If you've decided to remove old vinyl flooring and replace it with a new floor covering, you have to do it in a two-stage process. After you strip off the old vinyl, you still have the task of removing vinyl flooring glue. A word of caution before you start. Very old vinyl flooring (dating from before 1980) may contain asbestos. If that is the case, leave the job of removing the flooring and glue to professionals. Breathing in asbestos dust is extremely hazardous to your health. The first step to removing vinyl flooring glue is to get everything you must have. You need a long-handled floor scraper. For large rooms you may want to rent a power scraper as well (these run $25-40 for a half-day to day). Other necessary tools are a sander, mop, bucket, broom and dustpan, safety goggles and a floor fan, unless you can open windows for ventilation. You'll also need a citrus-based floor adhesive solvent.
Choose a corner to start and use a mop to thoroughly soak a 4-by-4 foot area with hot water (if you are using a hand scraper only soak a 2-by-2 foot square area) to soften the vinyl flooring glue. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris. Scrape off all the large deposits and sweep the scrapings up as you complete each section. Work back and forth until you scrape the entire floor. Even if you are using a power scraper, you'll need to use a hand scraper to get into constricted spaces like closets.
Spread a citrus-base floor adhesive solvent on the remaining vinyl flooring glue deposits. Citrus-based solvents are safer (and environmentally friendly). However, make sure the room is well ventilated by using a fan or opening windows and doors. Allow the solvent to stand for at least 20 minutes and then rescrape the floor. After the floor dries, use a sander to remove any remaining deposits n corners and crevices. You will probably still see some traces of vinyl flooring glue. Don't worry about it as long as you have a smooth surface ready for you to install a new floor covering.
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