carpet is stuck to our hardwood

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Old 11-13-08, 05:58 PM
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carpet is stuck to our hardwood

HELP!!! My husband and i just purchased our first house. We pulled up all the carpet in our living room. Beautiful hardwood flooring. However, when we pulled up carpet in our hallway attached to living room it looks like the underlay has dissolved or broken down somehow. It is a reddish dark brown. some spots it is just chunky dirt but the majority of it is stuck to the hardwood. The only thing we can think to do is to use a putty knife to try and scrape this off the wood but it will take weeks and we don;t want to damage the wood. also we are worried about the underlay stuff possibly being asbestos? any help would be appreciated. Has anyone ever seen this before???
 
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Old 11-13-08, 06:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums! It is highly likely you will need to have the flooring refinished anyway. Using the putty knife or 5n1 tool or even solvents like MEK may jeopardize the finish. I'd try the MEK first to see if it will break down the glue residue. It is doubtful the underlay stuff is asbestos based, but if it is dusty, wear a mask anyway. Sometimes the waffle type underlayment breaks down and adheres to the flooring below. Quite common.
 
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Old 11-13-08, 06:53 PM
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MEK -- WHOA Nellie

WHOA NELLIE......MEK (Methyl Ethyl Keytone) is very volatile and not a good idea to use it inside your home -- and you really don't want to breathe it. Plus it definately will rempve the finish on your floor.

The backing on your carpet is not Asbestos - its rubber or something similar. There are some organic solvents available that can be used safely inside - typically citrus based. Check at a janitorial supply or even Home Depot and see if they carry it. Otherwise, HD has a long handled scraper with a 12" blade that will work pretty and with care minimal damage to the wood.
 
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Old 11-13-08, 08:49 PM
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I would probably try wetting with a household cleaning product before using MEK, but only because it's not a product I have handy. It will remove the melted carpet pad gunk on your floor. Just be prepared to refinish because it will also remove the finish.

MEK is a flammable solvent that has been around for many years. Used in a normally ventilated area and observing the manufacturer's instructions it is not a particularly hazardous material. Think paint thinner. MSDS sheets are available on the net.

I would not drink the stuff though.
 
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Old 11-14-08, 03:33 AM
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Whoa is right. MEK is alot less volatile than other solvents and can be used with proper ventilation. That is why it was suggested as opposed to lacquer thinner. MEK is less likely to remove the finish if used conservatively. I agree, however, with the use of citrus cleaners if you think they will get up the residue. I have not had that good luck with them on 30 year old stuff.
 
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Old 11-14-08, 03:58 AM
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I'd try mineral spirits before I'd step it up to MEK but any solvent deserves respect. Use plenty of ventilation and dispose of the rags properly [not inside]

I doubt you can get by without refinishing the floors. Obviously sanding and completely refinishing will give the best results but you might be able to get by with a light sanding and a fresh coat or 2 of poly - it really depends on what the floor looks like when you finished cleaning it up.
 
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Old 11-15-08, 09:27 AM
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I had the same thing when I bought my old house, only they also used some kind of white tape, and also used some kind of leveler concrete type stuff in the low spots of the wood floor. My house was built in 1929.

I refinished three rooms this summer. I rented a sander for a week, and it took that long! The rental cost me about $280 for a week including the sanding disks. The machine used 4 sanding disks. It was the same cost to rent it for a week as it was to rent it for three days. Disk sanders don't peel off the stuff nearly as quickly as a belt sander does.

Scrape off as much as you can by hand. Then rent a good floor sander. The floor sanders have a vacuum that sucks up the dust, but it still leaves a lot, and there's a lot of dust in the air, and in your house.

When you rent a sander, you have to pay the rental fee plus the number of sanding disks that you use. I found that trying to get more out of a disk to save money is not worth it. When a sanding disk isn't doing the job, replace it. Be prepared. Sanding through old varnish gunks up the disks quickly.

The last time I tried sanding a floor I rented a belt sander. That would work great if your wood floors were level. Mine wern't. But if yours are, it will really cut off the stuff and varnish in a quick hurry. If you use a belt sander, you might have to also rent an edger type sander. Also, for quick removal of gunk ON A LEVEL FLOOR, go crossway first, then finish the floor going with the planks using finer grit as you go.

Good luck.
 
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Old 11-15-08, 10:45 AM
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Before bringing out the big guns (smelly solvents), use water to dampen along edge of section of cushion to soften. Use plastic scraper to avoid damage to floor. One internet forum poster reported success with a teflon kitchen spatula. Continue to spray along edge and beneath cushion as you proceed down the hall.
 
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Old 11-15-08, 05:13 PM
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"The last time I tried sanding a floor I rented a belt sander" - Twig Lady

I'm not sure if a belt sander was rented or a drum sander. A drum sander is what the pros use to strip/sand the floor. They cut fast and care must be used to not let the sander set in one spot or you can wind up with a wavy floor

Personally I wouldn't use a belt sander on anything larger than a tiny foyer and even then it can be difficult to control the cut. Most diyer's are better off using a buffer with sanding disks. It doesn't cut as fast but it is easier for the novice to control.
 
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