Water under vinyl flooring in basement


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Old 01-02-24, 05:26 AM
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Water under vinyl flooring in basement

Hi and Happy New Year! I live in NJ, and we had a couple big rainstorms over the last few weeks. I don't typically get water in my basement but we got a little bit through the foundation in one part of the room and it flowed a bit into the middle of the room. I talked to the people at Home Depot about whether I need to pull up that section so it can dry properly, and they said vinyl plank flooring is waterproof so that's not necessary. I bought a couple blowers and have run them for about 2 days so far, and if it's doing anything it is doing it slowly. When I step in that section, a little water still comes up between the boards. It's a section that shouldn't be too hard to pull up, but it's a pain to do so I'm looking for confirmation that I just need to let it dry on its own. I'd hate to cause a mold problem or warp the boards while I just sit & wait and don't do anything!

Thanks for any guidance,
Andy
 
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Old 01-02-24, 06:17 AM
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The vinyl planks may be waterproof but the moisture trapped underneath can cause mold & mildew. It really comes down to how big a job do you want? Trapped underneath the flooring the mold won't be "too" bad but it probably will be there and some will get out. It's really a question if that risk is worth the work to pull up the flooring so everything can dry.
 
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Old 01-02-24, 06:03 PM
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Hi Pilot Dane, thanks for your response. I went downstairs this evening to pull up some of the planks, and it seems like it's dried out a good amount over the last 24 hours. In fact no water came up from between the planks. Based on your response I'm still a little nervous to just leave it. If it's dried out, I can still get mold underneath, right?
 
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Old 01-02-24, 06:30 PM
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Concrete absorbs moisture and probably always has a fairly high moisture content if you check it with a moisture meter, I agree it would be nice to take it up to get some fans on it but if you think it's too much work I don't think you will have a major problem on your hands. It would be worse (won't dry out as quickly) if there was a pad or poly of some type under the flooring.

Mold needs moisture AND a food source, so if the concrete floor is clean, I don't think there is a huge risk of you having a model problem like there would be on a wood subfloor, or drywall, or paper underlayment, etc.
 
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Old 02-12-24, 07:25 PM
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Hi all - I've been traveling for a few weeks. Before I left, I did end up taking up about 6 rows of planks across the length of the room - it was too wet for too long, so I figured I need to do it. When I got back last week I started putting the planks back, and it seems like between the tongue & groove pieces getting a little brittle & the planks maybe being a little warped or expanded? they don't go together flush, and thus when I get to the last row I can't make it fit. Also not all of them are clicking in place well, so it's messy looking and has gaps & raised edges (see photos - note in the first one I have a few planks just sitting on top of the opening so that section isn't quite as bad as it looks but the rest of it is... and the 3rd photo is a section I didn't take up so you can see for context how tight the seams are supposed to be). I think the answer is I need to replace the planks with new ones, but before I go spend the money I wanted to see if maybe there are some helpful hints I don't know. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Andy



 
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Old 02-13-24, 03:12 PM
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I have removed and reinstalled click flooring like that several times. The tongue and grooves can be very delicate and easily damaged. But, they can be undone and redone if careful. Look closely at your planks. Damaged tongue or groove can sometimes be pushed/mushed back in place or you can cut out the damaged bit with a sharp knife.

I haven't noticed the planks warping or changing shape due to moisture but I have seen it with temperature. It's why most floors want you to leave a gap around the perimeter because the floor grows and shrinks as it changes temp.

I would take up the floor until you get to a point where it's fitting properly. Then thoroughly sweep the exposed subfloor/concrete. Before reinstalling a plank look over it's tongue and groove for damage or any dirt. Before you install each plank give the back a wipe to make sure no dirt is stuck. Do not put down another piece until you have the previous one interlocked properly. If any gaps or misfits appear fix it immediately because it won't fix itself if you move on.
 
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Old 02-13-24, 03:21 PM
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If even one piece doesn't go together flush then you have problems. It usually means you don't have it clicked together. You don't put down another row unless the last one is locked in perfectly.

The only laminate flooring that would expand when It gets wet is the crappy cheap kind that is mdf based... which hopefully you don't have.
 
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Old 02-14-24, 05:33 PM
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Ok thanks for the replies. I didn't buy the cheap stuff so I'm sure it's not warped or expanded, I think I just wasn't patient enough laying the pieces back down. I will try it again. Thanks!
 
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Old 02-14-24, 05:42 PM
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Yeah, if a piece doesn't lock in take it out and like Pilot Dane says, examine the edges, there could be a little sliver of something in the groove that's preventing them from locking together. You often need to use a scrap of leftover material (that mates with the groove) to gently tap with a hammer as needed. But don't whack too hard, if it's not going together something is wrong. You can also damage the flooring if you tap or whack it too hard or if you use too small of a piece (concentrates the forces in too small of an area).
 
 

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