Seeing the floor through the tar..

So I think I mentioned in my post about our final walkthrough before closing how exuberant we were do learn that there were original hardwood floors under the ratty and disgusting carpet that covered the entire upstairs:

Old carpet

Our excitement was a bit short lived. It wasn’t until we ripped up the old carpet that we discovered that the vinyl sheet tile underneath had been essentially tarred down to the original hard wood floor!

close up of tar on floor

Why anyone would do something like that is completely beyond understanding.

As Jeff put it, its like saying “Oh look,  a nugget of gold.. Lets wrap in in shit!”

In some areas, the tile and the tar underneath came up in large sections and in the middle bedroom it had actually been nailed rather than tarred down.

But in other areas, it is incredibly stubborn and difficult to remove requiring hand scraping on all fours.  Not exactly a pleasant job.

But now with about 3/4 of the tar up, it’s beginning to be possible to imagine what the upstairs bedrooms will look like with the beautiful old orginal douglas fir floors!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great before shot of the carpeted master bedrooom. All I have is this picture (with Seller’s furniture):

Master bedroom with carpet

And…… drumroll please…..about 3/4 through stripping the tar:

Yucky black mastic tar stuff

Quite an improvement isn’t it? A few more days of scraping and we’ll be able to get the floor refinishing guys in here.

I can’t wait!

5 Responses to “Seeing the floor through the tar..”

  1. Thanks for your reply regarding the mastic. Yours seems to look more flaky…, Peter, my husband, is as I am writing this trying a few numbers on the cut back with different chemicals…, maybe we are going to try sanding it off. Your wood floors look great!

  2. Hmmm, have you tried scraping? The hardest part for us to get off was the part we TRIED to removed with the chemicals. Have you tried a heavy duty citrus based remover like this one The guy that I talked to that was an asbestos expert said if you use a chemical based remover it will smell for a very long time.

    The guy who is refinishing the floors for us said he has an attachment that has almost little pebbles instead of sandpaper to remove mastic. You could definitely ask about that.. my concern about doing that (and why I didn’t) was that the asbestos expert seemed to thing that the black mastic might actually pose more of a health hazard than the asbestos paper backing of the vinyl. He said that the whole removal process of both didn’t pose too much of a health risk UNESS you sand it.. its naturally “nonfriable” but by sanding it you make it breathable and that’s the only form that its dangerous in…just wanted to pass on the info I had gathered. Hope it helps!

  3. […] problem with this otherwise exciting development is that even though we’d gotten most of it up in the bedrooms, there was still a rather thick layer of black mastic potentially asbestos laden tar on the floor […]

  4. what method did you use to get the tar up? or what kind of tool did you use

  5. Stacy, we ended up scraping it. I don’t know what the tool is called, though somewhere in this blog I think I posted a link to what it looks like.. it sort of looks like a chisel that is flat and a lot wider than a chisel.

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