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Removing adhesive from floors is no easy task, but it’s often necessary for those who are preparing to install laminate flooring. Glue is one of the most common substances used in DIY flooring projects, and if it’s not adequately removed before installation, it can spell disaster.
Fortunately, proper adherence to the glue removal process helps ensure a successful laminate flooring installation. Below we’ve detailed some of the best practices for safely and effectively removing adhesive from your floor.
## Understanding Different Types of Laminate Floor Glue
Before beginning any adhesive removal project, it’s important to understand which type of glue has been applied. Not all glues are created equal, so it’s important to conduct a bit of research to ensure you’re employing the best adhesive removal procedure for your particular job.
The two most popular glues for laminates are water-based adhesives and solvent-based adhesives. Water-based adhesives are made with polymers and water, resulting in a non-hazardous formulation that dries quickly and produces low levels of volatile organic compounds. Solvent-based adhesives contain polymers that have been bound with solvents such as benzene or formaldehyde, making them hazardous to work with.
## Preparing for Laminate Glue Removal
It’s essential to properly prepare yourself and your space prior to any glue removal project. Start by putting on the appropriate safety gear — goggles, gloves, a dust mask if needed — then ensure you have all the necessary supplies on hand: a mop, bucket, cleaning cloths, a putty knife, mineral spirits (only necessary for solvent-based adhesives) and a suitable adhesive remover (for both types).
When possible, perform your glue removal outdoors or in an area with plenty of ventilation; this will help reduce excess dust or fumes. After that, it’s time to survey the room and assess how you want to tackle the job. Do you need to remove the glue from large or small areas? Are you dealing with extremely tough adhesives? Will you need to scrub or just scrape? Make note of any challenges, such as splinters or uneven surfaces, ahead of time so you can determine the right course of action.
## Removing Water-Based Laminate Floor Adhesive
It may seem counterintuitive at first glance, but water is your best ally when attempting to remove water-based adhesives. Start by mopping the affected area in order to soften and break down the glue; use hot water if possible as it’ll help speed up the process. Once the area is good and damp, take up your mop again and add a teaspoon or two of dish soap. Keep mopping into the corners and crevices until you see telltale signs that the glue is beginning to lift. If it seems like it’s hardening up again — which can easily happen with water-based adhesives — just add more water or soap as needed (keeping in mind that too much soap can leave a slick residue).
## Removing Solvent-Based Laminate Floor Adhesive
Due to their hazardous nature, extra caution should be taken when working with solvent-based adhesives. As previously mentioned, you’ll need some mineral spirits on hand to help break down the substance; just mix one part spirits with three parts warm water and pour into a clean bucket. Take your mop (or cleaning cloth) and dip it in; wring out any extra liquid before lightly scrubbing at the affected area until the adhesive begins loosening. If needed, use a putty knife to gently scrape away any remaining bits before wiping them up with dry cloths. To finalize the process, take one final pass over the entire area with your damp mop or cleaning cloth before allowing everything to air dry.
## Wrapping Up
Glue removal can be tricky business so it pays off (literally) to take your time and follow every step correctly. When done right, laminate flooring installation can last for many years without issue or worry; just make sure that any leftover adhesive is Properly handled and disposed of according to local regulations.
Good luck with your next glue removal project!