How to Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete

I'll admit that I don't get excited about floor prep, especially when the first step is to remove carpet glue from concrete. Removing any mastic or adhesive is a vigorous task.

There are a few methods and neither are quick and easy. Your biggest ally here is patience. I don't mean to sound discouraging, but at the same time I want to give you realistic expectations.

Chemical Strippers

Chemical removal is ideal for smaller areas. First, use a floor scraper to remove as much debris as possible. Then apply an adhesive or mastic remover.

Some of the best products for this are the new generation of soy based products. Not only do they perform very well, but they are 100% biodegradable with no harmful fumes or odors.

I strongly recommend the soy removers, especially when working indoors. Not only do they work, but they do the job with few safety concerns. The fumes from other strippers can be very dangerous and they stink up the house.

The key to getting any adhesive remover to work is to allow plenty of time for it to work. Apply it and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Then scrape up the rest of the glue and get rid of it. The floor must then be washed with a mild detergent (or TSP) and water.

You must remove carpet glue from concrete if you plan to stain or paint the surface. Stains won't penetrate and paints won't ahere. For information on these applications see acid stains, acrylic stains, or epoxy paints.

Mechanical Removal

Grinding is one way to do it, but it can be a long messy process. Grinding heats up the glue and gums it up. Eventually a diamond grinder will get through it but it does take a while.

Floor scrapers are not that effective in my opinion. The blades usually are not sharp enough to get under the glue.

There are special wheels for low rpm floor scrubbers that contain a series of carbide blades. They work well if the floor is flat, but these wheels are difficult to find at rental stores.

remove carpet glue

A hand held razor scraper combined with hot water is effective and may be your best option. Boil some water, dump it on floor and let it sit a few minutes. This is effective at loosing some types of glue.

I haven't tried it, but I've heard ammonia works well on some glues. Not all glues were created equal and removing carpet glue from concrete is usually a trial and error process until you find something manageable

Sometimes there is no easy way out and you just have to roll up your sleeves and get to it.

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