Carpet removal is generally not too much of a challenging task anyone can conquer – even without any experience. While it’s not necessarily a survival skill you’d need to be able to count on in shift scenarios, it’s still a handy one. It can save you hundreds of dollars if you know how to remove old carpets by yourself unless you’ve got those hundreds of dollars to spare and aren’t much into learning new skills at all.
You may leave this task to someone else then. With tons of advice out there on how to go about the carpet removal like a pro, technically, nothing can go wrong. It’s pretty much a fool-safe task. Unless someone tells you…
… leave your furniture inside the room
For carpet removal, you need to clear the room entirely in which you’d like to replace the flooring. Not doing so is going to make the job unarguably a lot harder. Imagine you’ve got one heavy sideboard left in the room when you intend to start with the carpet removal. You might be able to shift it from one spot to another with lots of muscle power. There probably was a reason why you left it – it’s too heavy.
As long as the carpet remains flat, you might be able to manage it, but it’s certainly going to cost you a lot of time. Remember, you also have to remove the carpet padding and staples of the padding and the old carpet itself. You would have to shift around heavy furniture pieces over and over again. At the same time, you can damage it during the carpet removal. It’s a challenging task without using any sure instinct.
The old carpet has to be removed and doesn’t require any careful handling. It can happen too quickly to lose the grip on your pry bar and send it flying into your furniture. Or if you have to move it, it ends up on some loose staples you can’t get out and damage your new floor. Apart from furniture, you definitely should also remove any other valuable items to avoid any accidental damages.
… just use your bare hands; you don’t need tools
Well, that’s unlikely to work out. To remove a carpet, you need to remove the baseboards. How are you going to do that? Ok, let’s say you had a stable knife that works as good a pry bar. Fine, go ahead with it, but don’t be surprised if the blade breaks during the process. With lots of luck, you might be able to pull up the carpet in one corner just with a knife. Good for you. Now try pulling it up without heavy-duty gloves. The carpet will quickly slip away under your bare hands. There might also be some staples hidden in the carpet. You’ll certainly regret not using gloves at this point.
Also, if your fingernails are dear to you, not using gloves would be the worst advice. It will undoubtedly happen that the carpet slips out of your hands. As you try to get a grip, you’ll easily break your fingernail. That doesn’t sound so bad; it can happen to anyone. However, if that happens, chances are high you’re going to break the fingernail up to a point where you can’t cut it off. That sucks. And it’s excruciating having half of your fingernail dangling on your nail bed. You see, not using any tools and gloves is going to be one of the worst pieces of advice you’ve ever heard of.
… skip cutting it into strips and pull it out in one piece
Should you not care much about your back, that’d be the way to go about carpet removal. Keep in mind that the carpet is heavy. There’s a reason why it’s usually two guys bringing a new carpet into your home. It’s too heavy to be carried by just one person. What needs to be brought in with two people also has to leave in manageable pieces. You could undoubtedly roll it up nicely, but that won’t help much. Trying to pull up the carpet in one piece and bringing it to the curb as it is, creates one huge bulky piece. It’ll be extremely hard to remove it from your home at all without breaking your back. Hence, better be safe than sorry. Cut your old carpet into smaller strips that you can still carry outside.
… don’t worry about the tack strips and subfloor
As long as your tack strips are alright, you may genuinely not have to bother about them unless you’re switching to a completely different kind of flooring that doesn’t require tack strips. If there’s any rust on them, the rust is going to bleed through and leave unsightly stains on your new carpet. You can’t remove those stains. The tack strips tend to rust if a pet did its business on the floor or if someone spilled other liquids in that area. Likewise, you have to look out for your subflooring. Check it for uneven squeaks and regions. If there’s a squeak in the wood floor underneath your old carpet, it’d be a terrible mistake not to look into that. Some wood planks or panels might be rotten.
If you placed your new carpet or flooring directly on top of it without worrying, the floor might give in at some point. You don’t want a nasty surprise one day as you walk into your living room and suddenly fall through the floor. Uneven spots need to be taken care of, too. They won’t let your new flooring sit evenly and create odd bumps. The same would happen if you left staples in the subflooring. Not only would you easily hurt yourself, but it’d make a bunch of odd bumps for your new flooring.
The Do’s of Carpet Removal
- Remove all furniture from the respective room.
- Take advantage of tools and heavy-duty gloves.
- Cut the carpet into manageable pieces.
- Check the tack strips and the subflooring.
- Remove staples from the subfloor.