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Old 08-19-2007, 09:47 PM   #1
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Water damage below laminate floor


Hi,

In desperately Google searching for information on repairing/fixing laminate flooring water damage, I came by this site and it looks like a ton of knowledgeable people hang out here... Any help will be greatly appreciated!

About a week ago, my Air Conditioner (located on the ground floor of a 3 floor townhouse) started dumping its condensation onto the floor next to the unit instead of down the pipe. I found this problem when I stepped on what appeared to be dry carpet only to find a wet footprint on the floor. This area with the under-carpet puddle was directly beside a hallway where I installed Pergo-style laminate flooring about 2 months ago.

I replaced a clogged portion of the PVC pipe and got the water flowing where it was safely drained out of the house. Upon finishing this repair, I noticed that about 3 to 5 feet down the hallway (away from the carpet puddle), the laminate was bowing at the seams. I've had a fan blowing over it since I noticed it, but I know there is a plastic layer that traps moisture out (or in) below it and I'm worried that it's permanently ruined the flooring, and that mold will grow there if I don't remove it all the put in completely new flooring.

If all I need is some special equipment, I can probably get my hands on it and fix the problem... If it requires entirely replacing the flooring, I'm going to be very sad, and then replace the flooring.

I've noticed this matters most of the time, so I'll include it right off the bat:
It's not Dupont, it's TrafficMaster.
It's snap-in, not glue-in.
This whole situation is happening on a level concrete floor (the foundation).
The underlayment is 2 layers of plastic with Styrofoam balls in the middle.

Thanks so much! I'm grateful to anyone with any informatin.

Mike

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Old 08-19-2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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Water damage below laminate floor


Mike,
There is no good news here. If you take up the floor you might be able to save some of it for reuse. But water under it will not dry out before the lam soaks it up.

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Old 08-20-2007, 06:12 AM   #3
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Water damage below laminate floor


As anwered already, rip it all up, let the area fully dry out, test moisture content of any material underneath (content) , when dried to acceptanle levels (per manufacturer info.) = replace everything....
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:00 AM   #4
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Water damage below laminate floor


You might want to look up the manufacturers directions online. I have seen where you can just take up the damaged sections & replace those instead of pulling up the whole floor. You have to cut off the T&G and glue them together. Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:15 AM   #5
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Water damage below laminate floor


as you should be able to use most of the installed laminate.... this does not seems to be an expensive project (material wise speaking)... if you do the labour yourself.... consider laminate is pretty easy to do... you can try DIY to reduce the cost... the key is you got to find the same laminate from store for replacement... hopefully they are are discontinue products...
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:16 PM   #6
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Water damage below laminate floor


Thanks for the info, everyone.

I've pulled up the floor and there was seriously 5 gallons of water between the cement and laminate over the span of the 60 or so square feet... It was a mess!

I've saved about 10% of the laminate that was untouched by water, and there are some other boards that appear to be drying back to the old shape. I still have about 30 boxes of this same exact laminate for other rooms of the house, which may end up getting a different color as my flooring project moves forward. I'm kinda happy that it happened before I used up all of this color of laminate!

I'm going to leave it drying until Labor Day weekend and then put it back and put in replacements for the damaged pieces. It was pretty easy to pull up, and I put it down the first time so I know it only takes about 4 hours to do...

Does anyone have advice about sealing the edges to prevent water from getting under it in the future? I know water is one of those things... it just goes down, end of story, through anything, past anything, around anything... the relentless flowing damaging force of water.

Prevention is what I'm looking for now.
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Old 08-23-2007, 04:36 PM   #7
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Water damage below laminate floor


Sounds like you have a Homeowners insurance claim.

Lots to consider/ lot # and color may be issues with new materials.

water made the grand canyon, but look at the big dam at the end.

Last edited by Big Bob; 08-23-2007 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:28 AM   #8
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Water damage below laminate floor


insurance claim... never thought of that... gee... you could even making money as you do the labour yourself... if the insurance company just issue you a check without asking for receipt...etc... take pictures....
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:56 PM   #9
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Water damage below laminate floor


Bob,

The insurance claim is something that hadn't occurred to me, and it would have been great... except that the cost of materials (those materials damaged) was only about $110... I got the laminate at $0.88/sqft, and the underlayment was only about $40.

My home owner's insurance people give me a rebate every year for having filed no claims, and if I file a claim, the loss of the annual rebate would greatly out weigh any recoverable money. If this had been a larger disaster, or if I'd paid full price, it would have totally been worth losing the rebate.

Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:12 AM   #10
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Water damage below laminate floor


Just for information for you and other DIYers here, if you do or did want to file a claim the $ would look like this. Your carrier might have even settled this with you on the phone.

60% of carriers use Xactimate ( an estimating program ..labor with load / Materials/ equipment.. all per zip code)

Using your water damage event: The prices should be close.

The water damage not the PVC pipe repair is a covered loss.

This would include emergency service: $ 450.00.
remove flooring materials/ extract water/ place and monitor drying
equipment/ debris removal.( did you remove some base board to be sure water has not wicked up the drywall.. great place for mold..) How about the water that went under the wall? Did you chase the water till you found dry conditions?

SF price on Pergo 5.50/ sf ( add hall if no door)
add transitions per 2.85/ LF
R&R shoe molding ( pre-finished) 1.65/ LF)
Remove and Reset threshold $ 27.00
content manipulation (furniture in and out) $ 45.00 how big is that pool table?
Paint touch-up Min charge $ 185.00
Debris removal $ 135.00
final clean-up $ 75.00

Add base service charges ( Min charges per trip) $200.00

Add sales tax on materials $ 25.00

( Less deductible) - $500

(if you hire a GC add overhead & profit 20% b-4 deductible is taken)

You do the math.

Just because it was a DIY project does not mean the carrier does not owe for labor. (what if you don't have the time or ability to do the project again?) When you sell your house, will you discount your done the right way DIY projects?

Lots to consider includes your mutual company discount. In Florida folks don't file claims unless they must.. for fear of being canceled.

Good luck, I hope this info helps.

PS I am an insured loss restoration contractor, have work with many carrier repair programs, and I am a claims adjuster.

Also know that carriers will pay a DIYer about $ 8.00 to $ 10.00 per hour for their efforts.

Last edited by Big Bob; 08-26-2007 at 10:31 AM. Reason: add info
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:19 PM   #11
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Water damage below laminate floor


Thanks Big Bob for the insurance claim info. Does anyone have information on what this would do to your future insurance coverage? I am in CA and have heard stories that water damage claims on your insurance could later on render you un-insurable, and this would cause major problems when buying a new home, etc.

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