When you’re in a sticky (pun intended) situation and you have sticky and reside-ridden stains from carpet pads that were laid over your hardwood floors, removing the stains can be tricky. When carpet pads get old, disintegrated and worn out, they can begin to deteriorate and leave behind quite a mess. Whether you were aware that hardwood was under your carpet, or are surprised by pretty hard wood floors when you are ripping up old carpet, your first step is to decide whether or not you plan to attempt to salvage the hardwood floors.
If your plan is to put new and improved carpets back down, all you really are tasked with here is to use a razor to remove any padding that is stuck on the hardwood floors. Just be sure to clean the floor very well before putting new carpeting over the hardwood floors to prevent issues and problems down the road when it is time to switch out carpeting again. Ensuring that the floor is dry before installing new padding is important to prevent any damage or molding. This could result in allergy and mold issues down the road, not to mention a really funky smell after some time.
However, if your goal is to salvage the hardwood floors that are under your old carpet, your course of action is certainly going to be a little different. It is important for you to determine why the old carpet stuck to the hardwood floor and left this residue and staining behind. It could have been that the padding was glued or stapled to the floor during installation, or that over time, the carpet padding actually bonded to the polyurethane, or even that pet accidents or another substance spill caused the bonding. A bunch of water, dirt, or food reside can soak through your carpet and may deteriorate the pad, which leaves behind a yucky, sticky mess.
Your first step is going to be to dissolve the stuck padding with some type of chemical cleaner solvent. An odorless mineral cleaning spirit (something along the lines of a paint thinner such as Goo Gone) may do the trick for you. With a metal tool, you will want to scrape very carefully. Go slowly to ensure that you are not damaging and marking up those hardwood floors. Preserving the integrity of these floors is paramount here, so take your time and be precise and gentle. Using soapy water can be very helpful to help to loosen up the sticky padding and the nasty residue to allow for it to be removed much easier. It should be noted that using too much water can really damage the floor, so be mindful of this.
Before you look into trying any chemicals, you may be able to try out a hand scraper or even a sander. Please not that you should wear a face mask to make sure that you protect your face from debris. Your safety in this project is always paramount. Be sure to vacuum the area often to avoid random pieces from flying around during the process. Vinegar also works well to help to loosen up the stickiness.
With a lot of careful attention to detail and by taking it slowly, you should be able to remove all of the carpet pad stains from the floor. Always keep your safety in mind and pay close attention to not drown the hardwood floor with too much water and liquid. You will be on your way to revealing beautiful hardwood floors in no time!