How to Remove Glued-Down Outdoor Carpet from Concrete

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how to remove glued-down outdoor carpet from concrete

If you have a porch or garage with carpet, you know how dirty it can get. While carpet can be a great flooring material, after a while, it needs to be replaced. 

When the time comes to replace or remove carpet on your cement, it can be a difficult task. 

Being able to get all the adhesive off and start your concrete fresh is important. Even if you are going to put more carpet down, you will want to get the surface smooth. 

In this article, we have laid out everything you need to know about removing glued-down carpet.

By following these simple steps, you can have a perfectly clean surface again. After that, you can either keep the concrete or put down new carpet for a fresh look.

Removing glued-down carpet from concrete is relatively simple. To make the job as easy as possible, follow these steps: 

  • Rip up the old carpet 
  • Scrape the carpet adhesive
  • Pour boiling water on the surface
  • Finish scraping the remaining adhesive

Why Remove Carpet from Concrete?

why remove carpet from concrete

Many times, people have concrete patios in the back yard or front yard. These can be great places to gather or enjoy a sunset in the evenings. 

However, concrete is not the most welcoming and comfortable surface. If you want to add a little bit of warmth to the area, indoor or outdoor carpet can be a great option. 

One of the issues with doing this, though, is the fact that the carpet can get old. 

Eventually, even outdoor carpet will start to fade or even get moldy. When this happens, you will want to replace it. 

Moldy or worn carpet can be detrimental to the look of your home. By replacing your concrete porch’s carpeting, you can rejuvenate the house’s exterior. 

If you want to do this, you will need to remove the old carpeting and get the concrete smooth. Following the steps outlined below can help. 

Rip Up the Carpet 

The first thing you will need to do to get your concrete smooth is removing the old carpet. 

Depending on the condition the old carpet is in, this could take a while. If it is wet and moldy enough, it may only come up in small pieces. 

One of the best ways to pull up old carpet is to use a scraper. 

Get underneath the carpet and push the scraper under it as far as you can. This will bring up pieces at least as wide as the scraper itself. 

Work on removing the carpet until you have gotten all of it up off the concrete. Then, you will most likely have bare concrete with the old adhesive that has hardened. 

You will need to remove this old adhesive and make the concrete surface smooth again. 

Scrape the Concrete 

To get rid of the old adhesive, use your scraper. 

One of the issues with carpet adhesive is the fact that it can harden up quite a lot. It will take some elbow grease to get it completely smooth again. 

Start in the corner of the concrete surface, then work your way to the middle. Try to scrape up as much of the hardened adhesive as you can. 

It is a good idea to wear a mask if you are going to do this. Some older carpet adhesives can be toxic and the dust can be incredibly harmful. 

Pour Boiling Water 

pour boiling water

The best way to remove the hardened adhesive that you could not remove with the scraper is boiling water. 

Boil water in a large pot and bring the boiling water out to your concrete surface. Carefully pour the water onto the hardened adhesive. 

The hot water will loosen up the old adhesive. Use your scraper to pull it up off the concrete. 

Be very careful with the boiling water as you are pouring it. Be sure to wear heavy-duty shoes that will not let the water soak in if they get splashed. 

Finish Scraping 

Once you have gotten most of the hardened adhesive up, you can use sandpaper or a sander. This will help smooth out the concrete and get it ready for new carpet. 

Making sure that your concrete surface is smooth is essential. 

This will ensure that you have a good surface for the new carpet or for the concrete to be polished. Whatever you are going to do with the surface, ensuring that it is smooth will give you the best base. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to remove glued-down outdoor carpet from concrete

Will vinegar remove carpet glue?

Vinegar will remove carpet glue if it is heated up and mixed with water. However, you will still need to scrape it off with a scraper. 

Because vinegar can deteriorate surfaces, it is usually best to only use water if you want the surface raw. 

What is the best adhesive remover for concrete floors?

There are several commercial adhesive removers that can work for concrete floors. One of the things to remember is that an adhesive remover may cause discoloration. 

Use an adhesive remover in an inconspicuous corner before using it on your concrete floors. 

How much does it cost to remove glued-down carpet?

If you are going to remove the glued-down carpet yourself, it will not cost anything. It may take some extra work but you should be able to do it. 

If you want a professional to remove your carpet, the cost will be around $0.56 per square foot. 


Removing glued-down carpet from your concrete floors is a fairly easy job. As long as you are willing to put in a little bit of work, you can get a smooth, raw surface. 

By following the above steps, you can save some money and end up with a good final product. 

Photo of author


Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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