Basement Floor

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by Serran21, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Oct 26, 2008 #1

    Serran21

    Serran21

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    hear is my problem, on my basement Floor i got glue stick tiles, and i want to get rid of those ugly things, but when i take the tile off, the glue stays on the concrete. Any produces that will take that clue off and clean the concrete?
     
  2. Oct 26, 2008 #2

    spaz2965

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    unfortunately I really don't know a good way, I have used a grinder with a wire brush on it and it is almost like you polish it, a electric floor scraper also will work , you may rent, but all is time consuming. Sorry that I really don't know of a way that is quick and good. What are you planning to put down in place of the tiles?
     
  3. Oct 26, 2008 #3

    Serran21

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    nothing as of yet, jsut trying to clean it up, i got the whole upstairs to renovate before i touch the downstairs. Thanks for the tips.
     
  4. Nov 6, 2008 #4

    yesitsconcrete

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    elec grinders fitted w/dust shrouds spinning diamond turbo cup wheels & hook'd up to your wet dry vacs,,, an alternative's beaneedoo or citrus strippers but they're messy, slippery, & require extensive cleanup while still leaving their own stains,,, the last time i had a citrus stripper in our house my wife became very angry when she discovered the young lady from fl.
     
  5. Jun 6, 2009 #5

    slownsteady

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    If you're planning on putting down sheet flooring or tiles, you shouldn't use any solvents to remove the glue. I've been told by an expert that the solvent seeps into the concrete and may weaken the new bond you will be making. You said you're not ready to do anything yet so this may not be a problem, but I don't know how long the solvents will remain active.

    good luck
     
  6. Jun 6, 2009 #6

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Serran21:
    Can you please fully describe the flooring you have and the adhesive that's holding it down to the concrete floor.

    Normally, these adhesives are removed with solvents, but there is a bit of a trick to removing them.

    Essentially, you need to mop the floor with water so that the concrete absorbs water and becomes damp. Once the concrete (or wood) is damp, it won't absorb any hydrocarbon solvent used to dissolve the adhesive.

    The only difficulty is that some old solvent based adhesives aren't very permeable to water and will act as a physical barrier to water. In that case you need to remove the old adhesive at some "starting points" in order to allow the concrete to get wet at those starting points. This can be done with a heat gun and a "Nestor Scraper", (named after it's inventor). A Nestor scraper is made by simply gripping a single edge razor blade in a pair of "needle nose style" locking pliers. The all-metal Nestor scraper will tolerate the heat thrown by the heat gun and can be sharpened quickly and easily by replacing it's inexpensive blade. Simply heat the old adhesive and shave it off the concrete with the Nestor scraper. Wear work gloves on your working hand as the Nestor scraper will get very hot in time.


    So, essentially the process to remove a difficult adhesive (like the "black out" used to stick old floor tiles down, would be:

    1) Mop the floor with water and cover with plastic so that the water doesn't dry, but permeates through the concrete. Do this repeatedly until you know that all of the concrete under the plastic is damp with water.

    2) Now, with the concrete damp, use a solvent to dissolve the old flooring adhesive. The damp concrete won't absorb any of the solvent, so the old flooring adhesive dissolved in that solvent won't leave a stain on the concrete because it's not absorbed into the concrete. Use a steel wire brush to ensure that the old flooring adhesive is fully dissolved into the solvent.

    3) Add a detergent to the black solvent mess on the floor. (I'd use Simple Green or Mr. Clean or a 50/50 mixture of the two.) Essentially, the difference between a "soap" and a "detergent" is that soaps are made from naturally occuring materials like plant oils and animal fats. Detergents are made from chemicals. In both cases, the cleaner molecules will have a water loving (or "hydrophillic") group at one end and of the cleaner molecule and a "dirt" group at the other end (that's as chemically similar to the dirt you want to remove as possible. We need cleaner molecules to be made that way so that the dirt end of the cleaner molecule will dissolve in the dirt you want to remove and the hydrophillic end of the cleaner molecule will dissolve in the water you're cleaning the dirt up with.

    By adding detergent to the liquid mess of adhesive dissolved in solvent that's on the floor, the "dirt" end of the detergent molecules dissolves in the solvent just like the adhesive.

    4) Now we add water and mix it into the solvent mess on the floor with a steel wire brush. When we do that we get an "emulsion" formed. An emulsion is nothing more than one liquid suspended in another. When we add water and scrub, the solvent based mess on the floor breaks into an emulsion of gazillions of solvent droplets with the adhesive dissolved in that solvent, all suspended in the water. The detergent molecules will all be at the surface of those droplets with the hydrophillic ends inside the water and the "dirt" ends inside the solvent.

    5. Since the adhesive is now dissolved in the solvent and the solvent is an emulsion on the floor, we can clean that emulsion off the floor with a sponge and bucket of water. Expect the sponge to get dirty as the droplets of solvent will break and release dirty solvent which will soil the sponge. Using a wet/dry vaccuum cleaner to clean the emulsion off the floor would also work well. Dispose of the dirty water you clean up off the floor by pouring it into a storm sewer on your street or avenue to prevent getting your own drain piping dirty with the stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  7. Jun 7, 2009 #7

    slownsteady

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    Nestor,

    how many "starting points" would you need to do? One ft. apart, maybe?
    Also, I'm not that happy about tossing this sludge into a storm drain. In many places, that's like pouring it on the ground.
     
  8. Jun 8, 2009 #8

    handyguys

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    I would say it depends on what you want as your finished floor. if you are finishing and installing carpet just leave in place what you have. If you remove them the carpet could be installed over the glue residue as well. If you want bare, clean, concrete I suspect you will be out of luck.
     
  9. Jun 9, 2009 #9

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Slownsteady:

    I'd probably do more than that. I was thinking about that last post and what would be a faster and easier way to make starting points would be to just get down on your knees with a sharp paint scraper and scrape off the adhesive in multiple places. (I'd use one of those paint scrapers that use tungsten carbide scraper blades cuz they'd stay sharp longer, especially on something like concrete.) That would make starting points a lot faster and easier than shaving off the adhesive with a heat gun.

    I'd probably try scraping off that adhesive when it's wet in the hopes that the moisture getting under it would help loosen it from the concrete.

    Handyguys: No, you're never going to get it as clean as it was before the adhesive was spread on it, but when I did one of my locker room floors, I did get that floor pretty darn clean using the procedure described in my previous post.
     
  10. Jun 9, 2009 #10

    slownsteady

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    Do you think that using a heat gun after the water has 'soaked under' might work? I don't imagine you would be creating steam or anything close to it, but I'm just wondering.....
     
  11. Jun 9, 2009 #11

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    Well, the heat would have to travel through the adhesive before heating the concrete or any water in that concrete. The adhesive on the concrete would be molten and easy to scrape off with a paint scraper long before the damp concrete under it ever got warm enough to make any difference.

    I'm thinking that if a person simply propped up a heat gun on a book or something to blow hot air over the adhesive, they could expose a large area of the underlying concrete with a paint scraper fairly quickly. That's cuz the hot air from the heat gun would travel quite far over the surface of the floor. You don't need to scrape all the adhesive off; you just need to remove enough of it to allow the underlying concrete to absorb water.

    In my building, I didn't have any problem getting the concrete in my locker rooms wet, so maybe it won't even be necessary to do any scraping with a paint scraper. But, in my case I could see that the adhesive was troweled on sparsely. If you pull up the flooring and see an impermeable layer of black asphaltic adhesive on the concrete, I'd try using a heat gun and paint scraper first as I expect that would work best.

    Just make sure that the concrete is damp before using any solvent to dissolve the adhesive. Maybe scrape off areas where there still was residual adhesive and find out if the concrete under that residual adhesive is white (like dry concrete) or a medium grey (like damp concrete). Concrete is pretty dense, so it'll take time for moisture to migrate laterally through it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009

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