If you are planning to put down a new epoxy coating or other floor covering over a concrete floor, you need to properly prepare the surface in order to get professional-looking, long-lasting results. The most important thing you can do is make sure there is no leftover adhesive, glue, or mastic left over from a previous floor coating, as this will prevent the new coating from bonding properly and cause an overall failed adhesion. To help you get the best possible results, we’re sharing the correct way to remove adhesive from concrete floors.

Prefer to see a visual guide? Check out our video that walks you through the steps!

Choosing the Right Equipment to Remove Adhesive from Concrete

While some people may suggest using an orange cleaner or another chemical to clean the floors before laying down a fresh coating, that won’t work on the adhesive left behind from old coatings or floor covering, such as carpet glue. It’s not like the adhesive on a piece of masking tape or duct tape; epoxy and mastic bond to the concrete. Instead, you need to mechanically remove any adhesive, and to do this, we recommend using a floor grinder.

Using a floor grinder is the ideal solution to eliminating thin layers and patches of adhesive on concrete because it maintains the existing surface profile that is already present while eliminating all traces of glue and other materials. Carbide or diamond pads make quick work of cleaning the adhesive and ensure a comprehensive job. We recommend taking the floor grinder across the entire surface as this will make sure that all the adhesive is removed and the floor is even.

In the video, we are preparing a 1,700 square foot space, so we are using the Substrate Technology, Inc. Prep/Master Jr. While this is a compact floor grinder, its heavy head pressure and 7.5 HP electric motor ensures steady, even grinding at a pace that matches larger machines. Plus, its size makes it easy to get close to the walls and maneuver in smaller areas.

Keeping a Safe Environment While Removing Adhesive

When removing adhesive using a floor grinder you can do a wet grind, but we highly recommend a dry grind and connecting the equipment to a dust collection machine. This keeps the working space much cleaner and healthier, keeps dust off the floor, extends the life of your tooling, and you don’t have to worry about the hassle and headache of cleaning up slurry that comes from wet grinding.

In the video, we use the IMPACTS 3003AR Dust Collector to connect to the grinder and eliminate dust as it’s created. This machine has a large storage capacity and OSHA-approved HEPA filtration.

Contact Us for Custom Tips to Remove Adhesive

If you plan on putting down a new coating or floor covering, reach out to our customer service team to learn more about the right equipment and surface preparation tips. Call us at  (815) 278-1308 or fill out the form below to get started.