View Full Version : Removing Gunk on Concrete

Burt Alcantara
07-25-2008, 3:29 PM
We ripped up the "carpet" on our concrete steps. There is a 50 year old layer of assorted gunk, old glue I suppose. I removed most with an impact hammer but stopped on the step faces because the concrete was too soft.

Of course, this is where the thickest gunk resides. We're both out there with a hammers and chisels but headway is very very slow.

What are some other options? Chemical, mechanical, nuclear?


Joe Jensen
07-25-2008, 3:41 PM
Carpet installers have a glue remover which I've used in the past for that application. With it I was able to remove the surface stuff, but not what had "soaked" into the pores of the concrete. I think to completely remove it you would need to surface grind the concrete.

I am certain that Lacquer thinner would work as well Either way, use a respirator...joe

Danny Thompson
07-25-2008, 4:16 PM
When I was doing my stained concrete floors project, I used a Dremmel with a wire brush attachment. That seemed to do the best job on the toughest gunk.

Burt Alcantara
07-25-2008, 6:14 PM
Went to Home Depot. They only had one adhesive remover so we bought it. Will give it a whack tomorrow.

Danny, I put a stiff wire brush on my 1/2" wrist breaker. I had to lean into it so much I was worried about burning out the motor. This gunk is tough!

Thanks for all the suggestions. I think we're on the right track for now.


Rich Engelhardt
07-26-2008, 6:24 AM
I've used both extremes - hot and cold - with ~ equal results on small areas.
Depending on the old adhesive's composition, either a torch or dry ice can loosen it up enough to scrape off with a stiff puttty knife.
Whatever method, it's one of the more miserable things to do in life.
Somewhere between having a root canal & whacking your thumb with a hammer.
I don't envy you one bit.

Joe Chritz
07-26-2008, 7:00 PM
Shot blasting? It will take the stuff off but depending on the area the steps are in it could be sorta hard on the surrounding house.