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novice40 07-17-2008 12:54 PM

removing adhesive
Does anuone have any tips for removing glue?
I bought some solvent it seems to work ok , it cut through the glue on my stairs that was like tar.
My problem is how do I lift it off more effectively.
I'm using a drywall blade ,but I some of the glue just gets spread around then dries up again.
Rags or paper towels dont seem to the trick either.
I'm down to a much tinner film of glue but I just cant seem to get rid of it all.
Once the chemical softens it I can move it around and see bare wood in spots but I don't have a good method for lifting it off.

Thank you for your help.

RippySkippy 07-17-2008 03:26 PM

It would be slow...but have you tried heat from a hand held heat gun? Get it warm and scrape away. Be careful though some of the glue can burn quite easily, and it will stink.

Bud Cline 07-17-2008 05:13 PM


Does anuone have any tips for removing glue?
What kind of glue from what type of surface. What the heck are you doing?

Using solvents to remove adhesives on floors can be very very dangerous and isn't recommended.:)

novice40 07-17-2008 07:35 PM

The surface is stairs and risers .
Why is it dangerous ?

Bud Cline 07-17-2008 08:10 PM

Let me try to find the newspaper article that tells the story of the two flooring guys that blew themselves up when the vapors from the solvent they were using found the pilot light on the hot water heater. They were burned severly and the home burned to the ground.:(

The history of floorcovering installations is laced with many such stories.

Bud Cline 07-17-2008 08:19 PM

I haven't found it yet but this will do:

For further information please contact:
Kelly Collard
Office of the Fire Marshal
(416) 325-3138

Rodney Porter
Office of the Fire Marshal
(416) 325-3120

Hazard Summary:

Many solvent-based products are still widely used in the installation and finishing of hardwood floors. They are often highly flammable and/or combustible and pose a significant risk of fire and explosion. As well, when improperly handled they may cause acute or chronic health effects in workers.
The process of hardwood floor installation and finishing usually involves the use of three kinds of products:
  • An adhesive is used to apply wood flooring to concrete or other types of sub-floor.
  • A sanding sealer mixed with sawdust is applied to the sanded wood surface.
  • A varnish is applied as a top coat as soon as the sanding sealer has dried.
Improper handling of these products may present the following hazards:
Fire or Explosion
The use of these products in enclosed and poorly ventilated areas may cause a significant build-up of vapours, to a point where sparks or open flames can ignite the vapours, causing a fire or explosion. The Ministry of Labour has investigated cases in which fires and explosions have resulted in fatalities.
Inhalation of Vapours
These products contain organic solvents and other substances: epoxies, urea-formaldehyde, polyurethane, and nitrocellulose resins and additives. If the products are improperly handled, workers can be exposed to high levels of solvent or other vapours. Prolonged and repeated exposure to high levels of these vapours may produce both acute and chronic adverse health effects.
Direct Skin Contact
Direct contact with these products can cause skin dermatitis and/or sensitization. Sufficient absorption through the skin could lead to adverse systemic health effects.

novice40 07-19-2008 10:31 AM

Ok I wasn't aware of a high risk of explosions.
But I had a huge fan running with the garage window and door open
The instructions lead me to believe is was no more significant than the warnings you would get with any other product that produces fumes, like paint thinner or glues.
Maybe this isn't technically a solvent, the can doesn't say flammable.
It's a product by JASCO.

The can didn't say that the product was flammable and said it was harmless to wood , so after reading these reples I am now wondering if I saturated the wood with something that makes it more flammable.

It does warn about fumes and skin contact and said it can't be sold in california due to california deeming one of it's ingredients as a carcinogen .

So here is my follow up question
Do I need to get down to bare wood ?

After using the adhesive remover it leaves a film , the glue was tar like and it's now at a stage where the steps look like they have a wood stain on them.
So now there is a thin film of glue/adhesive remover.

How far do I need to go with the glue removal ?
The surface isn't tacky any more.
AM I ok with applying a primer at this point ?

The other thing is how should I finish the areas where I just started with the glue remover?
Do I heat those areas with a heat gun after I have put the glue remover on them?
(The glue remover takes several rounds before it cuts the glue so I have some steps at an unfinished stage )

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