Got a call from a data installation company. I met the manager at the address to find a total screw up. They forgot to cap the diesel tank on a machine in tow and it spilled on a very nice driveway. Accidents happen right?! Heres where it gets worse. They called a pretty well know PW company to clean it. They charged $1000 (emergency call). Used pressure and never even brought out any degreaser. Then, with the oil still present, proceeded to seal the strip (3’x150’) with high solids acrylic the next day. The driveway has a WB sealer existing so it looks rediculous. Customer STEAMING!
After some serious testing in the best process, I figured a way to “make better” the mess. Still in progress, but heres a few pics of the befores and mid process.
Well, I wrapped up the job yesterday with a final degreasing and surface cleaning. Kind of a pain in the butt job to remove an acrylic sealer. Apply xylene, scrub, spray off, repeat. Like 3 or 4 times til gone. Well, kind of gone. The xylene makes solid sealer into a liquid again (**remember this if you apply sealer too soon after washing and moisture creates a milky appearance), but only after rolling with pressure or scrubbing. Then spraying off with pressure. A 40° works well. I advise a lower gpm machine for this because more water equals more runoff. Xylene is no joke and will etch or stain the surrounding concrete, an issue in this case due to the surrounding concrete being sealed in WB.
Acrylic is hydrophobic, so when you spray it off it turns into a white colored mass of stuck on (but now pressure washable) grease-like goo. Be mindful of where its headed when you spray as a vinyl or hardy would probably be done for. If these surfaces are around, I strongly suggest masking the area. Due to the thinning of the sealer, your puddle or runoff will carry outside of your immediate work area and settle on surfaces unintended. Effectively applying a thin coat of sealer all around. This will be apparent the next day. Apply a good degreaser, in this case EBC was too weak and did not remove the sheen from xylene.
In the end it was another good learning experience. One more abstract thing I can pull from if needed.
If you find yourself in this situation, either you screwed up, or someone else did. If the latter is the case, dont be afraid to charge your rate and then some and make no promises!