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sil 10-14-2007 06:58 PM

Why is my living room cement floor covered with black glue?
I lifted the carpet and pad in my living room floor today. To my surprise, the pad didn't come off neatly as some of it was stuck on the black glue which is glued to my cement floor. Why would anyone cover 98% of the cement floor with black glue before installing the carpet pad.

Is this common practice? How do I remove it? Is it difficult and time consuming ( 250 square feet)? If I ask a hardwood floor installer to put my engineered wood in, would the price given NOT be or be factoring removal of the glue?

Please Help. I am steaming mad.

redline 10-14-2007 07:20 PM

It may have been used so that the carpet pad did not move.

(Hard to tell without a photo)

sil 10-14-2007 07:35 PM

Sorry I don't know how to upload photos but I checked the carpet in my hallway and bedrooms and underneath the pad there isn't any black glue.

I am wondering if it may have asbestos or not. Also, I am sure it is not linoleum or vinyl underneath the black glue. I used a razor blade to scrape and dust particle came off. Can cement floor be light brown?

JazMan 10-14-2007 08:25 PM

The black adhesive is 'cutback' or asphalt emulsion, and has nothing to do with carpeting. Before the carpet was installed your home had either asphalt tile or VAT tile on that floor. You can't really remove it and shouldn't try other than scraping with a razor scraper as you've done. Chances are that it does contain some asbestos fibers but shouldn't be harmful if it's still tacky and any fibers are not airborne.

If you've contracted for engineered wood to be installed, you should let them know what you've discovered so they can give you an idea what needs to be done and how much it'll cost you.


sil 10-14-2007 08:58 PM

It is strange because I checked under the carpet pad in my hallway and one bedroom. No black glue. In fact, I didn't find any glue at all. I moved into this house in 2001 and that is when I changed the carpet. Could they have put the glue in then? If so, would there be a concern of asbestos?

JazMan 10-14-2007 09:44 PM

There was no adhesive residue in the hall and bedroom because there was never any tile there. The tiles where only in the room we're talking about.

The black adhesive was probably there from when the house was built, or when ever they put the now removed tiles in? Asbestos isn't going to hurt anyone unless you breathe airborne fibers in an enclosed space for many years. If the cutback does contain asbestos, they are not airborne.


robertmee 10-29-2007 06:17 PM

You can remove the 'black glue' fairly easy as it is almost like roofing tar. I just spent a few hours today doing it on my hardwoods that had lineoleum stuck to it. Get a heat gun and a dull scraper and it comes right up.

Ace Flooring 10-29-2007 10:03 PM

Sometime you can remove the cutback easily and sometimes not. It will react with the adhesive for the hardwood. If you are having a floating floor installed then it doesn't matter if there's cutback or not. If glued down hardwood then it must be delt with. Scraping and sanding if it not tacky if it is still tacky then there is a striper made for it. and depending on humidity levels in the concrete a vapor barrior would need to be installed. I would use intersheid {which is design specificaly for cutback}

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