Removing mastic under linoleum?

Old 05-04-04, 11:01 AM
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Removing mastic under linoleum?

I am redoing my kitchen, which has linoleum over a concrete slab. The slab isn't level, so one thing I need to do is put down leveling compound before installing a new floor. I have heard that I do NOT have to remove the black mastic before putting down the levelling compound. Can this possibly be true? Thanks.
Old 05-04-04, 11:27 AM
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Don't know what the pros will say, but I had this same situation and didn't remove the mastic. After scraping off as much as possible with a putty knife, I sealed the floor with the sealer recommended to use with the leveling compound. Worked fine.
Old 05-08-04, 06:12 PM
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Thanks -- more info, please

Thanks for your response! I talked to a local flooring shop and they tell me I have to remove the mastic. So, now I'm conflicted. Can you tell me more about what you used, or does anyone else out there have any input? I should mention that the mastic is pretty thick on the slab -- it was apparently put on the slab, instead of on the linoleum when the floor was put down.
Old 05-09-04, 06:25 AM
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Do you have any idea how old this floor was?This glue may contain asbestos and will have to be encapsulated instead of removed.You can get a product called ardex feather finish that is suitable to go over the black glue.

The problem with removing this glue is that when diturbed the particles from the glue become airbourne and then you breath these into you're lungs and they stay there.Too much exposure to this stuff causes what is called asbetosis.

So get the ardex and skim the floor after knocking down any high spots,use a dust mask at the very least when dealing with any of this stuff and try not to disturb it too much.The good thing is that this stuff will act as a floor leveler also,and fill in any holes or irregularities in the slab
Old 05-09-04, 12:52 PM
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The floor & mastic are only about 10 years old. We have been trying to remove the mastic with a solvent, which turns it to a liquid goop, and then scooping it up to dispose of it. It is a long, tedious process and I was hoping to not have to remove it at all. Is the Artek readily available, and is it fairly easy to work with?

Thanks again for any help.
Old 05-22-04, 10:42 AM
kim holt
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adhesive residue on concrete slab

I have a similar problem with adhesive residue on a concrete slab, which remained stuck there after I peeled up the linoleum tile. The gunk is yellowish-white in color, though, not black. I am not absolutely certain that it's the same sort of "mastic" material you guys are referring to, but I can't imagine what it is if it isn't adhesive.

I don't have the option of covering over the gunk. The point of stripping up the linoleum is to expose the concrete slab. The original owner, who built my house for himself back in '57, installed radiant heat in the part of the house that I'm talking about. Evidently, between then and now, other owners didn't understand what they had, and covered the slab with linoleum and other insulating floor coverings, like carpet and so forth. The heating system can't deliver heat to the living space when it is covered up. It's like stuffing the ductwork in a forced air system with wet socks, then complaining that you don't have heat.

Anyway, I first tried a solvent made by Aldon Corp. that they claimed would dissolve leftover adhesive, but that combined with lots of elbow grease was still inadequate and incredibly laborious. In desperation, I tried muriatic acid. That did dissolve one of two test spots that I have so-far tried, but not the second one, which it didn't touch. (I wore gloves, a respirator, and have ventilation in place).

This gunk is incredibly tough stuff! Anyone have any ideas? I apologize for the length of this post, and I hope it's clear why I can't recover the slab with something else. The goal is to get this gunk off the slab, then finish the slab itself with Kemiko or another concrete finishing product.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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