How to Remove Adhesive Tape From Concrete

Concrete floors are often covered with carpets or rugs held down with adhesive tape to keep them from shifting. In order to install some other type of flooring treatment over the concrete it is often necessary to remove leftover adhesive tape. You can remove these tape remnants thoroughly, cleanly and efficiently with only a few steps and materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat gun
  • Putty knife
  • Tweezers
  • Adhesive remover
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Sponge or rag
  • Liquid dish detergent

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Use a heat gun at its medium setting to loosen the adhesive bond to the concrete. Hold the gun about 8 inches away from the surface and aim straight down at the tape. Slowly move the gun over the tape from end to end and back again for approximately five minutes.

Stop heating the tape, and use a small putty knife to begin removing the tape. Place the putty knife under the leading end of the tape. Ease the edge of the knife under the tape and lift slightly while doing so. When there is enough tape lifted, grasp it with tweezers or your fingers and slowly pull it free from the concrete.

Spread an adhesive remover over the area of concrete where the tape had been. Try to soak the area thoroughly, either by pouring the remover over the tape residue or by continuously spreading it back and forth. Leave the compound on the adhesive for approximately five minutes.

Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub at the concrete gently. Move the brush over the concrete surface four or five times until the majority of the adhesive is rubbed away. For tape residue that is particularly difficult to remove, you may need to repeat the adhesive remover and scrub brush steps.

Wet a sponge or clean rag and apply a few drops of liquid dish detergent onto the now-cleaned area. Slowly scrub at the concrete to help remove any lingering adhesive or adhesive remover from the surface. Rinse the rag often with clean water and remove as much soap as you can. Allow the concrete to dry thoroughly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Eucalyptus oil is a viable natural alternative to chemical-based adhesive removers.
  • Use caution when working with heat guns that you don't cause a fire or other burn injuries.

References

  • “Bob Harris's Guide to Stained Concrete Interior Floors”; Bob Harris; 2006.
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