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Old 10-25-2009, 03:08 AM   #1
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(overview) re: sub floor water damage


What am I looking at? (overview) re: sub floor water damage
I'm handy and even built a house. Now however I am on my first having to fix things in a 30 Y/O home. If the previous weren't enough, I've just found the Master Bath toilet leaked under tile, who knows how long.
Toilet is enclosed, nested within a number of walls. Washer and dryer are behind toilet wall, Shower is nearby or across and a wall from the washer.

The good news (maybe) is underside doesn't look bad really just at the edges of the closet drain. I am pretty alert to soft flooring and did not suspect this severe of a problem. Had no visible water leaking, in fact pulled up the toilet fearing (LOL) the closet drain was broken. (The closet drain appears sound although set below the tile, now I wish it – my worst fear – was the problem.

I've begun chipping out the grout (tile) from the toilet and the topside sub floor is sopping wet under the tiles in the 3' wide toilet enclosure. I haven't got far but I'll be shocked if the damage is not running under all the walls.

My question is: What is my general direction to be thinking how to go about replacing the sub floor. Ideas, suggestions, the Big Picture thoughts considering:
· One half, the entire side of the home w/plumbing, is all tiled same tile. This stupid toilet is centered in roughly 1/3rd of all that tile and about 5 or 6 walls intersecting in the near vicinity.
· There is not more than a box or so left to replace tiles, plus I think it is an out of date tile size.
· I have to do this all myself due to finances. I have another repair I cannot do and have to get fixed ASAP I'm scraping the barrel for already. Not to mention several other ASAP for various reasons. Forgive me if I sound a bit defeated here, if time alone (I still work full time and single) was not enough…
· The walls I expect are affected are not load bearing. However all have plumbing or fixed utilities ie shower and laundry with another toilet and shower no more than 8' away.
· I have the house plans but this is the area my parents shifted things around a bit from the plans.
· I wouldn't mind doing some remodeling but at this point it would involve 5 rooms and that is why I've always stopped myself from even going there.
· This is a great house and well built. NO damage from our recent earthquake – ever watch your central roof beam look like Godzilla was slapping it from side to side? Except for the stupid drain under the tile anyway. Who pulls up the toilet to check if the seals are good when there is no leak?

Should I just slit my wrists now and be done with it?
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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(overview) re: sub floor water damage


Here is a lesson for any one like me spending hours of searching for assistance on a subject you don't have experience with.
  • I had a toilet with no water leaking on tiled floor just an occasional slight rock when sitting down.
  • Went first to check if bolts could be tightened. Trying to unscrew nut one rusted anchor bolt snapped off with a fraction of bolt left.
  • Worried a metal flange must be also rusted and broken pulled off the toilet.
  • A disgusting brown w/holes wax ring was not stuck to anything and sopping wet wood surrounding the flange set under the tile level.
  • Cut out just enough tile that evening to see nasty wet wood with perimeter getting even nastier. All I could see was that failed ring allowed seepage to seep under tile destroying sub floor into the tiled rooms on the other side of the walls.
  • Absolutely freaked out.
  • With dread and foreboding, cut out the next tiles around this morning.
And here is my point. It will be a comparatively simple and not expensive; to replace small section of sub floor, probably raise flange and retile.
So don't freak out until you have all the facts.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:17 PM   #3
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(overview) re: sub floor water damage


During a renovation I discovered there had been water damage near the back door and in the kitchen that had been solved by adding new layers of plywood.

I ended up ripping out all the subfloor plywood down to the joists. The hardest part was cutting out the plywood next to the walls and some unmoveable cabinets. But it allowed me to level the joists, screw and glue new subflooring and end up with a nice hardwood space that is level, solid and doesn't squeak.


It sounds like in your case the quick approach makes the most sense. Are you able to see what the wood structure looks like from the crawlspace or floor below?
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:03 AM   #4
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(overview) re: sub floor water damage


Quote:
Originally Posted by walkman View Post
During a renovation I discovered there had been water damage near the back door and in the kitchen that had been solved by adding new layers of plywood.

I ended up ripping out all the subfloor plywood down to the joists. The hardest part was cutting out the plywood next to the walls and some unmoveable cabinets. But it allowed me to level the joists, screw and glue new subflooring and end up with a nice hardwood space that is level, solid and doesn't squeak.


It sounds like in your case the quick approach makes the most sense. Are you able to see what the wood structure looks like from the crawlspace or floor below?
Yes, I could see it didn't look wet J. WHEW!
Yes, all I have to do is replace that section of sub floor and tile.
I'll be back soon with more, have two other doozies, the fixit stuff is not in my comfort zone.
I learned everything I know from my father who lived by, "Never fix, repair or remodel, just build a new one."
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