The Total NIGHTMARE of Removing Airtightness Tapes in Construction Cleans

I’ve had this problem become more common and believe you’ll all encounter it one day. It is a total and complete nightmare. For context it takes me 8 hours to perform a near perfect scratch free construction clean for silicon/plaster/paint/concrete on 30 windows in/out all glass, frames and tracks. It takes me an additional 8 hours for just removing the AT tape.

AT tape looks like this -

First my technique, then a plea for help - I am hoping somebody has a magic way to expedite removal.

My current technique -

In 3 parts which follow a sequence -

    1. The cutting.
      Take a new Unger Trim10 razor blade or similar and make cuts where the AT tape meets the wall - which is usually paint on plaster. This can take 3 to 5 passes before the AT tape is genuinely cut.

This is the sole purpose for this type of razor in this job because the AT tape is too tacky to get behind it with such a sharp razor - without badly damaging the window frame and walls.

    1. The corner easing.
      You cannot adeptly remove AT tape with the Trim10 at corners because the blade is too long to ease correctly. The best way I have found is to use a Leatherman blade to place pressure on the corner as you slowly scrape the blade downward.
    1. The filling knife.
      Use what we call a Japanese filling knife - this is a kind of painter’s palette knife but thin, flexible and just blunt enough to not damage a metal or plastic frame. This is used to get behind the rest of the AT tape from the side in repeated motions to get through the AT tape glue.

With this technique it is still possible to damage the wall or frame. This is just the best way I’ve found to mitigate that.

The plea -

All advice welcome.

Why you should care -

As I’m sure many of you know many new construction builds are moving into making air tight houses to assist with lowering the cost of space heating. One of the techniques to make a building airtight is to use airtightness tape around all internal doors and windows.

If the builder has detailed this properly then it is not visible to us on the window and door frames.

Of course that doesn’t happen.

The AT tape is a complete nightmare to remove. It is never intended to be removed. I talked to SIGA - the manufacturers for a popular AT tape product. This is their reply -

"Dear Mr. X,

Unfortunately we do not have a product to remove our tapes. Because our products should last a lifetime.
You can try it with pure alcohol or citric acid. But we cannot guarantee that it works.

Best regards,