Home generalHow to remove polystyrene adhesive - 9 tips

How to remove polystyrene adhesive - 9 tips

  • Tips for removing the glue
    • Tip 1: Use a grinding machine
    • Tip 2: Insert the router
    • Tip 3: Spatula
    • Tip 4: Dish soap and water
    • Tip 5: Fight larger areas
    • Tip 6: Under the glue is wallpaper
    • Tip 7: Hammer and chisel
    • Tip 8: Styrofoam types
    • Tip 9: Use special solvents
  • DIY against specialist company

Styrofoam plates have many positive properties. However, there are often problems with removal. The panels are quickly torn off, but the adhesive is waterproof and mostly stubborn. Therefore, we provide you with valuable tips on how to effectively remove the polystyrene adhesive.

The problem with polystyrene glue is its strong hardening. It literally sits "bombproof" and is often harder than plaster. However, in most cases it is necessary to completely remove it. Remains not only look bad, they also often prevent the re-attachment of panels. The adhesive creates an uneven surface and new adhesive may adhere poorly or it creates undesirable distances to the substrate. When removing it is important to work gently to the ground. This should not be damaged if possible, otherwise a comprehensive repair is necessary. Also, follow our safety tips to protect your health and the environment.

Why is it hard to remove the glue ">

  • Take off
  • scrape
  • sand
  • Use / soak solvent

These are predominantly mechanical procedures that require either mechanical help or effort.

Can I also leave the glue on the wall or do I have to remove it?
Due to the effort, the question arises, especially with large areas, whether a removal is really necessary. In general, this question must be answered in the affirmative. You get by the existing adhesive an uneven surface, which is disturbing when attaching plates to the paneling. Optionally, however, it is possible to remove strong increases and thus remove coarse remnants of the adhesive. The now much smoother surface can be covered with plates. Here, the starting position is crucial.

Example - ready plastered wall

If you want to apply plaster, then the polystyrene adhesive may remain on the wall, but you will need to apply a much thicker layer of plaster. The adhesive is embedded in these and may then no longer be visible. If it is planned to mount panels, you can fix them depending on the amount of adhesive present. If necessary, however, this results in obtaining a distance between the wall and the plates. The less glue on the wall and the flatter the layer, the less complicated the procedure.

Tips for removing the glue

Tip 1: Use a grinding machine

A first attempt may be the use of a grinding machine. However, this must have sufficient power. The removal is troublesome because the glue is particularly hard. Be sure to wear protective clothing during this work to protect yourself from chipped parts and dust.

Tip: You can often also borrow sanding machines from specialized dealers. The rental fees start on average at prices of 20 € per day.

Tip 2: Insert the router

A router is even more effective than a grinder. It usually removes the adhesive without residue. However, the ground is generally damaged. Therefore, you usually have to repost after removal, which increases the effort. Positive is the fast operation when using the router. The work tool itself can be lent in the specialized trade for low money (prices start with approximately 20 euro per day).

Tip 3: Spatula

At first sight, a spatula appears more elaborate than a milling cutter. The effect, however, is the same. Through the spatula you develop a great force and can remove the adhesive residue targeted. They work precisely and ensure a residue-free removal. The advantage is that you reduce damage to a minimum, as you get a good control. However, holes are not excluded here as well, so you have to allow for a subsequent repair of the substrate.

Remove the adhesive residue with the spatula

Tip 4: Dish soap and water

To make the job easier, you can mix water with a little detergent. The adhesive itself is not dissolved here. The rinse water migrates between the polystyrene adhesive and the substrate and softens the adhesive slightly. This makes it easier to peel off and does not stick so well to the ground. Use a spray bottle to apply the rinse water. As a result, the water is distributed particularly well and there is a widespread wetting.

Soapsuds - water with a lot of detergent

Let the water soak for about half an hour and test whether the surface has changed. If the effect is not sufficient, you can spray the mixture again on the wall.

Tip: You can apply this method to wood substrates as well as to wallpaper.

Tip 5: Fight larger areas

Particularly problematic are larger surfaces with adhesive residues. In this case, you can use a nail roller and drive over the adhesive. This can break large parts and give you good starting points for removal with a spatula. If the nail roller is not successful, hitting with a hammer is also an alternative. However, you must be careful not to hit any holes in the ground.

Carefully insert the hammer

Tip 6: Under the glue is wallpaper

In this case, the easiest way is to remove the adhesive residue along with the wallpaper. Since it is difficult to avoid damage to the wallpaper, it is a good alternative to solve the Styrofoam plates together with the wallpaper from the wall. The re-wallpapering is usually not expensive and you save yourself possible repair work on the ground. After the plates have been torn off, part of the wallpaper has already been released, so you only have to remove the remains.

Remove wallpaper

Tip 7: Hammer and chisel

By using a hammer and a chisel, you can take specific action against individual splices. Place the chisel in the desired position and lightly hit the top with the hammer. Due to the thin and flat side of the chisel, the force is transmitted very well to the wall. They multiply the force effect and can thus remove the glue residue piece by piece. However, there is a risk of damage from the ground.

Tip: Only work with the hammer and the chisel, if you know the safe handling. If you slip in the work, then you may be injured by the tip and the force.

What do I do if the glue does not peel off?>> Tip 8: Styropor glue types

Not all adhesive variants have such a persistent behavior. Therefore, you can be lucky in the distance and hit a less unruly product. If you have applied the adhesive yourself and still know the manufacturer, you may receive information on possible removal options on the adhesive foam package.

Example: UHU rigid foam polystyrene adhesive. This product is according to the manufacturer waterproof and well-adherent. However, it can be removed by means of special solvents.

Tip: Before you take the last step and cut off the adhesive together with the substrate, you should also try a solvent with good luck even from an unknown manufacturer. Maybe this is effective and you save yourself further work.

Tip 9: Use special solvents

In some cases, it is possible to remove residues of the foam polystyrene adhesive by special means. Pay attention to the exact instructions on the packaging and, above all, take into account soaking times. Information about permissible surfaces is also important in order to avoid damage here. The cost of a tube of special adhesive is around 8 to 14 euros.

Safety tips for removing polystyrene adhesive

  • As most of the procedures are mechanical procedures, you must pay attention to prudent behavior and protective clothing.
  • Chemical solvents are generally harmful to your health. Observe safety instructions on the packaging and dispose of leftovers properly.
  • In the case of technical devices, ensure that they function properly and do not use the auxiliary devices in the event of known damage.
  • If you use solvents for the polystyrene foam, then ensure sufficient ventilation of the room.

DIY against specialist company

The removal of polystyrene adhesive is complex, but with a little skill itself feasible. A specialist company works with the same means as you, so there would be no benefits here. The hourly wages are between 50 and 100 euros, plus, if necessary, costs for the use of technical equipment. The only exception for which contracting a specialized company is recommended is if the adhesive can not be removed without damaging the wall and you do not want to repaint yourself. However, plastering is not an impossible task and is done quickly with the right tips.

Tips for quick readers:

  • Styrofoam is persistent
  • milling machine
  • hammer and chisel
  • soak with detergent water
  • if necessary remove with wallpaper together
  • Insert spatula
  • Use grinder
  • break up large areas (nail roller, hammer)
  • Try solvents
  • pay attention to safety
  • ventilate well with solvents
  • Styrofoam foam is waterproof
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