Can you "seal" cutback??

Discussion in 'Floor Preparation' started by NotHarrisonFord, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. :eek: I have wood 50 year old oak floors on a slab foundation. Due to an old and unbearable dog urine odor stinch, we removed the old flooring, and the cross slats underneath. That leaves the cutback (I think it is cutback -- it is thick, shiney black goop). Here's the killer --- it has absorbed the urine smell, too! What can I do to truly get rid of this smell, and then put new flooring down? At this point, I don't even care what kind of flooring, as long as the smell is gone! (We cut out all the sheetrock up to 2 feet, assuming it wicked the urine up), and have repainted. Thank you... :eh:
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    What do you mean by "cross slats?" I don't recognize that term, so please be more descriptive.

    The age of the flooring and the description of the "cutback" (that's prob'ly what it is) causes me to wonder if that is the kind of adhesive that contained asbestos. You might want to scrape a tiny bit up and send it off to be tested.

    The cutback should be removed down to a very thin coating, then sealed. Until we know the type of new flooring you would like to install, that about all the advice that can be given for the cutback. There are various methods of removing cutback. But I hesitate to offer any suggestions without knowing if it's asbestos or the type of flooring you want to install. Maybe other pros here can offer their ideas.

  3. The "cross boards" I am describing are about 2 foot long boards, spaced about 6 inches apart, that the wood flooring rested on. Those are nailed onto the slab, with the cut back looking stuff in between. Those "cross boards" were soaked in smell like the wood floors were. I had originally thought I could just remove the half of the floor that was ruined, and then install new wood floor there. But now, I am just trying to figure out how to get rid of the smell. After that, if I have a penny left, I will put down whatever kind of flooring I can.
  4. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Paint it with Kilz or maybe have a cleaning company ozone blast the house.
  5. Are you saying put Kilz on top of the cutback?:blink:
  6. "The cutback should be removed down to a very thin coating, then sealed."

    Sealed with what?
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    This sounds like a sleeper system and the cutback, or mastic is used to seal the concrete slab from moisture. Is the whole floor covered with mastic, or just where the sleeper boards were? Use the upload feature to show us some pictures, if you can.

    There are a number of different products available for this. Deciding on what type of flooring you want to install may determine the best or most appropriate product. There's nothing about flooring that is one-size-fits-all.

    PS: you can click the big [​IMG] button at the bottom-right corner of any post to quote a message. No copy & paste necessary.
  8. icanlayit2

    icanlayit2 Pro Member

    I would recommend a polyurethane or a urethane coating or moisture barrier because it is about the only thing that will stick to the cutback,which i feel sure of is asbestos.
  9. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    "thick, shiny, black goop"----- doesn't sound like cutback but it does sound like something closely related in the tar products family that would be used to adhere wood to concrete

    we used to call that stuff "cold stick"

    I only used it half a dozen times or so for special purposes

    seemed to me it was just really thick cutback (cut back with less solvents?)

    it's going to be something along these lines:

    Pure Asphalt PureStick #84 - Wood Floor Mastic

    It's a little confusing to me how a stench of urine could permeate this OR actual cutback

    -----from what I've seen and heard (never personally handled) of "sleepers" they would be adhered to the slab with cold stick. In fact the guys doing the auditorium maple hardwood floors at the last two schools I think were using something along those lines with their sleeper system as the stage was concrete.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012

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