Removing carpet glue from concrete

mdodOctober 27, 2007

We're replacing the commercial loop carpet that was glued down to the concrete floor in our basement with carpet tiles. I've searched the internet for ideas for getting up the old carpet glue and found a jillion responses that range from scraping after softening with hot water or heat gun or, conversely, scraping it off after freezing by placing dry ice over it (making it brittle), scraping with a floor machine, using soy/citrus solvents, yada, yada, yada. When I relocated my office, the contractor rented one of the floor scrapers to remove carpet glue before installing vinyl tile and they went through 3 machines before they decided the floor was going to have to do as is so I'm kind of leary about renting one of those machines. OTOH, I've got about 1600 sf of concrete that I need to clean up before I can put the carpet tiles down. Does anyone have significant experience with this stuff that can give me a recommendation as to how to go about removing this stuff?


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I'm down with the razor scraper, and the hot water.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 11:27PM
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Thanks floorguy. Are you talking about the machine or doing it by hand? We tried boiling water and a wide scraper from Lowe's and it left a lot to be disired. I saw a rental company that has a tile and carpet remover that sounds like the blades that shimmies across the surface.

Also, any ideas on how "clean" we have to get it? We are using the double sided tape and laying down 18" commercial carpet tiles with a vinyl backer.

Also how level does the floor need to be. While we were scraping, we noticed that there are a lot of little hills and valleys. I think that's part of what made it difficult to scrape. Does that all need to be leveled out before laying the tiles or will the carpet tiles give enough to handle that?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 1:48PM
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The wide scrapers(8") are useless! No leverage, and scoot right over the top. I'm talking knee pads and a 4" wide thin blade razor scraper.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 9:36PM
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Ugh! That's not what I was wanting to hear floorguy. So any comments on how "clean" or flat it has to be before we put down the carpet tiles?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 9:10AM
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How about one of those upright electric floor sanders, the orbiting kind? With lots of drop cloths taped down well over everything that has to stay in the area while sanding. And using good breathing protection such as a snug-fitting, soft pleated surgeon's mask. Those masks filter out tinier particles than the rigid white nose-cone type masks do.

Also, wearing a nylon-type track suit (or whatever those 2-piece sports outfits are called) while sanding would shed a lot of the concrete dust off you.

After sanding, close the door on the room tightly and exit quickly (any windows to the room should have already been closed so that there was no turbulence in the air to stir the concrete dust around any more than necessary). Wait 24 hours for the dust to settle (literally), then either hose down the floor if you have a drain or damp mop the entire surface to pick up the dust on the floor. Or go over it with a vacuum cleaner (doesn't have to be a shop vac unless it looks like more dust than what a regular vac could choke down) and then wet mop.

Next day, carefully remove the plastic drop cloths, folding the cleanest sides over onto the dusty sides, keep whatever has settled onto them bundled up, and toss them.

Anyway, that's how I would go about it.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 4:16PM
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