Construction adhesive is meant to bond items together forever. However, you may find in the course of remodeling your home that you must remove something bonded to a surface with construction adhesive. If this is the case, you have a few options to dissolve the construction adhesive rather than resorting to a sledgehammer.
When removing construction adhesive, it is important to work in a well ventilated area. If you are working over a large area, a respirator is essential. Gloves and eye protection should also be worn any time you decide to work with acetone or a solvent.
Step 1: Clean the area where the two pieces are bonded together with construction adhesive. This will remove any barrier, allowing the solvent to do the work necessary to dissolve the bond.
Step 2: If you see any construction adhesive that is exposed, try removing it with a razor scraper or a utility knife. Removing as much as you can now will help the job go more quickly.
Step 3: Generously apply acetone to a rag and place it over the construction adhesive or the joint where the two items are glued together with adhesive. Wait 15 minutes, then try to scrape away more of the construction adhesive, or loosen the objects that are stuck together. If it doesn’t work, soak the rag again and apply for another 15 minutes. Try again to see if the acetone will dissolve the bond.
Step 4: Clean away the acetone if it does not work to remove the construction adhesive.
Step 5: Apply a layer of adhesive solvent to the joint of two objects glued together or over the construction adhesive. Use a paintbrush to apply. Wait 5 minutes, then apply more solvent until the adhesive has detached.
Step 6: Scour away any remaining construction adhesive you see with the adhesive solvent and steel wool. If you did not need the solvent, you can use acetone for the clean up.
Step 7: Clean the areas with plain water and a sponge to remove any remain solvents and dirt.