Glue or any construction adhesive can be a hassle to remove from surfaces like bricks. The process can be extremely difficult and tricky as removing glue can leave behind stains and residue and damages on the bricks when done incorrectly.
But with the right knowledge and techniques, removing glue without damage is not entirely impossible to achieve. So, stick around as we share with you several steps and techniques you can follow to ensure the task is done right and achieve a spotless brick surface.
How to Remove Glue From Brick?
If you have been applying the construction adhesive or glue by yourself to the bricks, but you made a mistake, you can remove it if it’s still uncured. Construction adhesive or glue sets very quickly, so you have to get rid of it before that happens.
Before it dries, you can use a metal putty knife to scrape off the uncured glue and work fast. After removing all glue from the bricks, wipe the surface using a rag to remove any remaining glue residue.
However, if the construction adhesive or glue has already hardened, you need to follow a much more comprehensive process to remove it properly without the risk of damaging the bricks. Here are several steps you can do.
Step 1: Soften the Adhesive
Before removing the glue, you have to soften it first, especially if it’s already cured. Getting rid of a hardened glue without softening it first will damage the bricks. Older or weathered bricks also have higher chances of obtaining wear or damage, especially on the mortar, since they are porous and less sturdy.
There are several methods to soften the construction adhesive or glue, including:
The first method you can try to soften the glue or adhesive is to apply petroleum jelly to the dried glue. Remember to rub it into the glue and leave the petroleum jelly for about 30 minutes. Using this method will help loosen the glue, making it soft enough and easier to remove.
If you don’t have petroleum jelly at home, you can try using baby oil, canola, vegetable oil instead, mayonnaise, or peanut butter. It might sound weird but using these products, which you can easily find at home can really work wonders.
Just remember to soak the glue really well to help soften it. Also, you may need to do multiple applications for this one to remove the glue properly.
Hairdryer or Heat Gun
You can soften the glue or adhesive by using a hairdryer or heat gun and reheating the area of the dried glue. Exposure to heat softens the glue, so make sure to turn the hairdryer or heat gun to a medium setting or its highest if desired. Don’t forget to continue applying heat to the glue to keep it soft during your removal process.
If household products aren’t working, you can try to use chemical solvents instead for a more powerful approach. You can select from chemical solvents like rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), paint thinner, lighter fluid, or acetone, which can help break down the glue’s hold on the brick.
Once you have your preferred product, you can start by soaking a cotton swab and applying it to the glue. Make sure to rub the area, dap the chemical solvent around the edges of the glue, and let it soak for about an hour to saturate fully. You can check if the glue is soft enough by touching the glue. If the glue dents, then it’s soft enough to be removed.
Another great method you can use to soften the glue is to use an adhesive remover.
Before application, make sure to check the product label or the manufacturer’s manual to see the instructions on how to use the product properly—if you need to apply it at full strength or mix the solution. It’s also best to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper ratio and the sitting time of adhesive remover to be effective.
You can put the adhesive remover in a pump-up sprayer or simply in a bucket and use a sponge or bristle brush for application. Make sure to spread the solution properly and let it soak for a few hours, depending on the product’s instructions.
Step 2: Scrape Off the Glue
After softening the glue, you can now scrape it off using a putty knife. Make sure to work fast because the glue will solidify again quickly after a few minutes. You can repeat one of the softening techniques or apply enough heat to keep the glue from hardening while scraping it off.
Place the putty knife at an angle of 45-degrees against the glue and scrape the knife along the brick surface. Do this process to remove the glue as much as possible.
If the glue remains bonded to the brick despite scraping it with a putty knife, try using the putty knife as a chisel instead. Hold the makeshift chisel at the same angle (45-degrees) and gently tap it with a hammer to remove the glue slowly. Repeat the process until you’re certain there is no residue of glue left on the brick.
Another method you can do to remove the softened glue from the brick is to use the sawing technique. But before doing this method, make sure you’re equipped with safety gear like work gloves and a mask for protection.
Use an 18 to 24 gauge wire and cut it into a 3-foot long wire. Next is to wrap the gauge wire around your fingers and work it under the glue in a sawing motion to separate the glue from the brick. Repeat the process until you have removed the glue.
If there is any glue residue, you can scrape it off using a chisel or a wire brush.
Touch Up The Bricks If Necessary
Removing glue from bricks can be quite tricky and challenging, especially if you’re trying to get rid of heavy-duty bonds like construction adhesives without damaging the bricks. And even after exercising great care of removing them, glue or any adhesive can leave unsightly stains on your brick wall.
If you notice any glue stains or visible patches left on your bricks, it’s best to repeat the softening techniques to ensure there is no residue left and give them a good cleaning. After that, you can now touch the bricks up to restore the brick surface to their original look and make them more appealing. Another thing you can do is to repaint your bricks to preserve their appearance if desired.