The Best Way to Remove Vinyl Flooring From Cement Floor
Removing vinyl flooring from cement floors is never fun, but is necessary in preparing for new vinyl. The most important thing to consider is the possible existence of asbestos in the current floor. Floors installed after 1986 are usually asbestos free. Dispel any doubt by taking a section of the flooring for testing by an environmental lab or consultant. The labs charge a fee for the testing and can recommend a company to remove the flooring if asbestos is in the sample.
Removal Methods of Vinyl Flooring
Sheet vinyl is installed either by mastic used around the perimeters or applied to the entire floor. The removal is easier if the perimeter method was used. Sheet vinyl is faster to remove by using a utility knife to cut it into strips. The strips will pull up, leaving remnants of adhesive on the cement. Soak the adhesive with hot water or chemical removers and scrape. A scraper with a long handle is easier to use than a hand scraper. Purchase this type of scraper from most home centers. This tool resembles the scraper used to break ice from driveways and sidewalks. The long handle allows you to work from a standing position rather than crawling on the floor. Begin at one edge of the vinyl flooring, inserting the scraper under the edge of the vinyl. Use your foot to push the scraper under the vinyl.
A power chisel works quickly to break up vinyl flooring and is less laborious than a hand scraper. Rentals of this type of machine are available from flooring suppliers. Always wear safety glasses and gloves when using this type of equipment. Start at a doorway and hold the machine at an angle to the floor. Pull the trigger on the machine and work across the floor in sections, keeping the chisel between the flooring and the cement. The power chisel will break the vinyl into small pieces.
Heat applied to the vinyl flooring with a heat gun softens the flooring, allowing removal from the cement with a scraper. Use caution and good ventilation to avoid inhalation of the fumes. The flooring will bubble and could ignite if the heat is concentrated in one area too long. Use gloves to avoid burns.
Removal of Vinyl Glue from Cement
Removal of the glue is a process of trying different methods to determine the most effective method. Most mastic will remove when soaked with hot water and scraped off the cement. If hot water will not soften the mastic, apply a chemical remover and scrape. Clean the cement floor with clean water and a mop to remove any remaining mastic. Install new flooring after the cleaned floor is dry.