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Unread 01-18-2007, 02:38 PM   #1
Tyler Alvis
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Concrete Slab Prep

Hello all, I'm remodeling a 60 year old bathroom on a concrete slab. After removing the old vinyl tile, there is a black coating all over the concrete slab. It seems to me that its roofing felt, or some other aspalt based mat./adhesive, that has stuck itself all to well to the concrete. Since this stuff doesn't really absorb water, I'm guessing that I'm going to have to remove it. Last night, I scraped to no avail. Anyone have any tips or other methods of removal.

Also, there are a couple of low spots in the slab, should I use a SLC to flatten this up, or can I fill in with thinset. Other than that, the slab is free of cracks and the floor is solid (basement beneath)

Thanks in advance
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Unread 01-18-2007, 02:44 PM   #2
MudMaker
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Howdy Tyler and welcome to the forum...
Fisrt of all how can you have a basement below a slab? Is the slab Flexicore based?
That material is called cutback and the best way to remove it is to use a razor blade scraper and scrape the dickens out of it. I thin HD has an 8" scraper for about 30 bucks that will allow you to stand up.. A little better. You need to remove the black stuff till you just see shadows of the material. A good modified thinset will go over cutback..
Don't use any chemicals that will melt that stuff into the pores of the concrete..
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Unread 01-18-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
Tyler Alvis
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Yeah, what I thought too, but from the basement you can see a wire-like mesh that was used to contain the concrete from pouring to the basement below (no metal decking). I'm guessing the slab is 5-6 inches thick in places......Lets just say I feel a little uncomfortable standing underneath it. I will look for a better/sharper scraper after work. Hopefully it will be quicker than last night.

Thanks for the reply.
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Unread 01-18-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
George K
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There are those who think scraping cutback adhesive that contains asbestos is a bad idea. There are others who feel it is no big deal. I guess it is your call, but an informed decision seems desirable because it is your health that may be at risk.

Is the slab flat? If it is not, how will you correct it? The larger the tile that you are putting down, the flatter it needs to be. This could affect what you decide to do about the cutback adhesive.

Just a few things to think about.
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Unread 01-19-2007, 12:47 PM   #5
Tyler Alvis
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thanks George for the warning. I have been using a mask while scraping paint and sanding door frames, etc. so I'll defenately put on a mask and shut the door to keep the the cutback contained to the room. There is one low spot in the room that needs flattened up a bit,so I was going to fill it with a type of SLC. I'm using 6X6 and 12X6 arranged in a cooblestone like patern.....the 12X6 concerns me a little, but I'll try to flatten the floor the best I can. The top of the concrete is level with the top/hallway hardwood so I don't want to build the entire floor up though.
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Unread 01-19-2007, 07:10 PM   #6
George K
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If you are going to use SLC over residual cutback adhesive, in order to raise that low spot, make sure the manufacture says it will bond to the residue.

And remember, not all dust masks are rated for Asbestos.

Last edited by George K; 01-19-2007 at 07:16 PM. Reason: Forgot a safty comment
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