Clean and Retrieve – Blog post

Line marking removal: what you need to know 

There are various reasons you might want to remove the line markings from the floor of your car park, warehouse, or factory. If you want to re-organise the space, for example, you’ll need to reapply your line markings in different places.

This is crucial to helping people navigate the area safely. Walkways, crossings, and hatched markings will all need to be removed and repainted. 

Ensuring your road and car park markings are still doing their job is critical. 

How to remove line marking paint

Line marking paint removal is done in different ways depending on the age of the existing markings, the floor surface, and the space (how big it is, whether it’s enclosed, etc). Budget and timescales are also key considerations. 

The four main methods of line marking removal include: 

  1. Hydro blasting 
  2. HCA lance 
  3. Surface grinding or scabbling 
  4. Sand or shot blasting 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Our technicians will assess the job before they decide on the most suitable tactic. 

Hydroblasting line marking removal 

Hydroblasting involves using high-pressure water jets to remove the line paint from the road or floor. Typically, the machines are fitted with a separate collection tank which sucks up the excess water and waste. 

With this method, you can cover large areas quickly, keeping disruption to a minimum. It also preserves the surface of the road or floor under the paint. 

Hydroblasting is cleaner and kinder to the environment as no chemicals are involved. 

Benefits of hydroblasting at a glance 

  • Preserves the surface 
  • Quick to remove road marking paint across large areas 
  • Environmentally friendly

HCA (hot compressed air) lance 

This is one of the most popular methods of removing road marking paint. It effectively burns off the paint using a combination of propane gas and compressed air. 

This method is typically used outside as it can produce fumes and is also noisy. It works best on bitumen-based surfaces. 

You might also see hot compressed air being used to dry surfaces before new coatings and road marking paint is applied. 

Benefits of HCA lancing at a glance

  • Effective at removing all types of paint, including thermoplastic markings
  • Minimal surface damage 
  • No chemicals or solvents required 

Surface grinding or scabbling 

Scabbling is a mechanical surface preparation technique that can be used to scrape away floor-marking paint using pneumatic tools and machines with rotating cutters. 

Surface grinding is a little different because rather than just scraping away the paint, it removes the top layer of the floor’s surface. 

Benefits of scabbling at a glance

  • Fast and cost-efficient for large areas 
  • Can also be used to prepare the surface for paint application 
  • No chemicals or solvents required 

Shotblasting for line marking removal 

Shotblasting involves projecting high-velocity ‘shot’ (steel balls or sand) at the road’s surface to remove paint and prepare the surface for re-painting. This process removes part of the floor or road, leaving a rough surface, ideal for bonding with paint.  

Benefits of shotblasting at a glance 

  • Doubles-up as a way to prepare the surface for paint 
  • Removes paint without causing excessive damage to the underlying material 
  • Highly efficient when it comes to removing paint from large areas 

The key takeaway 

Line marking removal is a job best left to the experts. It requires expertise and specialist equipment. 

The technicians at Clean and Retrieve are on hand to help – simply call or email

Post author
Darren Riggott
Date of blog post
13 August 2023

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