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replace wood floors after flood?


Resto's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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10-27-09, 06:31 PM   #1  
replace wood floors after flood?

1 month ago, I was one of the people in Georgia affected by flooding. Some water came in through 2 exteriors walls into my townhouse. Maybe 100 square feet affected? Water only about 1/2" high. Able to mop it all up with towels. Within 3 days, I had a commercial-size dehumidifier and 3 large air movers in my home. Wet insulation and drywall replaced. My floors are pre-finished wood. Floors showed some cupping at time of flood, after the dehumidifiers, wood very much back to normal-looking. Disaster clean up people took many readings with moisture meter--floors less wet after cleanup, but still wet. Had a flooring guy come in. He tells me the floors will never dry all the way, I'll have trouble with mold, etc. and that I should replace all the wood downstairs (downstairs all 1 big space) because a patch job wouldn't work. Approx $5000 to re-do all wood floors downstairs. Another floor guy comes and tells me he can do a patch job (I see a sample, looks good to me) for about $2200. Another contractor (friend of my dad's) comes and tells me that the floors will dry eventually and I shouldn't waste my money because the floors look fine. As I don't have flood insurance, any cost will be mine. I don't want to make a short-sighted decision and have a bigger problem later (mold, etc), but I hate to spend thousands of dollars to replace a floor that really looks fine. Maybe in a few years I'd redo all the floors just as an upgrade, maybe not. I would love some unbiased professional input. Sorry this was so long. Thanks for reading.

 
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Bud9051's Avatar
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10-28-09, 05:32 AM   #2  
Not a professional in the mold department, but I have seen water trapped for very long times where it couldn't dry properly. Do you have a hidden area, like a closet or under a kitchen range where you or someone could remove a section and inspect it for moisture being trapped. That way you can patch it and no one will notice. The part that would concern me, would be the layers of flooring. If you have an underlayment of plastic foam material over vinyl flooring, the moisture has no place to go. Here is a link on vapor barriers that may help explain the drying process.
Energy Savers: Vapor Barriers or Vapor Diffusion Retarders
Also, look for some professional advice from someone who isn't selling their product/service.

Bud

 
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10-28-09, 01:59 PM   #3  
Yeah, you guys got hit pretty hard. Man, I can't believe all that water!! We were lucky in that we are 2200 feet higher than you and you got our run off. I agree with Bud, to get into an obscure area to see if there is any mold growing there. Hopefully there isn't alot of layering and your initial drying process has helped the situation. Let us know how it goes.

 
Resto's Avatar
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10-31-09, 03:24 PM   #4  
Thanks for the replies. I did pull up the wood floor in the coat closet (1 wall of closet is the exterior wall, much water came in thru closet). The cement underneath was fine (no mold). I'm going to tile the floor of the closet. The wood planks are glued straight onto the cement. There's just cement, glue, wood. I appreciate your help.

 
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10-31-09, 04:38 PM   #5  
This should take care of the other two posts in hardwood flooring as well, right? Double and triple posting only confuses our already confused minds.
Looks as if you may have dodged the bullet, since the floor is solid and the hardwood hasn't buckled yet. Let us know how it progresses as time goes.

 
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