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Old 02-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Surprise under the carpet


Ok...so my husband and I needed to replace our water damaged carpet in the basement. We planned on staining the concrete because the risk of water is too high for cheap material and I really love stained concrete and finally have a chance to do it. He is deployed and my tenant couldn't afford rent because his wife is living in a different state and their dogs got sick. So..he offered to tear up the carpet for us. Initially I said no because I didn't know the condition of the floor underneath and am too busy to finish the floor with 2 young kids. He said that he did contracting house work with his dad who remodels and flips houses for a living. So I said ok. Well...he lifted the carpet and apparently there was a vinyl tile like stuff underneath. Well he scraped it up. I came downstairs and only half the floor is done and he has left it like that for over a month. The floor is black with trowel like marks on it and there are huge chunks of concrete ripped out. He says the black is the concrete but I think its some sort of adhesive. Needless to say I'm pretty upset about it.

So...what is the black stuff? How do I get rid of it? What do I do about the torn up chunks of concrete and how do I get the rest of tile up without tearing up my floor more. I am about to lose it with this kid.
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Last edited by kvmommy; 02-04-2013 at 10:55 AM. Reason: I tried to add pics and they're not here
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Surprise under the carpet


Your right about it being an adhesive,it's probably cut back and it's virtually impossible to remove,and it's probably why he quit working on it.

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Old 02-04-2013, 01:24 PM   #4
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It also probably contains asbestos.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:55 PM   #5
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It also probably contains asbestos.
Depends on age.....

How old is the house?
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
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Depends on age.....

How old is the house?
Almost all cutback had asbestos. It needs to be tested.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:19 PM   #7
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Almost all cutback had asbestos. It needs to be tested.
Yea...I'm learning that....

I came across this link that basically asked the same question. Not sure how accurate it is....but it sounded good to me.

http://www.thefloorpro.com/community...-adhesive.html

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You're not going to want to glue directly over the cutback. You seem to be already aware of that. So the question is covering the old glue or removing it. Whether it's an asbestos adhesive or not it's always best to remove anything and everything between your new floor and the concrete slab you want to bond to. I can't think of flooring where that's more critical than glue down wood as it's going to expand and contract on a constant basis with humidity changes.

So have the adhesive tested. If there's asbestos get a quote from an abatement company. Prices here in Southern California are coming down dramatically as competition enters and the economy is sluggish (at best) so you might find it's not as outrageous as you anticipate. You're going to want the adhesive shot blasted off and that's more than the chemical strippers because they have to do a larger scale containment-----I believe.

If it's not asbestos the shot blasting is still the best way to go and should be fairly reasonable to contract out or just go rent a Blastrac system appropriate for your scale project. In most cases you'll need a skim coat or possible more serious floating and leveling after the bead blasting depending usually on how dense your concrete is. Softer slabs can get chewed up something awful by the bead blasting process.

Covering the glue with Ardex Feather Finish or Ardex K-15 is certainly an option many guys would choose. I've done it many times successfully--------not so much with wood floor installations but literally hundreds of thousands of square feet for commercial resilient glue down work. In fact I've never had a problem that comes to mind. In my house I'd bead blast. Bamboo is one of those creatures I just don't trust to stay down there happily forever.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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OK dumb question could you not put a layer of self level over the existing and not disturb it?
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:43 PM   #9
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OK dumb question could you not put a layer of self level over the existing and not disturb it?
Yes--encapsulating it in a layer of self leveling compound is a very effective way to bury it,

Jifset with Linewebbers latex has worked well for me in the past--

The draw back> Self leveling compound is to soft to be a wear surface--so it must be covered with carpet--ceramic--sheet vinyl --or something else--

Right now there are some mighty cheap ceramic tiles available----
Just a thought----
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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Oh no....the house was built in 1972...asbestos right? I had mentioned that older houses had it and my tenant said he knows what it would have and its not asbestos. Ughhh..tile requires precision and patience which I don't have!!! And self-leveling compound isn't strong enough? Oh lord. If I do put tile on it do I need to encapsulate it with self-leveling compound?
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:43 AM   #11
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Tile can be set right over the top of the cutback---for that I use Kerabond mixed with Keralastic ,by Mepei----there are others available---check with the manufacturers.

Cut back is a safe way to have asbestos in the house---only the airborne fibers are a hazard---
with the fibers stuck inside that black tar like goo--there is little chance for any to become airborne.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:36 PM   #12
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Ok...I'm going to research how to do tile. Yay for me. I guess if I really want to learn how to remodel then tiling is something I'm going to have to learn eventually. So all the pieces he's already pulled up and scraped up, is there a risk of asbestos exposure to myself and my kids? And whats the cheapest place to get tile?
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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I don't know where you are--so suggesting a shop will not be possible----

Read through some of the old threads in the tiling section (flooring)Tiling, ceramics, marble - DIY Chatroom - DIY Home Improvement Forum

When the time comes to get going---come and ask specific questions.

You will need a few specialized tools--a heavy drill to mix the thinset--and a wet saw to cut the tiles----

As you look at tiles---stick to tiles in the 12"x 12" size or smaller---the jumbo tiles 18x18 and bigger are a challenge for a pro to install and would not be a good choice for a first timer--

Look at big box stores---builders closeout places and regular tile stores--
Be aware that some inexpensive tile is not perfect---some are not square or actually vary in size from tile to tile--so look out for the odd lot stores---sometimes they get a load of real junkers--
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:00 PM   #14
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Ok...I'm going to research how to do tile. Yay for me. I guess if I really want to learn how to remodel then tiling is something I'm going to have to learn eventually. So all the pieces he's already pulled up and scraped up, is there a risk of asbestos exposure to myself and my kids? And whats the cheapest place to get tile?
If you go scratching and scraping, grinding or blasting away at that stuff, you will definately cause it to become airborne. When it's intact, the asphalt and other materials keep the asbestos bound and heavy. Doing any of the above breaks the bonds. Once you get it fine enough to be airborne, it's a real problem to get it all cleaned up. Asbestos fibers can become airborne, settle out and then get reintroduced to the air by just walking by. The simplist way to deal with it, is to encapsulate it under some other flooring product without disturbing it further. I would have it tested before going further. Unless your tenant has electron microscopes for eyes, he has no idea whether it is asbestos.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:20 PM   #15
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Why can't you just put thin-set and tile over it and forget it.

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