Today's post is something I come across alot, where people are trying to do something they are pretty much clueless about, but obviously want to save some money and still do as good a job as they can.
|Linbide Tungsten Scraper....|
If the bitumen on the back of your blocks is pretty dry then you may be in luck and the method that I recommend should do the trick for you. However.....if the Bitumen is still very tacky, almost still wet then I'm afraid that you have no easy solution, there are a few things you can do, but its a time consuming and very tedious process. Basically the best way to do it yourself would be to heat up the Bitumen on the back of the blocks with a heat gun / blow torch type of set up and scrape it off when its runny and almost liquid like....Not nice at all.
The other way and I feel for most people the best option, would be to send the blocks off to a company who specialize in the removal of bitumen from the back of parquet blocks. Checkout Bitumenremoval.com these guys may just be the answer to your prayers [or nightmares] and from around £12 per m2 [depending on the amount] will clean up your blocks nicely and have them ready for laying.
You need to weigh up this option against how long you think scraping maybe thousands of individual blocks will take you, bearing in mind that these guys can clean up maybe 50m2 in a few days.....its worth thinking about anyway. I'm not allied to www.bitumenremoval.com in any way whatsoever, a client I did a Floor Sanding and Re-Finishing job for had used them for the bitumen removal process, that's how I know of them.
If the Bitumen on the back of your blocks is quite dry and you want to do the scraping yourself then here goes.....Your new best friend will need to be the splendid ''Linbide Tungsten Scraper" [image near top of page] its ideally suited for the scraping of bitumen from the backs of the parquet blocks, bear in mind that it's still a repetitive and tedious process but it does make a big difference to how the blocks sit and line up when you come to re-install them.
There is no automated easy way of doing this particular element of the job i'm afraid, its messy and creates bitumen dust, takes time but needs to be done, dont take more than 20-30 seconds per block, after you have done about a dozen of them you will get the hang of it and speed up. You don't have to scrape off every bit of bitumen residue, just the worst of it.
This process creates alot of dust and bitumen residue's so have plenty of ventilation available and vacuum up on a regular basis to keep the dust down....ALWAYS wear a DUST MASK ,GLOVES & GOGGLES.
Hold the block at one end with the other end butting against the floor, with the scraper laid flat against the bitumen surface push away and then back towards you until most of the residue is removed, then give the butt joints a quick scrape as well to remove any nibs or spots of bitumen.
Scraping the butt joints will help when you are re-laying the cleaned blocks in that they will butt up against each other much better and leave less gaps.
To do a good job I recommend you need / use the following items....
- Linbide Scraper
- Dust Mask
- Vinyl Gloves
- Chisels [old]
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Dustpan & Brush
Hope this helps......Thanks for reading.
I've already written a full article for Scraping Parquet Blocks and Re-Installing Them check it out on our website by clicking the above link.