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What should I expect when I tear up carpet? My brother's dogs have stained my carpets with their pee and poop, he also has tracked in grease from his work boots and stained it with tattoo ink. I want to tear up my carpet and do something different on the floor. Was thinking just painting and sealing the concrete and put down some throw rugs. What's easiest for someone who doesn't have a lot of experience in this type of thing?

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The first thing I wold recommend is to make sure you are wearing a good charcoal filter respirator (not just a dust mask). That stuff is going to STINK when you start tearing it up. – Dave Nay Apr 28 '12 at 14:44
When I helped remove the carpet in my apartment, they had used tack strips not carpet glue, I found dirt composed of decomposed carpet mixed with dust. – Dan D. Apr 29 '12 at 11:06
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm not sure if your question is, 'What am I likely to find under my carpet,' or 'What should I do after ripping up carpet?'

If the question is the former, the answer is absolutely anything depending on the age and history of your house. I know people who have ripped up carpet to find concrete, wood floors, and in one case magnificent hardwood that polished up real nice.

It sounds like you know there's concrete under there, but I think some unknowns would be whether it is stained or not, and whether there are any big cracks in it from the foundation settling. You can pull up carpet in an inconspicuous corner and peek, but if you rip it all up I try to be ready for anything, and make sure you have the budget to deal with some surprises.

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As far as I know it is supposed to be concrete, I bought the house in 2007. The house was "re-done" according to my realtor after Hurricane Ivan tore through Pensacola, FL. I don't think she even knew what to find in the house to be honest with you. – C-dizzle Apr 30 '12 at 15:05

expect stains, smells, and possibly mastic/glue.

If you're looking for an 'industrial loft' feel, clean it up the best you can and then just cover it with some high-end concrete/floor paint...or epoxy. It'll be rough, but practical.

For a more finished looked, hire someone with a concrete grinder to grind off the bad top layer of glue, dog pee and what-have you. Come back and then apply an acid stain to the entire thing. When finished, give it a seal coat. That's what we did with our basement floor and, at least for me, I love the look.

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Thanks for the input! I want to start doing this as soon as possible, with all the humidity in the air it is bringing the smell back up, BAD. – C-dizzle Apr 30 '12 at 13:54

After removing the old carpet and tack strips, spray the stains with Kilz, patch cracks if there are any, and paint the whole concrete floor with floor paint to make sure no stains gets embedded in your concrete floor in the future. Since you live in Florida, laying new carpet is not your best option due to weather and high humidity. Use floating vinyl planks instead: they are easy to install. You can do it yourself and save big. They are very durable and cheaper than hardwood while having the same look. Easy to clean and maintain too.

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