Posted in: Water Damage Repair
Floor water damage situations are quite prevalent, as weather related mishaps and household flooding accidents end up damaging floor coverings disproportionately. Leaky roofs, clogged up gutters, broken or missing shingles as well as burst water heaters, overflowing toilets, and frozen pipes can and do damage walls, ceilings, furniture, etc. However, due to gravity, most of the water damage ends up on the floor, soaking carpets, damaging tile and vinyl flooring material and warping wood floors and subfloors.
When floods, drips and leaks find their way to floor coverings, they also may damage the subfloor. If the subfloor is made out of concrete, it can crack due to water damage. If the subfloor is wood, plywood, OSB (Oriented Strand Board) or particle board, it can swell and warp. Moreover, wood products can mold if water is not removed promptly and the area is not dried well. In most situations, removal of the floor covering as well as the subfloor will be necessary for thorough drying.
No wood material is immune to water damage. Plywood is a wood veneer product and has good construction attributes, but water resistance is not one of them. Wood chips and saw dust make up particle board, which is very prone to expanding and falling apart when encountering moisture. OSB is sturdier and more resistant to moisture as its wood content is bound with resins and wax during the manufacturing process. However, this material is still vulnerable to moisture and humidity and will deteriorate with constant exposure.
Vinyl floor water damage is common in kitchens and bathrooms, where adhesives separate over time. Daily drips, spills and water splashes get under the vinyl and contribute to mold and damaged subfloors. To assess damage to subfloors, the vinyl should be pulled back for a few days. That way, air is allowed to circulate and dry the space. During this time, periodically checking to see if there are any new leaks in the affected area could give a clue to the source of the water damage. Once the cause of the damage is identified and repaired, the subfloors and vinyl covering can be replaced or repaired, depending on the circumstances and extent of the damages.
Tile flooring is sturdy and is not prone to water damage. However, if ceramic tile is improperly installed, water can get under the tile and damage the subfloor that is often particle board or OSB (Oriented Strand Board). There are several faulty installation reasons why tile would fail in water damage situations.
* underlay is the material laid between the subfloor and the floor covering and can be plywood, rubber or foam, depending on the floor covering used
Floor water damage is not always preventable, even under the best circumstances. However, a good home maintenance goes a long way to control and curb it to some degree. If floor water damage cannot be prevented, it may be minimized with quick action. If water damage is due to an accident or negligence rather than to forces of nature, shutting off the main water supply to the house will prevent further damage. However, calling local water damage restoration professionals is the first thing that must be done in flood cleanup situations, as time is of the essence in such emergencies. Water damage professionals will determine the cause of the flood and repair it to stop additional loss. They will also concentrate on extracting water and drying the premises prior to restoring the floor and subfloor.