men, carpet, glue, removal, machine, workers, floor, sanding

Ways of Removing Carpet Glue from Plywood

Plywood is a sheet material used in construction of homes and buildings. Most people cover the plywood floor with carpet or some flooring. The wall to wall carpet or flooring on plywood is installed using glue or some adhesive to ensure that it remains in its place. The glue does its job pretty well but when it is time to replace the carpet or change the type of flooring, the task of removing carpet glue from plywood becomes a nightmare. The first difficult task in this whole exercise is removing the carpet which can be ripped out from the plywood floor. Once, you have completely removed carpet from the floor you would either be left with yellow coloured glue or with brown or tan coloured glue. The yellow one is the traditional glue while the brown one is the tar based glue.

men, carpet, glue, removal, machine, workers, floor, sanding
Two men removing carpet glue, Z. Smith Reynolds Library

Scrape the Glue

Scraping of the glue is one of the easy methods of removing carpet glue. The first step of this method is to make the glue softer so it can be easily worked around with. A number of solvents can do the job of softening the glue including paint thinners, turpentine, water and mineral spirits. All these chemicals work by tearing the enzymes found in glue easing the task of removing carpet glue from plywood. Different solvents work better on different types of glues so if you know the type of glue on your floor you can do the task much more easily. While you are on the task do not forget to wear your hand gloves as well as safety goggles.
Once you have ensured that the solvent has been sprayed on all of the glue, wait about half an hour to make the glue soft so that it is ready to be removed. Now, you can use a hand scraper, a putty knife or a floor scraper to tear away and wipe off all the glue from the floor. Make sure that you are thorough so that no glue is left on the floor. This would ensure that your new flooring would be on a smooth surface.

Sanding glue from plywood floors

The use of mineral spirits and thinners to remove glue from plywood works best for floors which are smaller in size but if you have to remove glue from a larger area, sanding is the more preferred option. Sanding consumes lesser time in comparison to scraping and you would have to do a lot less manual labor. A sanding machine generates heat which makes the glue or adhesive pulpy and semi liquid and it gets stuck to the sand paper. A number of different sanding machines are available and it is best to use a combination of machines including disk sander, palm sander and flooring sander.
Before initiating the process make an inspection of the floor so that there are no nails or screws above the floor. Use a hand sander to sand the floor but if the glue is so thick that it is not getting removed easily use a disk sander or a floor sander. While sanding the floor you should make a conscious effort of sanding it in sections. Moreover, vacuum the floor every so often so you can distinguish between the floor areas where glue is left from that where fine particles created by sanding are present. You might have to use a scraper or a hand sander to remove glue from the corners of your floor.
Sanding and scraping are two ways of removing carpet glue from plywood. Scraping the glue using a hand scraper is best suited from smaller floors. On the other hand sanding is the better suited for large floors because you would not want to rent a sanding machine for a smaller floor.

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