How to Remove Black Tar Flooring Adhesive

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Things You'll Need

  • Medium-sized pot

  • Boiling water

  • Adhesive solvent

  • Long-handled scraper

  • Latex gloves

  • Broom

  • Floor detergent

Flooring is normally installed onto a foundation using a an effective adhesive. The materials chosen for the floors determine the type of adhesive necessary. Black tar was a popular option for flooring adhesive in homes built prior to the 1970s. It can still be found when the floor of such a home is pulled up. Removing the black tar is a time-consuming process, but can be done properly with a strong solvent and the right tools.


Step 1

Boil hot water in a medium pot. You will need to be able to carry it to your workspace.

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Step 2

Make sure the room is extremely well-ventilated if the floor is indoors. Pour the water carefully over the affected areas and allow it to soften the tar for at least 30 minutes.


Step 3

Read the directions on the product label of the adhesive solvent for proper application. Then allow it to set for the instructed period of time before removal.

Step 4

Begin lifting the black tar adhesive with a long-handled scraper. It may take several attempts to remove it completely but the tar will come loose with time.



Step 5

Put on a pair of protective gloves and pull up any large sections of the tar manually. Sweep the area of the loosened tar and apply a mild detergent for a thorough cleaning of the floor.




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