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Old 10-29-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
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Tar Paper Removal


Anyone have ideas for tar paper removal from Hardwoods. Have about 500 sq ft of tar paper on top of the hardwoods and didn't know if anything other than scraping might work. Have tried larger floor scrapers, and a heat gun. Only think that seems to work is a wood chisel and a lot of patience. Floor sander could not just sand it off gummed up the paper.

I can't believe it used to be recommended to put down tar paper so that you could put linoleum on top of it. The joys of an old home.

Thanks for any ideas.

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Old 10-29-2008, 04:27 PM   #2
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some people should just be shot... i agree. like the idiot who decided to put computers in cars.... here's what i did.... find a large steel putty knife and grinder a chisel edge on it. that and a hammer did it a little quicker for me. but chisel is the best i could figure out too... stubborn crap.

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Old 10-30-2008, 06:50 AM   #3
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Tar Paper Removal


I think the tarpaper was put down as a slip sheet under old time linoleum so that it wouldn't bind fast to the wood floor. If the floor swelled and shrunk with the weather it wouldn't tear the linoleum.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:24 AM   #4
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granted, but i think they should have done more long-term tests on it to see how much fun it would be to remove it after it bonds with the floor underneath.... lol

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Old 10-30-2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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They could have put it on the long term test list with knob & tube wiring, lead paint, asbestos building products...................... Where would be the challenge in DIY work if not for these minor educational hurdles?
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:20 PM   #6
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too true....

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Old 10-30-2008, 02:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 View Post
They could have put it on the long term test list with knob & tube wiring, lead paint, asbestos building products...................... Where would be the challenge in DIY work if not for these minor educational hurdles?
What fun would a 70yr old house be without those things. Guess I am resolved to just scrape away until I get it all up. 3hrs after work doing it isn't fun I can tell you that, but I have to get it up by Monday so they can actually sand the floors this time. At least I don't have 25 other things to be getting finished up instead.

At least I know I'm not the only one who has had this fun experience.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:32 PM   #8
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Tar Paper Removal


I'm probably going to rip out the flooring and install new sub-flooring (strong animal smells), but if I wasn't, I'd try something I heard about last year.

Some guys said he used a wallpaper remover/steamer. It'll heat up the tar and make it softer and more pliable. Think tar paper roof on a sunny day in summer. At the least it'd make scraping easier.

How did it go, btw?

Doug
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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Tar Paper Removal


I wouldn't go with the wall paper steamer, pretty much anything you do to it that is going to make it wet makes it messy. If it gets hot it gets really gummy like on a roof. The heat is the reason they could not sand it off as it was just gumming up the floor sander.

I was able to scrape it all off, best tool was actually a wood chisel. It sucked as it took a long time and a good bit of elbow greese. Luckily it did not have to be perfect as they could sand off some just not the full paper. I will try to find some before and after pictures as the floors came out great. The floor guy was worried I wouldn't be happy with them bc they are not 100% perfect, but that is part of the character of 70yr old floors. They have nicks and scratches but when sanded and refinished they still look great. I would not have been as happy if I hadn't put in the work so they could be sanded.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:49 PM   #10
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Glad it worked out well for you. Too often DIYers underestimate the work involved in projects and then start short cutting. It's not all like they show on HGTV.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:00 PM   #11
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Glad it worked out well for you. Too often DIYers underestimate the work involved in projects and then start short cutting. It's not all like they show on HGTV.
Yeah this was actually my 2nd house, got my house done so I decided to buy another and rent it to my sister when she got out of school. That was a small part of the project, replumbed, rewired, gutted the kitchen and started over, repaired damaged hardwoods, etc etc. The bigger the project the more I get to enjoy it. Makes for long nights and long weekends, but in the end it will pay off. One of these days I'm going to get a few before and after shots to put on here. We did better getting before shots this go round than we did with our house.

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