Before you can go about remodeling or redesigning your floor area, you'll need to remove the existing floor, and that means that you'll also have to remove mastic in many cases. Although it's not used in every home or room, mastic is a sealant that is derived from the tree of the same name. It is typically laid underneath the floor material itself to help insulate and protect the foundation portion of the flooring.
The layer of mastic will prevent water, exposure damage and other types of materials from seeping through small cracks in the tile, linoleum, or other flooring and into the area beneath, where it can cause damage such as mildew, rotting, or worse. Remove the mastic so that you can access the flooring base and lay down another type of flooring in a room. Read on for some tips on removing mastic.
One of the most common methods for removing mastic is to use a strong adhesive remover. These potent chemical solutions will help to detach the adhesive layer from the flooring base, making it easier for you to then remove it by hand or with a prying tool of some kind. In order to use these adhesive removers, you'll need to first lift up and remove any floor materials themselves. This means that, in the case of linoleum flooring, for instance, you should remove all of the linoleum in a set area before you lay down adhesive remover to wear away at the mastic.
Adhesive removers are dangerous and toxic chemicals, and it's important that you not handle them with your hands. Use protective gloves, goggles and gas masks, and be sure that there is as much ventilation in the room as possible.
Many people find that adhesive removers are not suitable for use in their home for many different reasons. Adhesive removers are caustic and toxic chemicals that can cause injury and damage to your health and the health of others in the home. Many adhesive removers aren't all that effective at loosening the mastic itself.
Whatever your issue with adhesive removers, if you don't use one, then it's best to use boiling water to loosen the mastic. Like with the adhesive remover, you should plan to thoroughly remove the top layer of the flooring to expose the mastic underneath. Next, pour boiling water over the mastic and allow it to sit for a few minutes in order to loosen the mastic. Be very careful that you don't burn yourself with the water as you lay it over the mastic.
For additional advice on how to remove mastic, consult with a home improvement specialist or a flooring professional in your area with any other questions you have.