What’s the Best Way to Remove Social Distancing Stickers from Flooring?

One of the unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been teaching all of us exactly what six feet looks like when it comes to social distancing. 

But if your business applied social distancing stickers to flooring to help your employees or customers remember to stay apart, it may not be as easy as you’d like to remove them. And if you are getting your facility ready to have employees and others back in person, now is a good time to consider what adhesives you may want to use for floor stickers in the future. 

Know the Risks of Using Stickers and Adhesive Floor Signage

The key to removing adhesive is making a good choice regarding what’s being applied in the first place. Here at DPM, we have had several customers ask for advice on how to remove social distancing stickers from flooring and what to use in the future. 

If you have a finish on the floor, we recommend not putting any kind of adhesive on it. You will pull the finish off the floor. The best bet is to avoid floor signage––especially on concrete. 

​However, if you DO put floor signage or adhesive on the floors, know the risks of doing so. When it comes time to remove floor stickers, it will likely require refinishing or cleaning from a floor cleaning professional to get the job done.

How to Remove Social Distancing Stickers from Flooring

But let’s say that in the beginning of the pandemic you needed stickers quickly and options were limited. You took what you could find that was budget friendly for your company. 

Now, though, you are ready to remove the stickers. What’s the best, most efficient way to do so? 

The answer to that question lies in the type of flooring you have used to adhere the stickers.

Let’s look at what it will take by each type of flooring.

Removing Stickers & Adhesive from Concrete  

DPM Care employee scraping social distancing sticker from concrete

Getting adhesive off concrete sounds like it would be easy. But concrete likes to breathe. So when you put a sticker on it, the concrete pulls the sticker into the floor and can actually stain it. 

So, what to do? Here’s a step-by-step guide of how we’ve worked through this with our clients:

  1. Go old school and get out a straight razor to scrape off the stickers. 
  2. Use an adhesive remover on the sticker to get down in the pores and remove the adhesive. 
  3. Use a black stripping pad and water.
  4. Strip the finish off of the floor. 
  5. ​Mop it down with a neutral pH cleaner.
  6. Repeat the process if the sticker still isn’t removed.
  7. ​Apply two or three coats of sealant. 
  8. ​Buff the area with two different pads.
  9. ​If the area doesn’t blend with the rest of the floor, it may be necessary to refinish the entire floor for uniformity.

If those steps don’t work, a more drastic measure may be necessary. Sometimes, you have to completely hone down the floor. Essentially, you have to refinish it.

Honing concrete refers to the progressive grinding of the surface of an existing concrete floor using diamond tooling to achieve a flat, smooth finish. But honing is an exact science. A floor can only be honed down to a certain degree before the floor could be harmed and not level. 

If you end up having to do something as comprehensive as honing, be sure you are hiring a company that knows what to do. 

Removing Stickers & Adhesive from Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT)

​When you pull tape or adhesive stickers off of VCT flooring, it removes the wax too. But the good news is that social distancing stickers and adhesive won’t stain the VCT.

That means, if you need to remove your floor stickers from VCT flooring, you only have to strip and wax the flooring to get it looking good as new.

Removing Stickers & Adhesive from Carpet

We’ve been dealing with adhesive on carpet long before COVID-19 social distancing stickers came into play. 

For example, it’s common for us to see plastic used as a floor covering on carpets during a building’s construction or during a remodel to prevent damage. The plastic is usually affixed with construction tape or other adhesive. 

While the carpet itself won’t be damaged by this, residue from the adhesive can attract dirt and create stains if it is not removed. 

The best way to remove adhesive from carpeting is with a carpet cleaning machine. After application of our cleaning agent, we rinse the carpet and then agitate again to get it thoroughly cleaned. 

Get Professional Floor Cleaning Help to Remove Social Distancing Stickers

Whenever you’re ready to remove the social distancing stickers from your flooring, be sure to work with a professional floor cleaning company to get the job done. 

No matter which type of flooring you have in your facility, it will require a skilled hand and professional cleaning equipment to completely remove adhesive and residue from your flooring.

If you are in the Nashville or Knoxville area and are having trouble removing stickers or other adhesive from your floors, we’d love to help. Contact us here to start a conversation