7.16.2012

A lesson in patience

We are almost ready to start flooring at Laura Tusa’s…almost, except for that pesky layer of linoleum glue covering the approximately 500 square foot space we’re planning to tile. The glue is a water-based adhesive, meaning the thin-set cement we lay the tiles in won’t adhere to it correctly which, in turn, means the glue has to go. I thought this seemed simple enough, until we actually started scraping it. Turns out this stuff is incredibly stubborn and is incredibly difficult to get off. I spent almost an entire day scraping with only this (plus some nasty blisters) to show for it:
(about 15 square feet)

So, I asked my project manager to look into something – ANYTHING – we could do to make it easier. A couple hours later she called me back without much good news. She read me her favorite bit of advice from the internet:

“No matter what you do this is a nasty job. Chemicals will not help much and usually make things more gummy and difficult. If you have been using a razor scraper so far it doesn’t get much better. Using a heat gun or even a hair dryer will soften the glue and make removing the chunks of old lino[leum] easier…I usually end up with blisters on my blisters after a job like this, sorry.”

Not exactly encouraging, right? The glue still had to go, though, so Tuesday morning I taped up my poor blistered hands and went to work with the heat gun. It helped…sort of. You can peel up decent-sized pieces with the help of the heat gun, but it still requires a good amount of force. At the end of day two my blisters had become blister, and I’d only barely finished the kitchen (with the laundry room, huge den, and hallway still to go).

 Tuesday through Friday I enlisted (or maybe conscripted is a better word?) volunteers in the scraping effort, and they didn’t have any more luck than I did. On Wednesday they rented a huge scraping machine from Home Depot, and although it worked okay initially the blade got dull much sooner than we would have liked. We also tried a hammer and chisel, a hammer and scrapers (we managed to break the handles of a couple of scrapers that way, as you might imagine), and finally, a desperate raid of the PNOLA tool cache led to experiments with an electric paint scraper and an air hammer. After all of that, the internet guy turned out to be right: the razor scraper and heat gun combo still work the best. We’re about halfway through, with obviously many more hours of scraping to go. I can only hope the volunteers this week are as patient (and stubborn?) as last week’s were…

2 comments:

Vineet Sharma said...

Thanks for sharing wonderful informations. Nice post.


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Vineet Sharma said...

Thanks for sharing wonderful informations. Nice post.


online jobs