How To Remove Carpet Padding From Concrete

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While remodeling a house, a homeowner’s nightmare is the leftover glued-down carpet padding from a concrete floor. It causes a cumbersome problem when removing a carpet. It may prove to be a troublesome issue to solve, too. If you are wondering how to remove carpet padding from the concrete floor, you’re in the right place! 

For removing that sticky carpet padding, you will need the following materials: a pair of rubber gloves, an adhesive remover, a utility knife or scraper, and some dishwashing detergent. Getting rid of stuck carpet padding is a simple process:

  1. Scrape off the top layer of the foam using a utility knife.
  2. Use a sharp-edged scraper to reach the glued layer beneath.
  3. Use a mixture of adhesive remover and warm water to apply on the glued-down layer.
  4. Wash the remaining glue off with warm water and dishwashing liquid.
  5. Sand off the floor to remove remaining glue from the pores for best results.

We’ve discussed the general method of removing carpet padding from a concrete floor above. Now we will discuss every step in detail to give you the best possible solution to your problems. We shall also discuss the best products for removing carpet padding from concrete flooring for you to get that clean finish.

Different colored carpet paddings laid on the floor, How To Remove Carpet Padding From Concrete

A Detailed Guide to Remove Carpet Padding from Concrete

As we mentioned, we will be giving a detailed guide to the steps discussed earlier. Let’s get into it.

Removing the Upper Layer

Use a utility knife or a sharp-edged scraper to remove all the foam and carpet residue stuck at the topmost layer. Work slowly to remove it so as not to damage your tools in the process by exposing them to the adhesive layer beneath. Use knee pads and gloves because you will be vulnerable to bits of foam and dust particles. You may also come in contact with mold. Make sure to wear a dust mask.

A worker wearing knee protection when removing the carpet flooring

Using Hot Water and Adhesive Remover

Apply a layer of adhesive remover mixed with an ounce of warm water to soften the layer of glue. Adhesive removers come from citrus and petroleum-based products. Handle them with care as they can be toxic. You can purchase adhesives in amounts according to your requirements.

Time To Use the Dishwashing Liquid

Once you’re through removing the glue layer and the residual bits of foaming, you should move on to cleaning the concrete floor with a dishwashing mixture of warm water that works best with enzyme-based products. Use a soft sponge to make sure that the concrete pores soak up the cleaning concoction. You may also use a floor cleaning agent.

Using A Sanding Machine To Seal the Deal

When you finish cleaning the floor, you should move on to sanding the concrete flooring for a premium finish. Sanding will remove the last of the residual adhesive from your floor pores while also providing a shinier surface as a bonus. If you’re unsure about using a sanding machine, you may hire a professional to do so.

For visual guidance and tips on how to use a sanding machine, here’s a YouTube video:

The Best Materials To Use

Adhesive Remover

Using adhesive removers is a tricky job since each remover has a different activation type. Adhesive removers are petroleum and citrus-based products that have propane as the binding element. They may also contain chemicals such as chloride, halogen, sulfur and, fluoride.

It causes the adhesive remover to work in warmer solvents such as hot water. Thus, when looking for a reliable adhesive remover, look for a product that has a high propane concentration and is organic.

Click here to see this adhesive remover on Amazon.

Floor Cleaner

We mentioned in the guide above about using a floor cleaner for better results after completely removing the carpet adhesive. Here, we will recommend the best concrete floor cleaner out there for you. You might look into products that contain benzoic acid, ethoxylated undecyl alcohol, pinus palustris (long-leaf pine oil), and other essential products.

Thus, all-purpose cleaners like Pine-Sol have a mild effect and don’t cause wear and tear to your floor surface. If you want a reliable floor cleaner, Pine-Sol is one option you can choose. 

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Floor Sanding Machine 

Click here to see this sander on Amazon.

Using a floor sanding machine does wonders for your concrete floors as it brushes off the dirty top layer made by the stuck carpet padding. A good sanding machine has a more fine-grained sanding wheel attached to its base. It allows it to clean every pore more thoroughly.

For the best results, you might want to go for a reliable sander. As some suggest, use 40-60-grit sandpaper for simple stripping. If you need to do more work, you will need to work with higher grit ranges. For your situation, at most, 40- to 120-grit sandpaper will be fine. 

Nevertheless, if you need a smooth finish, you will need 200- to 400-grit sandpaper to give you your desired results.

Safety Measures

Removing brown carpet padding inside the living room

You’ll be coming into contact with a lot of residues, bits of foam, and even mold while cleaning. Therefore, we advise you to wear a mask, gloves and, knee pads. You should work carefully while using a sanding machine.

How Do You Get A Stuck Carpet Pad Out Of A Concrete Floor?

At the start, we mentioned that removing stuck carpet padding is very easy. You use a scraper or putty knife and use a mixture of adhesive remover and hot water to scrub the floor to remove the stuck padding. You should scrape with care as the pressure may break the delicate layer of carpet padding if you plan on saving it for later use.

Is Carpet Padding Toxic?

Yes, carpet padding contains several toxins that are harmful to your health. It has 44 different types of chemicals, some of which are known as carcinogens. It also contains toulene, benzene, and other VOCs. Carpet padding also contains 4-PC off-gassing odor that causes eye and respiratory tract diseases. 

What Is The Best Adhesive Remover?

We discussed earlier that the best adhesive remover contains propane and petroleum-based products. However, the carpet adhesive you might deal with can vary. For tar adhesives, you can use paint thinners. In either case, an oil-based remover will work best for most carpet glues.

For more information on removing carpet glue, check out our post here

Will A Power Washer Remove Carpet Glue from Concrete?

A man cleaning the brown tiles using a power sprayer

It can, in theory. However, it is a risky procedure as it can have terrible after-effects on your floor.

Concrete floors, either made from epoxy, mortar, or even slurry, will not hold up well against power washing because it not only destroys the top layer of your floor but also secretes a sludge that causes a huge mess. Power washing also requires a special permit from the authorities due to its specialized equipment.

We would advise not to use a power-washer as it’s more work than it is a solution. You can always DIY the removal of padding or hire a professional, for that matter, if you want to protect your concrete floor from harm and damage. Power washing will decrease your floor’s life.

How Often Should Carpet Padding Be Replaced?

Different colored carpet padding store in the living room

Replace carpet padding once every five years or so if you want to protect your floor and carpet from molds, insects, and permanent damage. It could lead to costly repairs that won’t have long-lasting effects. Some signs identify whether you should change your carpet padding or not. These signs include stains, visible damage to your floor, and water seeping through the floor. It also depends upon the type and quality of the padding used. Quality padding is known to last at least 15 years without needing replacement.

Final Thoughts

Replacing or removing carpet padding isn’t a difficult job at all, but necessary details are needed to complete this job. This way, you can remove carpet glue without causing unnecessary damage to the concrete floor. We hope you found the article above informative and insightful!

Before you go, do you have other concerns about carpets? Do you wonder if you should upgrade the carpet in a new home? We have the answer! For more information, check out our post here. Until next time!

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