle. I was nervous at first because it was "enriched with Vitamin E" and I didn't know what that would do to the concrete! The pump was handy though because I was able to be very neat with it! I'm glad none of my subs were around to see me pull out fingernail polish as my weapon of choice! :D

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 4:06PM
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