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Removing Carpet

Getting rid of old carpeting can be one of the most rewarding remodeling experiences of all! There are few things less appealing than outdated, stained, and worn-out carpeting.

Ideally, the best time to remove carpeting, padding, and tacking strips is when a home is vacant. Professional carpet installers are generally available to handle the removal of old carpeting. This is definitely something to consider before taking on the job yourself. Getting a free estimate for this project might be the most efficient place to start, because you’ll learn things such as whether old carpeting, padding, and tacking strips will be disposed of as part of the job, and whether the removal project will involve correcting any faulty subflooring problems to make it ready for new flooring installation.

If you decide to do the job yourself, the first consideration will be to move everything out of the room, or rooms, designated for carpet removal. When possible, curtain off the designated rooms with clear plastic sheeting, to prevent the dust and dirt from the removal process from moving throughout the rest of the house. You’ll want to wear a mask over your nose and mouth while you’re working.

In a simple, 4-step process outlined in an article on Ezine, Marie Stark suggests:

  • Step 1: Cut the Carpet into Manageable Strips – The carpet does not have to leave your house in one piece as it came in. The simplest method to cut your carpet into strips is to use a knife. Avoid scissors; they require more work. Lift the carpet along an edge or doorway and using the knife, begin cutting the carpet into 2-3’ wide strips that are about 6-10’ long. Roll each strip as you go and you will find that each section can easily be deposited into a large garbage can, dumpster, or the back of a truck. Continue cutting the carpet into strips and removing each section until you have removed the entire carpet.
  • Step 2: Remove the Carpet Pad – Removing the carpet pad will be even easier than removing the carpet. Simply cut the pad into strips as you did with the carpet and remove.
  • Step 3: Remove Carpet Tack Strips – You will want to remove the tack strips as soon as possible as they are very painful to step on. A hammer and flat screwdriver are all you will need to remove the carpet tack strips around the edge of the room. Use the flat screwdriver to pry up the tack strips. The prongs of the hammer also work well for this. Once the wood tack strips are removed, use the hammer to pull up any nails that held the strips in place.
  • Step 4: Clean Up – Now that the main mess is gone, make sure all carpet glue and pieces of pad are gone. Using a flat screwdriver or spackling knife, scrape up the glue and debris. Sweep or use a shop vacuum to clean the floor.

This method is echoed in numerous other DIY sources, which indicates that many people use it with success. To check out other examples so you feel confident before you begin your carpet removal project, go to: http://www.oldhomesnewengland.com/Projects/floors.htm

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