Chewing gum removal is a sticky business, whether it is stuck to your sidewalks, entryways, patio or the driveway, chewing gum eventually turns in to a black smudge on your concrete. But usually before that happens, pedestrians and clients walking by step on it and track it in all over your office carpets and entryway mats. Then it’s forced deep into the carpet fibers and into the porous surface of the concrete, just waiting for someone to step in it again, to carry it somewhere else.
The best methods of removing chewing gum from concrete depends on the gum’s age and level of penetration into the concrete surface. If the gum was left recently and it has not penetrated the surface yet, you might be able to remove it by covering it with ice until it freezes, then scraping it off with a metal putty knife. The ice forces the gum to freeze into a workable substance compared to a warm and stringy mess. Once that happens, just slide a metal putty knife or scraper under the gum residue. As you move the scraper slowly under the gum, the entire piece should peel right off the concrete.
If your trying to remove chewing gum that has turned black, or is smashed down into the concrete, the best thing to use is a hot water pressure washer with the heat turned up to 200 Degrees to melt the gum. You don’t need high pressure, if you use more pressure than that you will damage the surface of the concrete!
Never use more pressure than you need to clean concrete, it can be damaged a lot easier than you think, especially if it’s only a few years old. Concrete can take up to 100 Years to cure completely, so always start out with hot water and the least amount of pressure possible for chewing gum removal.
To remove chewing gum from sidewalks and other surfaces we use custom designed hot water pressure washing equipment that’s shown in these photos, and special soaps and detergents that enable us to clean the surface without causing any damages.
Using special 200 degree hot water pressure washers and low pressure, we can safely remove chewing gum and surface dirt while protecting the surface. Our method will also destroy bacteria and viruses that are commonly found in gum on concrete.
By hiring PowerWashCompany.com for regular maintenance cleaning at your properties, your property will have a better appearance and your chewing gum removal problems will be over! You will also prevent damage to carpets and other flooring while making your store front more appealing to visitors.
If all else fails, you can use chemicals on the gum. Orange peel oil and paint stripper are two chemical solutions that work well on gum residues, but do not mix the two liquids together. To ensure that you do not mar your concrete, try one of the chemicals on the surface’s corner — do not use the chemical if it discolors or harms the concrete’s texture. After applying the chosen chemical to the gum, work the liquid into the deposit using a hand scraper. Difficult gum stains eventually work out of the concrete with proper chemical applications.
The other method is to use any of several high-powered cleaner formulations. One power washing company suggests using its paint stripper for chewing gum removal; this is reported to be a blend of emulsified solvents. This material is diluted with water, applied to the concrete, left in place for up to 30 minutes, and then removed with a high pressure hot or cold rinse. Another company recommends an industrial grade solvent formulation that is used to remove grease, stains and epoxies, and which does some slight etching of the concrete. Another company has several formulations which are considered effective.
The General Services Administration has their own guidelines for historic properties, unfortunately they are not very effective.
REMOVING CHEWING GUM FROM CONCRETE
THE CLEANING OR REMOVAL OF GUM STAINS FROM CONCRETE MAY INVOLVE THE USE OF LIQUIDS, DETERGENTS OR SOLVENTS WHICH MAY RUN OFF ON ADJACENT MATERIAL, DISCOLOR THE CONCRETE OR DRIVE THE STAINS DEEPER INTO POROUS CONCRETE. USE THE PRODUCTS AND TECHNIQUES DESCRIBED HERE ONLY FOR THE COMBINATIONS OF DIRT/STAIN AND CONCRETE SPECIFIED.
A. This procedure includes guidance on chewing gum removal and its residual staining left on concrete using freezing agents and chemical solvents.
B. Safety Precautions For Chewing Gum Removal:
1. DO NOT save unused portions of stain-removal materials.
2. DO NOT store any chemicals in unmarked containers.
3. EXCELLENT VENTILATION MUST BE PROVIDED WHEREVER ANY SOLVENT IS USED. USE RESPIRATORS WITH SOLVENT FILTERS.
4. No use of organic solvents indoors should be allowed without substantial air movement. Use only spark-proof fans near operations involving flammable liquids.
5. Provide adequate clothing and protective gear where the chemicals are indicated to be dangerous.
6. Have available antidote and accident treatment chemicals where noted.
C. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines cover the following sections on chewing gum removal:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precautions
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines on chewing gum removal should be reviewed prior to performing this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic Preservation Officer (RHPO).
D. For additional information on poulticing, see 04455-02-R.
2.01 MATERIALS FOR CHEWING GUM REMOVAL
NOTE: Chemical products are sometimes sold under a common name. This usually means that the substance is not as pure as
the same chemical sold under its chemical name. The grade of purity of common name substances, however, is usually adequate for stain removal work, and these products should be purchased when available, as they tend to be less expensive. Common names are indicated below by an asterisk (*).
Aerosol Freezing Agents
B. Use one of the following solvents in a poultice (see Section 3.02 below for related procedures):
Chewing gum removal using Denatured Alcohol:
1. Other chemical or common names include Methylated spirit*.
2. Potential hazards: TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.
3. Available from hardware store, paint store or printer’s supply distributor.
4. Denatured alcohol, which carries no liquor tax, should be a satisfactory substitute for ethyl alcohol for stain removing purposes.
1. A colorless volatile heavy toxic liquid with an ether odor used especially as a solvent or as a general anesthetic.
2. Other chemical or common names include Methylene trichloride; Trichloromethane.
3. Potential Hazards: CARCINOGEN; TOXIC: INHALATION, CONTACT AND INGESTION; IF IT DECOMPOSES FLAMABLE.
4. Available from chemical supply house, dry cleaning supply distributor, drugstore or pharmaceutical supply distributor, or paint store.
C. Filler material such as whiting, diatomaceous earth or talc
D. Mineral water
E. Clean dry towels for blotting the area after treatment
F. Clean, potable water
G. Accessible source of water, soap and towels for washing and rinsing in case of emergencies associated with the use of chemicals
2.02 EQUIPMENT FOR CHEWING GUM REMOVAL
A. For Poulticing:
1. Glass or ceramic container for mixing the solution
2. Wooden utensil for stirring the ingredients
B. Wood or plastic spatula
C. Stiff bristle brushes (non-metallic)
3.01 PREPARATION FOR CHEWING GUM REMOVAL
1. Provide adequate wash solutions (i.e. water, soap and towels) before starting the job.
2. Whenever acid is used, the surface should be thoroughly rinsed with water as soon as its action has been adequate. Otherwise it will continue etching the concrete even though the stain is gone.
3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
NOTE: DO NOT TRY MORE THAN ONE TREATMENT ON A GIVEN AREA UNLESS THE CHEMICALS USED FROM PRIOR TREATMENT HAVE BEEN WASHED AWAY.
A. Use a manufactured freezing agent or ice to make the gum brittle and easier to remove.
B. Scrape off as much chewing gum as possible using a wood or plastic spatula.
C. To remove any residual staining after chewing gum removal, apply a poultice made with denatured alcohol or chloroform (see Section 2.01 above).
1. Mix whiting material from Section 2.01 with denatured alcohol to create a thick paste. Select the amount of whiting or filler material to make a poultice of the required size. Add denatured alcohol to obtain the proper paste-like consistency.
2. Thoroughly wet the concrete surface to be treated with clean, clear water.
3. Apply the mixture to the stained area using a wood or plastic spatula and allow to dry. Be sure to spread the poultice well beyond the stained area. The liquid portion of the paste will migrates into the concrete where it will dissolve some of the staining material. Then the liquid will gradually move back beyond the concrete surface and into the poultice, where it will evaporate, leaving the dissolved staining material in the poultice.
4. When the poultice has dried, brush or scrape it off with a wooden scraper.
5. Wash the surface thoroughly with hot water containing sodium orthophosphate.
6. Thoroughly rinse the area with clean, clear water and allow to dry.
7. Repeat the process as necessary to sufficiently remove the stain.
D. If treatment with denatured alcohol does not sufficiently remove the stain, try poulticing with chloroform, carbon disulfide or carbon tetrachloride (follow procedures for Section 3.02 C.1-7. above).
END OF GSA CHEWING GUM REMOVAL
First impressions of your properties make a difference in how potential tenants and their clients perceive a business. With over 26 years of experience, we know how to remove chewing gum and the toughest stains. All of our pressure washing and chewing gum removal services are performed using professional grade environmentally friendly soaps and detergents. We also use waste water recovery systems that keep our clients and us in compliance with The Clean Water Act and other EPA regulations. Call PowerWashCompany.com now at 301-216-9675 for our chewing gum removal services in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.
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