There’s going to come a time when you will need to remove old carpeting from your home. Whether you’re planning on replacing the carpeting and getting something new or not, the old stuff needs to come up.
When you’re pulling up old carpeting, it’s likely that you’re going to find some stuff stuck to the floor. If you have a concrete or cement floor underneath the carpeting, then there could be carpet glue stuck to it.
In some cases, this carpet glue is going to be decades old and it might not always be easy to remove it. You’ll want to remove it before you put down whatever type of new flooring or carpeting you’ve purchased, though.
How do you remove carpet glue from cement, though? Is there a reliable way to remove carpet glue that will make this an easy process?
Keep reading to learn the best approach for removing carpet glue from cement. This should make it simple for you to get the best results so that you can finish up your project.
Start by Scraping the Carpet Glue
To begin this process, you’re going to have to scrape the carpet glue off. You might not be able to get every bit of the carpet glue during the scraping process, but you’re going to want to try to do the best job that you can.
What you want to do is go get a scraper that has a thin, sharp edge. Something such as this stainless steel floor scraper will work nicely when you’re trying to remove carpet glue from concrete.
It’s going to take some time and effort to get this job done. You might even find the work to be a bit tedious, but you’ll want to keep at it to do the best job that you can.
Try to use your strength to scrape away as much carpet glue as you can. If you get really lucky, then you might even be able to remove all of the carpet glue with just a scraper.
If you get tired during the process, then you can always take a break and come back to it later. Some people will also have a partner help them to do this job so that they can take turns scraping.
Once you’ve done the best that you can, it’ll be time to assess how things went. If all of the carpet glue has been removed, then you’ll be ready to move on and install whatever new type of flooring you’re putting down.
When you still have carpet glue stuck to the floor, it’ll be necessary to do a bit more work. Don’t worry, though, because it’s still possible to take care of this issue.
Use Boiling Water
Sometimes the best thing to do is to use boiling water to try to loosen the carpet glue up. This can work very nicely and it might be just the thing to finally remove stubborn bits of glue that are stuck to the concrete floor.
Boil a pot of water and then apply the boiling water to the areas of the concrete floor that still have carpet glue stuck to them. Be careful when pouring the boiling water on the floor so that you don’t burn yourself.
It’s likely going to be a good idea to wear gloves while carrying the pot or tea kettle that’s holding the boiling water. There’s no point in rushing things and burning yourself simply because of impatience.
Be careful not to get any of the boiling water on you when applying it to the floor. Try to stand back a bit to ensure that the water doesn’t splash on your legs.
It’s generally better to lower the pot or kettle to the floor and pour it on the floor from a lower position. Just figure out how best to apply the boiling water to the floor while keeping yourself safe.
Ideally, you should allow the boiling water to mix with the glue for several minutes. After this, you’ll be able to try scraping the carpet glue off again using your scraper.
If the boiling water worked as intended, then you’ll be able to get the glue off of the concrete floor. When the glue still isn’t coming off, you’re going to have to try some other methods.
Use Adhesive Removers
When boiling water doesn’t do the trick, it’s going to be time to use adhesive removers. Adhesive removers are capable of removing glue because they will soften the glue using chemicals.
The problem with this method is that the adhesive removers can be very caustic and it’s not good to breathe the chemicals in either. Before moving forward with this, it’s going to be necessary to ensure that the room has good ventilation.
Also, it’s likely going to be wise to wear a mask when using chemical removers. Read the product warnings on the label before using the adhesive remover, and then get to work.
Place the adhesive remover on the glue and watch it do its thing. It might take some time for the glue to become soft enough to be removed, but this should work.
Once the adhesive remover has done what it needs to do, you should be able to scrape the remaining carpet glue off. You might even be able to remove the carpet glue with a stiff brush at this point.
Use Heat to Remove the Glue
What if none of the above worked properly for you? Is there another idea that you can try out?
Heat is something that many people have used to remove carpet glue from concrete flooring. The basic idea is that you’re going to use a heat gun to heat the carpet glue up so that it can be removed.
If you have a heat gun that you can use, then this is going to be a pretty simple method. You can just point the gun at the glue and wait for the carpet glue to get hot enough that it can be removed with relative ease.
Those who don’t have access to a heat gun might be able to do the same thing using an iron. Using an iron for this job isn’t quite as easy, but it can still do the same thing that you’re trying to do with the heat gun.
If you’re using an iron, then it’s recommended to put a thin towel over the top of the glue before attempting to do the job. Hopefully, this will be enough to remove the carpet glue from the concrete flooring once and for all.
Sanding the Floor Is Recommended
It’s recommended that you take the time to sand the floor before you install new flooring. This is because there could still be carpet glue in the pores of the concrete flooring.
Many people will simply rent a sander from a local business to get this job done. You can also choose to buy a floor sander if you think that owning one would be useful to you.
Floor sanders can be pretty expensive, though, and it might not make sense if you don’t do a lot of big projects that require sanding. It’s usually much more cost-effective to rent floor sanders when necessary.
Just remember that you don’t need to go overboard when sanding the concrete floor. You just need to do it enough to ensure that carpet glue won’t be an issue.
You could probably get away without sanding the floor, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good to do. If you’re willing to take a bit of extra time to do this, then it’ll be good to remove the last bits of carpet glue that might cause problems in some ways.
You Should Be Able to Install the Flooring Now
If everything has gone as planned, then you should be able to install the flooring now. Whether you’re installing hardwood flooring or if you’re getting ready to install new carpeting, it’ll be good to know that you don’t have to worry about old carpet glue any longer.
Do your best to install the flooring and try not to use more carpet glue than you need to get the job done. This will help you later in life if you decide that you want to make another flooring change.
After learning about how to remove carpet glue from concrete flooring, it should be simpler to figure out the best approach. There are many different things that you can try that will get the job done.
In some cases, you’ll be able to simply remove the carpet glue from the floor using just a scraper. If this doesn’t work, then you can try to use boiling water to loosen the old carpet glue up.
There are other things that work well, such as adhesive removers, but those can be dangerous to use in certain ways. You can also try to use a heat gun to heat the glue up and make it easier to remove.
After trying various methods, it should be possible to remove all of the carpet glue from the concrete flooring. Even if it is a bit annoying to get this job done, you’re going to be happy once things are finally done.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.