How to Remove Black Tar Flooring Adhesive

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-sized pot
  • Boiling water
  • Adhesive solvent
  • Long-handled scraper
  • Latex gloves
  • Broom
  • Floor detergent

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

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.

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.

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.

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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