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mamagaither 07-17-2010 08:42 PM

Pulling up old carpet and finding hardwood
Today we pulled up a section of orange shag carpet that has been on our living room since 1984--there when we bought the house. We found hardwood and some of it looks pretty good however the rubber matting that was under the carpet has turned into a tarish looking black stuff that is stuck to the wood in patches. Any suggestions on getting it off the wood? We were thinking sanding??But neither one of us have any experiences with wood flooring.

SJNServices 07-17-2010 10:15 PM

Try paint thinner first.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-18-2010 12:09 AM

I think I've seen this before.

If what you have on your floor resembles blobs of stuff that might drop off the underside of your car's engine, then that's decomposing black foam rubber chips from what's left of your underpad. When they made black foam rubber back then, it wasn't very stable and gradually decomposed, but I don't know why.

If the wording "a black greasy kind of muck" accurately describes what you're dealing with, the best thing I've ever found to remove it is a strong mixture of laundry detergent in water. Just add two cups of laundry detergent to a gallon of hot water and clean it off the hardwood.

I found that soap solution to be a lot more effective than anything else, including paint thinner, because the stuff on the floor isn't oil or grease. Also, it takes time to break down that black stuff, so work different areas at the same time. Get the area to your left wet with the soap solution, scrub the area in front of you with a nylon bristle brush, and be mopping up the area to your right with a sponge, and just keep rotating that way, giving the soap solution time to work.

Launchpad 07-18-2010 09:30 AM

I get one or two of these a month remodeling houses. Nestor is absolutley right about the padding. Every time I see Lime green or Orange shag anything, I know without a doubt, that some tree hugging hippie in the 60's laid that rubber pad crap under the carpet.

All we do is pretty much as Nestor says, but we use a solution called Heavy Duty from Jon Don. It's pretty much just highly concentrated soap.

If the pad was on top concrete, we use floor scrapers and then hit it with the soap, water and deck brush.

Just don't let the water sit on top of the hard wood to long or you could end up with some cupping.

samfloor 07-18-2010 09:51 AM

Installed many a yard of that stuff. They called it bubble-rubber, but it actually was made with a clay base. It can be nasty to take up. Sometimes it is hard as concrete.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-18-2010 09:10 PM

Yeah, if the hippies figured it all out in the 1960's...

...then everyone else woulda got the same answer.

The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

Allison1888 07-23-2010 10:52 AM

We have done a fair amount of tearing out old carpeting, but I haven't encountered this one yet. I did a quick search and came up with this link, which gives a good overall roundup of what to do to get stains and things off of floors.

Another piece of advice before you go to the refinising stage-- look closely at any damage and how close the boards are. Our bedroom floor has boards with such big gaps that the floor guy said, don't bother as it won't look good and you can't really patch the spaces.

Spot Cleaning Stains on Wood Floors

aaronestes 08-27-2010 07:09 PM

I just went through the same thing.

I tried forever and used a few different products. Finally, I realized that, since I'm going to take a drum sander to the whole thing anyway, I'll just get a few extra 24 grits. The sander made short work of the gunk but it definitely gums up the paper a lot faster. In my case, the extra money spent on more 24 grit wasn't as bad as the time and money spent on all the products.


handyguys 08-30-2010 02:39 PM

I didnt have the stuck pad in the same way as you. On my house I found a million and a half staples!!!!!!!!! My wife and I spent many hours pulling out staples. We then sanded and pt on a new finish. Like new when we were done. Congrats on the find!

Or, you could just put down new orange shag. I hear its making a come back!
orange shag carpet - Google Search

samfloor 08-31-2010 06:18 AM

Green and Gold were more popular.:eek:

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