How To Clean Concrete Floors After Removing Carpet

Removing carpet from concrete flooring can be tricky, and it can be hard to know how to clean concrete floors after removing carpet as well, as this depends on whether the carpet was glue-down or secured using a tack strip.

For glue-down carpet the priority is to remove all of the adhesive left behind after the carpet is removed. For carpets installed with a tack strip, the holes need to be filled and then any dust can be vacuumed away and stains spot cleaned.

In this article we will take you through the two methods you can use depending on the type of installation that was used for your carpet, as well as some tips and tricks for making the process a whole lot easier.

How To Clean Concrete Floors After Removing Glue-Down Carpet

It is quite popular to install carpet over concrete using a glue-down method, particularly in commercial and residential areas.

This method is very simple, but that doesn’t mean cleaning up after the carpet has been removed is just as easy. This is because the adhesive used to secure to the carpet to the concrete will likely be left on the surface of the concrete once the carpet is removed.

Let’s take a look at the method you can employ to clean up the adhesive once the carpet has been removed. While following this method wear appropriate safety gear, and get the following items together before starting:

  • Floor Scraper With Razor Sharp Edge
  • Safety Equipment – Mask, Goggles and Gloves (Adhesive and mold can become airborne)
  • Mop and Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Boiling Water
  • A vacuum
  • Non-abbrassive scrubber

1. Scrape Off Excess Glue

Use the floor scraper’s edge to scrape the surface of the concrete in areas where the carpet glue has built up.

You should be able to remove a good amount of glue using this technique, and it will make removing the remaining glue much easier.

2. Vacuum Thoroughly

Use the vacuum with a hard floor-friendly attachment to vacuum the surface of the concrete thoroughly.

This will remove any glue debris that has been scraped off, as well as any other loose dust or particles left behind from the carpet.

3. Mix Boiling Water And Dish Soap

Once you’ve got rid of the larger pieces of glue mix together a few gallons of boiling water with a few drops of dish soap as required in a mop bucket.

Add the drops carefully – 3 or 4 drops per gallon of water is a good amount to aim for.

4. Scrub The Floor

Use a mop to apply the water all over the floor. The heat from the boiling water will help to loosen the glue and make it easier to remove, whilst also cleaning away any other dirt or debris.

If there are any areas with tough glue stains that you couldn’t remove with the floor scraper, then use a non-abrasive scrubber to get these out. Allow the water to cool until it is comfortable to touch and then scrub any affected areas, and then rinse through with the dish soap solution and mop.

5. Allow To Dry

Once you’ve got rid of all of the dirt and glue on the concrete then simply let the floor dry out naturally.

This shouldn’t take a long amount of time as the water was boiling, but we recommend waiting 24 hours before you continue any work on the floor to make sure it is completely dry to prevent issues such as sweating.

What About Carpet Installed Using a Tack Strip?

When tack strips are installed onto concrete, they are usually secured using nails that are driven into dowel rods that are secured in holes within the concrete.

In some cases though the tack strip may be glued down itself, and in those cases, you can simply remove the tack strips using the floor scraper and follow the steps above to remove the adhesive used to secure it.

If the tack strip is nailed to the floor then follow the steps below, and bear in mind that this method requires a lot more work.

1. Use A Hammer And Chisel To Remove The Dowel Rod

The simplest way to remove dowel rods is to use a hammer and chisel to dig them out.

To do this, place the chisel around half an inch from the dowel rod facing towards it and hammer it on a 45°angle. Repeat this by rotating around the dowel until you can pull it out.

This same technique can then be applied to all of the dowel rods to remove them.

2. Level The Surface and Apply Bonding Liquids

Once you’ve got the dowel rods out you will be left with holes where they were taken out, which need to be levelled before a bonding agent can be applied.

The easiest way to level the floor is to use a floor levelling compound, although the process is quite complicated.

Once you’ve levelled it out and let it dry you can add the bonding liquid.

3. Mix Concrete And Fill The Gap

Once the holes are levelled and the bonding agent is applied you should mix your concrete and fill the holes, levelling it off at the top with the surface of the floor.

Again, this is quite an advanced technique and something you should only try if you are confident in your DIY skills or have experience in the area.

4. Allow The Concrete To Dry

Allow the concrete to dry fully and you can use the first method to clean the rest of the floor.

Although no glue will be present, it is still a good idea to mop the entire floor to give it a good clean before you get started with any renovation projects.

What If The Dowel Rods Are Easy To Remove?

If your tack strip was installed using small dowel rods that are easy to remove without the need for a hammer and chisel then you can opt to use concrete filler to smooth over the holes once you’ve got them out.

Once levelled and dried, you can then clean the rest of the floor using the first method in this article.

When To Contact A Professional

If you can’t get the dowel rods out easily and need to use a hammer and chisel the method can get pretty complicated, and if you aren’t comfortable with it then it would make sense to get professional assistance.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have learnt how to clean concrete floors after removing carpet from this article.

If you have any other methods you have tried then don’t hesitate to get in touch and let us know about them – and don’t forget to ask for professional help if you arent comfortable with removing the dowel rods yourself.