So, the waters have receded or leaks have been fixed and everything is drying out, but how do I handle this water proof flooring?
Moisture trapped between water proof flooring and the subfloor can smell musty and may allow mould to form. Mould spores can cause allergic reactions and lung disease, so treatment and removal with vinegar or bleach is recommended. Treat both the sub-floor and the up-lifted flooring and allow good ventilation at all times.
Next we tackle any subfloor issues…
Particle board, hardboard or ply underlays may have swollen at joints and need sanding once dry, or total replacement. A concrete floor needs to be dry before re-taping or re-gluing your flooring back down. Checking if concrete is dry enough is fairly simple. Check under your flooring for tell-tale condensation, or if the flooring has already been taken up, tape a square metre of plastic sheet down and check underneath for condensation after 24 hours. Ventilation, air conditioning and fans will speed up the process, and keep testing until no condensation appears.
Different water-proof flooring systems need to be handled differently.
Sometimes, vinyl plank or tile floor that has been glued down with a hard setting adhesive may just need a wash down. If these water-proof floors exhibit peaking at the joints, you will need to consider full replacement as the glue is failing. If you have a non-glued hybrid floor or a loose lay floor that is held down with pressure-sensitive tape or glue, pull up all the full size (uncut) planks or tiles, leaving as many cut perimeter pieces in place as possible. This will make relaying much easier. If you need to remove any cut pieces, write their location on the back with a white felt pen. Allow the subfloor to dry, and lay wet flooring out upside-down to dry off. Once everything is dry, stack the tiles or planks in neat flat piles back in their rooms for 48 hours to allow to acclimatise. Remove any old tape and refix loose lay flooring as originally installed.
Removing and relaying hybrid flooring is a bit trickier due to their locking systems, which can get damaged during dislocation. Ensure the joints are free of debris to allow easy re-install, and discard any planks that have serious damage. Those spare planks or cartons that you kept when first installed really come in handy now.
Of course, if you have insurance cover for your particular incident, you may chose to claim for full professional replacement and Integra Direct are happy to assist you with this. If you need advice on how to repair your water proof flooring our team is more than happy to help! Contact us here.