Top 10 Carpet Removal Tips

Carpet removal is one of those household chores that everyone thinks they know how to do until they actually try to do it! If youíre in this position and removing your carpet is suddenly starting to look harder than you expected, then here are the top 10 carpet removal tips to make your life, and the task, easier.

Cut the carpet into strips you can manage.

Donít think of it in terms of the whole entire roomóthatís too much. Just cut a strip of 24-36 inches, grasp both sides, and pull.

Use a double sided utility knife.

Utility knives are built for this kind of hard labor, and a double sided blade wonít have to be changed as often. Donít try to cut with scissors, wire cutters, or saws; theyíre not built for it, and you might hurt yourself.

Wear work gloves and boots.

Carpets and padding are full of hidden nails, tacks, and staples. You might think you donít risk injury because carpet is soft, but itís very easy for you to step on or put a hand around something sharp.

Use a pry bar or spud bar to begin lifting the carpet.

Carpets are supposed to be tight up against the wall, and sometimes the hardest part is pulling it far enough away from the wall, and the sharp tacking beneath, to get the process started. A pry bar or spud bar can raise it several feet for you, so you can grab it with no danger to your fingers.

Try using carpet cutting knives.

These are special utility knives that you can get at a hardware or home improvement store. The blades are more expensive than regular utility knives, but they are also more durable and donít need to be changed as often.

Smaller strips are better.

Whether carpet or padding, you can put smaller strips into garbage bags and throw them out with the trash. You might not be able to do that with larger rolls of carpet.

You might not need to remove the tack strip.

Ask whoeverís laying your new carpet whether they can use your old tack stripóif so, just leave it. Of course, if youíre laying tile or hardwood, the tacking strips definitely have to go.

Find out whatís underneath.

If previous homeowners covered their hardwoods with carpet, you might enjoy revealing and cleaning up those old floors. But even if youíre planning to put down new carpet, thereís no reason to damage the good floors beneath--you might still want them some day. Cut and scrape carefully if there are good floors under there.

Adhesive removers are flammable!

If you use a chemical or mineral adhesive remover to get rid of glue or to remove padding, turn off all pilot lights and other sources of ignition. Those products produce fumes and can ignite if not treated very carefully.

Figure out where the old carpet will go before you start.

Can you throw it out with the garbage, or will your trash company pick it up for an extra fee? Will you load it up in a truck and haul it to the dump yourself? Itís best to know beforehand, so you donít have piles of old carpet cluttering your house or garage.

Removing carpet on your own is easy if you follow these top 10 carpet removal tips. Youíll have your house ready for new flooring in no time.