Dear Maintenance Men
25 January 2011
Dear Maintenance Men:
The sidewalk in front of my building is made of brick set in concrete. It has accumulated chewing gum that has been ground into the surface. I used a pressure washer that uses unheated water, and it hasn’t touched this collection of gum. What could work better? Someone suggested burning it off with a butane torch. If I call out a vendor, what process should I seek out that might remove this unsightly mess?
A method we have used with success is to douse the gum with Goof-Off graffiti cleaner. Let the gum soak for about three minutes. Using a sharp one-inch wide carpenters chisel (not a putty knife) at a 45-degree angle, scrape the gum with force. After removing the gum, pressure wash the area with hot water to remove the gum residue. If you were to use a vendor for this process, ask about a system called “Gum Busters”. It uses a 300-degree low-pressure dry steam to loosen the gum, detergent, a brush and the gum is gone in about five seconds. We saw this system work on a TV show called Dirty Jobs!