Removing Waterproofing from Planter Boxes

If you’ve ever had waterproofing applied to your planter boxes and now want to remove it, you may be wondering about the best process and techniques for doing so. Removing waterproofing from planter boxes can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it can be done effectively. This article will guide you through the steps and provide useful tips to make the process easier and ensure the best results.

Why Remove Waterproofing from Planter Boxes?

There are various reasons why you might want to remove waterproofing from your planter boxes. Some common reasons include:

  1. Rejuvenation: Over time, waterproofing materials can wear down or become damaged, making it necessary to refresh or replace the coating.
  2. Replanting: If you want to change the plants in your planter boxes or update the aesthetics, removing the existing waterproofing is essential before making any changes.
  3. Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance can remove dirt and debris that may have accumulated on the waterproofing, but removing it entirely allows for a more thorough cleaning.

Waterproofing removal can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, but with proper techniques and tools, you can achieve desirable results.

Tools and Materials Required for Removing Waterproofing

Before you begin the waterproofing removal process, it’s essential to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s a list of items you will need:

  • Plastic tarp or drop cloth
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Paint scraper or putty knife
  • Wire brush
  • Power washer
  • Mild detergent
  • Bucket
  • Clean rags or sponges

Now that you have everything prepared let’s move on to the step-by-step process of removing waterproofing from planter boxes.

Step-by-Step Process for Removing Waterproofing

Step 1: Prepare the Work Area

  1. Start by clearing the surrounding area around the planter boxes of any plants or other items.
  2. Lay down a plastic tarp or drop cloth to protect the ground from any debris or chemicals that may fall during the removal process.

Step 2: Protect Yourself

  1. Put on safety goggles, a dust mask, and heavy-duty gloves to protect yourself from any loose debris or chemicals that may be released during the removal process.

Step 3: Test the Waterproofing

  1. Before diving into the removal process, test a small area of the planter box to determine the effectiveness of your chosen removal method. This step is crucial to avoid damaging the planter box or plants.
  2. Apply the removal technique to a small, inconspicuous area and observe the results to ensure it does not cause any harm.

Step 4: Scrape off the Surface

  1. Begin by using a paint scraper or putty knife to gently scrape off the surface layer of the waterproofing material.
  2. Work in a smooth and controlled motion to avoid damaging the planter box or its structure.
  3. Continue scraping until you have removed as much of the top layer as possible.

Step 5: Apply Detergent and Scrub

  1. Mix mild detergent with water in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Apply the detergent solution to the planter box using a clean rag or sponge.
  3. Scrub the surface using a wire brush, focusing on the areas where waterproofing residue remains.
  4. Repeat this process until the surface is clean and free from any remaining waterproofing material.

Step 6: Rinse Thoroughly

  1. After scrubbing, rinse the planter box thoroughly to remove any detergent or remaining debris.
  2. A power washer can be useful for this step, but be cautious not to use too much pressure, as it may damage the planter box or its structure.
  3. Ensure that all traces of detergent and debris are removed by inspecting the surface after rinsing.

Step 7: Allow for Drying

  1. Let the planter box dry completely before applying any new waterproofing or making any other changes.
  2. This step is crucial to ensure proper adhesion and longevity of the new waterproofing material.


1. Can I use chemical strippers to remove waterproofing from planter boxes?

Chemical strippers can be effective in removing waterproofing, but they may also contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to the environment or your health. It’s recommended to try non-chemical methods first and reserve chemical strippers as a last resort.

2. How long does the planter box need to dry after removing the waterproofing?

The drying time can vary depending on various factors such as weather conditions, type of planter box material, and the amount of moisture present. Generally, it’s best to allow the planter box to dry for at least 24 to 48 hours before applying new waterproofing or proceeding with any other changes.

3. Can I reuse the removed waterproofing material?

It’s not advisable to reuse the removed waterproofing material, as it may have deteriorated or lost its effectiveness during the removal process. It’s best to discard the removed material and use fresh waterproofing for optimal results.


Removing waterproofing from planter boxes can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and tools, it can be accomplished successfully. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you will be able to remove the existing waterproofing material and prepare your planter boxes for rejuvenation, replanting, or maintenance. Remember to take necessary precautions, test the removal technique, and ensure thorough cleaning and drying before moving forward. Your planter boxes will be ready for a fresh start, allowing you to enjoy their beauty and functionality for years to come.

Waterproofing Somerset West

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