Once in a while, a product which makes life easier comes along. Not too often in this industry, but it does happen.
Because I get involved in many unique projects, I learn information which I often share with you. Hopefully, what you read here makes your business life a little better and more profitable. What I’m about to tell you will absolutely save you money, time and back-breaking work in removing old carpet.
One of the most challenging, time consuming and labor intensive efforts related to installing new carpet is removing old carpet. I am referring specifically to broadloom which has been glued directly to the substrate.
A NEW AND EASY WAY TO GET CARPET OFF THE FLOOR
To get the old carpet up, you have to cut it into strips, rent a scrapping machine, use ice scrapers, or other devices and pull the carpet until it gives up its fight to stay on the floor. In the process, installers spend hours battling the old broadloom, work up a wall of sweat and ache all over from the tug-of-war. Well, they do not have to do that anymore.
A company called Panda Products in Cartersville, GA , in the business primarily of making chemicals for cleaning marble floors, came up with a water-based agent-quite by mistake, as I understand it-which will emulsify old adhesives bonding carpet to floor. The product is called Fas-Strip.
How it works is simple. You spray Fas-Strip on the carpet, work it in with a squeegee and let it sit for about an hour, in most cases. After this, the carpet will lift off the floor like a wet towel. The remainder of the old adhesive can be scraped off the floor, the floor wet mopped and dried, and you’re about ready to install new carpet.
Fas-Strip contains no harsh chemicals, has very little odor, is economical to use, is highly concentrated and rinses with water. Our research with mills which have seen and used this product for the last year confirms all the claims made about Fas-Strip-it works and it doesn’t compromise the new installation. One concern we had was residue emulsifying the adhesives used to install the new carpet. There hasn’t been one case of this.
The people who have tested this product, as well as conducted time studies on new installations to see whether the adhesive was compromised, have reported no failures. Once the floor is rinsed properly, the Fas-Strip is neutralized and the floor is good to go, except for any other necessary, normal prep work you may need to perform.
This product works on the most aggressive adhesives, tests have so far concluded. The challenges have been vinyl-backed or urethane-backed carpets, but these can be perforated so the Fas-Strip can seep through and loosen the adhesive. Mechanical devices which will make this easier are being developed.
Fas-Strip will make removal of glued down flooring-particularly carpet-quick, easy and economical. If you are in the commercial carpet business, you should not do a broadloom removal without it. Why work harder than you have to?
One idea I’m working on which may be feasible with this product is, solving problems with buckles, wrinkles and bubbles in large glued-down, commercial jobs. Fas-Strip may be effective in loosening the carpet so it can be taken up and re-glued. It would take some doing with another processor with which we work but, if feasible, could solve a lot of problems and stem a lot of lawsuits. There would be no reason to replace the carpet, nor would it be damaged in the take-up.
If you’re wondering whether I have stock in Panda Products or work with it as a consultant promoting Fas-Strip, the answer is, no. I have no fiduciary involvement with it at all. I endorse its product because I know how it works. My objective is, to make your lives easier in the carpet industry by solving problems for you. And, taking up old carpet is definitely a problem when your installers have to bust their backs wrestling it off the floor.
And, don’t complain about my mentioning specific products or services in my column. If I didn’t tell you about stuff like this, you might not know about it for a long time, and you’d have to work that much harder for a lot less profit.