Carpet strippers are complicated-looking machines when, in reality, they just strip flooring materials. If you were to try this by hand, you’d soon realise why machines are used. This guide explains exactly how to set up an area for a floor stripper, how to use one safely and other additional things to think about like safety and maintenance.
With this guide, you’ll be tile stripping in no time!
Preparing the Surrounding Area
You’ll want to consider what route you’re going to take because it’ll have a big impact on the efficiency of the machine and how long it takes you to complete the job. Completing the area in a series of strips or sections will allow for a more efficient process from beginning to end and will also result in a smoother finish.
Depending on the task and type of carpet stripper you’re using, you may want to prepare some form of vacuum. If a lot of debris will be created then some form of a dry or wet vacuum will help to clean up after you. This is important as it will allow you to use the machine more efficiently and safely.
Ensuring that debris is cleaned up is an important but often overlooked step. Debris can cause a bumpy ride as well as alter where the blade sits on the surface, making it less effective in some situations. Make sure you pause regularly to sweep up and clear the floor for the next section which is as important from a health and safety point of view as it is from an efficiency point of view.
How to Use the Carpet Stripper
Heavy-duty floor strippers use an oscillating blade system to remove materials like vinyl, carpet, linoleum and other soft materials from concrete and wood floors. There are multiple blades available for floor strippers so it’s important that you consider your specific requirements and pick the most suitable one for the job.
To install a blade, tip the machine back and use a wrench to loosen the bolts on the reverse side of the striker plate. Slide the blade in between the striker blade and the retainer blade, then tighten the bolts to keep it in place and tip the machine forwards.
The pitch of the blade alters what angle it oscillates at. Check your manual to understand what pitch your machine uses along with any recommendations the manufacturer has in relation to this.
On concrete floors, the bevelled side of the blade needs to be facing upwards at a fairly harsh angle. If the blade ‘jumps’ from the cut then the blade is probably too shallow. On wooden floors, this angle will want to be more shallow to avoid damage to the wood. You’ll want to follow the wood grain to minimise gouging.
Plug the machine into the correct socket and switch the switch on. As you push the machine forwards, the oscillating blade will remove the respective flooring. Don’t force the carpet stripper. If you need extra leverage then approach strips from the corner of the blade.
What to Avoid
Avoid Expansion Joints: Expansion joints hold parts together whilst absorbing their expansion, contraction and vibration. The blades of heavy-duty floor strippers get stuck on these unless they’re manoeuvred over them at an angle. They’re difficult to detect before removing the surface but if they’re spotted then make sure you cross them at an angle as this avoids damaging your blades. Failing to do this will lead to unnecessary costs and time wasted.
Avoid Anything Sticking Up: Anything sticking out the ground offers a very similar problem but they’re more detectable so you can address them before removing any flooring. You’ll want to circle anything sticking out and, depending on the sensitivity of your carpet stripper, you may be able to strip close to it. If your controls aren’t strong enough then you can remove the parts around it later.
Avoid Bolts: Similar to anything sticking out the ground, bolts can get in the way and snap your blade because they’re usually made of metal. To avoid this happening, which would cost you money to repair, assess the area you’d like to strip very carefully beforehand and proceed with caution.
Carpet Stripper Safety
You’ll want to make sure that you’re wearing all the correct safety gear when you’re using a floor stripper. Firstly, you’ll want to wear some metal cap shoes because you’ll be moving around a working blade. You may also want to wear some goggles in case any debris comes up at speed. It’s also never a bad idea to wear a helmet and gloves when working in these kinds of settings.
Make sure you don’t attempt to maintain our carpet strippers because, if necessary, we can send a fitter to you or exchange the model you have. It’s against our conditions of hire for our clients to tamper with the machinery in this way as it poses a serious health and safety risk.
Concept Flooring Technology’s Floor Stripper Rental Options
Wolff Turbo Stripper: This is a great self-propelled, walk-behind stripping option if you’re looking to remove any bonded flooring such as studded rubber and sports flooring. With a 2.6kW motor, detachable weights, and 150kg overall weight, it’s a very manoeuvrable option.
Blastrac BMS220: This is a ride-on heavy duty floor stripper option that is ideal for larger areas with a reduced amount of ventilation. With 110v of power and weighing 960kg/1080kg, it’s a great tile stripper that can also be used to remove carpet, vinyl and other materials.
Innovatech Terminator T2200: This is another ride-on carpet stripper option and it’s designed to work economically. It can fit through a doorway and it’s particularly good at stripping vinyl, wood, ceramic tiles and carpet with a propane power source and 1048kg of weight. We also have an Innovatech Terminator Infinity which is battery powered making it even more convenient and efficient.
Other Machines and Accessories
Blades: You’ll want to make sure that you have the necessary blades for the job. There are a few different types to choose from and each does better at taking up certain types of materials. If you have any questions about blades then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Concept Flooring Technology.
Preparation Grinder: Depending on the type of job you’re doing, you may wish to return the concrete beneath to an even finish. You may wish to use a preparation polisher machine to achieve this. You can choose from single-headed hand-held grinders to planetary polishers with 8 heads. Just make sure you take the time to research the different models available so you get the one that’s most appropriate based on your specific requirements.
Heavy-duty floor strippers are simple to use once you understand how they work, how to prepare the area before stripping and if you follow the step-by-step instructions carefully. It’s also important to remember to maintain your machine and to have safety at the forefront of your mind at all times because carpet strippers can be dangerous.
If you have any further questions about carpet strippers, or if you’d like to hear about our other services and products to hire, then don’t hesitate to contact us at Concept Flooring Technology by calling 01494 485952 today!