Carpeting Questions: Repair and Removal

Q. Does anyone know of the easiest way to remove glued down padding under carpet?


Use a razor scraper and a pack of replacement blades. Don't forget to turn the blade that comes in the razor scraper around. They sell them with the blade turned around with the dull square side out, so no one gets cut.

Q. We had a small accident - a hot iron box fell off the iron pad on to the Berber carpet on the floor, and we removed it within a second, but it burnt in the shape of the iron box. The property manager is saying there is no way to replace a part of the carpet and wants to replace the whole room, giving us an estimate cost of $400. Let me know if it is true that a part of the Berber carpet cannot be replaced. Is there anything I could do except pay $400?

A. If you have a piece of carpet from a closet, to use as a bonded insert, the correction is pretty easy. If you have a loop pile carpet, it's easy to get a row in a certain width. The first insert is $85, and $50 for each thereafter.

It may be noticeable because you're inserting a piece that has never been walked on, in a spot that has seen traffic and soiling. Chances are that the property manager wants to stiff you for the deposit and then he will have it patched. Call a pro that has the experience to get the patch done correctly. Get a receipt in case it goes to court.

Q. The wall-to-wall carpet in our new rental apartment has a black border stain where it meets the baseboard and where there are seams in the carpet. This is only in one room (the baby's room of course). Is this an indication of mold/mildew and should we have the carpeting removed by the landlords? The landlords had the carpeting cleaned but it did nothing to get off this black stain in the carpet fabric.

A. The stain is called filtration. When the A/C or heater are running, they draw air. There happens to be an air gap under the wall, and the carpet next to the wall filters this dirt. You just think it is the seam discoloring at the doorway, but I bet you keep that door closed most of the time. The return air is sucking and the only way for the air to get out of the room with the door closed is under the door. This filters the dirty air, leaving a black strip right across the doorway. This happens quite often with oil burning furnaces. Have the carpets cleaned; it is not mold.

Q. I'm replacing Berber carpet in a bathroom with vinyl tile. I will use a 1/4" or 1/2" underlayment under the tile. I would rather not use a visible metal transition strip. Can anyone give me guidance on how to make a rolled or folded edge?

A. It is called a Z-bar, used in conjunction with a piece of tack strip. Looking down the z-bar from the end, it looks like the letter Z. Tack strip is placed on the lower leg of the "Z", to hold it down when fastened. Now you have a metal lip sitting up off the substrate. Once stretched up on the tack strips, the carpet is cut past the z-bar lip just as wide as the lip. The carpet is then rolled over and then under that metal lip. Then take a hammer and beat the carpet at the roll over crimping the metal z-bar, which then holds the carpet from coming out of the roll and tuck.

Q. I have a carpet in the bedroom that is connected to ceramic tile in the hallway. The carpet is coming loose from the ceramic tile. What can I do to reattach the carpet?

A. Pull the carpet back carefully so as not to damage it any further. Examine the wooden tack strip, making sure it isn't loose, or the pins are not all beat down. If they have been beat down as they often are along transitions (this is most common reason for the carpet coming loose), replace the tack strip. Dig and clean out the gap between the wooden tack strip and the tile edge, known as the "gully." Vacuum it out well. Since you don't have latex edge sealer, you can use Elmer's glue. Really! Run a bead of sealer in the gully - it doesn't have to be thick or fill the gully, just make sure it is up against the tile side more. Using a pole stretcher, stretch the carpet up onto the tack strip. Trim any excess, leaving enough to tuck into the sealer-filled gully, without being cut short.

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