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Old 02-12-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
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Water damaged basement subfloor


I recently bought a 50 year old home with fairly major renos done in the last 10 years. In particular, one half of the basement was finished. In the 'guest suite' there are two closets along one wall, one of which holds the washer and dryer. After moving in, I noticed what appeared to be black mold in the corner of the closet. After pulling off the moldy trim, I realized that the gyprock and laminate flooring itself is water damaged. More digging, and I find out that the subfloor is damaged too. So, the room needs to be redone (as well as the leaky pipe that was the culprit).

I've removed the laminate flooring, and roughly one half of the plywood subflooring has water damage. I've started pulling this up, and it is installed on 3/4" x 2 1/2" planks that are tapconned into the concrete floor, all of this lying on top of asphalt felt. Since the water was coming from above, most of the planks don't have any water damage, except those directly below the leak. Since the leak was directly along a wall, I suppose there is a chance that water got underneath the asphalt paper, but I haven't had a chance to look.

My questions is this: do I need to pull up all the planks and replace the asphalt felt as well?

Also, I'd like to redo the washer/dryer closet in tile. I imagine the best way to do this is to install it over the plywood subflooring with a layer of Ditra between the two?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

(This is my first DIY reno, other than helping build an outside deck once upon a time)

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Old 02-12-2008, 06:30 PM   #2
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Water damaged basement subfloor


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(This is my first DIY reno, other than helping build an outside deck once upon a time)
For a "first-time" deal you sure know how to pick 'em!

No doubt water was under the paper and should be investigated further for the existence of mold and mildew.

The built-up floor system you describe is known to me as a "sleeper system". Need to know the spacing of the "ribs" and the thickness of the plywood covering them.

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:21 AM   #3
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Water damaged basement subfloor


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For a "first-time" deal you sure know how to pick 'em!
Yeah, trial by fire, I suppose.

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No doubt water was under the paper and should be investigated further for the existence of mold and mildew.

The built-up floor system you describe is known to me as a "sleeper system". Need to know the spacing of the "ribs" and the thickness of the plywood covering them.
Nothing like the wonderful smell of mold in the morning! Anyhow, the ribs are spaced at 16", and the plywood is 3/4" tongue and groove. The closet area where I'm thinking about putting tile is only 61" x 34", so it wouldn't be too big a hassle to lay down more ribs just under that part of the floor (if needed).

Also, any suggestion on how to effectively 'waterproof' that closet? The piping is all external to the wall, and 'floats' about a inch in front of the drywall along the back of the closet, so I can easily insert something behind it. Is tile the right choice here, or maybe barkerboard or something of the like? (Same question applies to the floor... is tile actually the best choice here?)

Finally, if I do find mold under the ashpalt felt, will it all need to be replaced or can I simply replace the half of the room that appears to be wet? (I imagine I should have some overlap between adjacent sheets of the asphalt felt.) I also imagine that the concrete floor needs to be washed to remove and any traces of mold, and then allowed to dry thoroughly...

Cheers,

Chris
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:06 AM   #4
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Water damaged basement subfloor


Any advice here? I've got the subfloor all pulled up, and don't want to go much further until I've had a few knowledgeable second opinions.

Cheers,

Chris
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:18 AM   #5
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Water damaged basement subfloor


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Nothing like the wonderful smell of mold in the morning! Anyhow, the ribs are spaced at 16", and the plywood is 3/4" tongue and groove. The closet area where I'm thinking about putting tile is only 61" x 34", so it wouldn't be too big a hassle to lay down more ribs just under that part of the floor (if needed).
FWIW that criteria passes my personal taste test. I see no reason to add more "ribs", the 16" on center ribs works for me and is in compliance with any codes. The 3/4" ply is more than suitable and the t&g is a requirement also. That situation is good to go, meaning a little backerboard or DITRA and it is tile-ready.

Quote:
Also, any suggestion on how to effectively 'waterproof' that closet? The piping is all external to the wall, and 'floats' about a inch in front of the drywall along the back of the closet, so I can easily insert something behind it. Is tile the right choice here, or maybe barker board or something of the like? (Same question applies to the floor... is tile actually the best choice here?)
I don't know that tile is the best choice but it certainly won't hurt anything. I'm not sure why you would want to waterproof the closet unless you anticipate another deluge of some kind. The floor would be easy enough to waterproof if that's what you want to do. The 34" dimension would be suitable for using DITRA which comes 39" wide. DITRA is waterproof and the use of some KERDI Band at the walls and up the walls slightly would be all that is necessary to waterproof the area. The KERDI Band would turn up the walls slightly and could be hidden behind some baseboard.

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Finally, if I do find mold under the asphalt felt, will it all need to be replaced or can I simply replace the half of the room that appears to be wet? (I imagine I should have some overlap between adjacent sheets of the asphalt felt.) I also imagine that the concrete floor needs to be washed to remove and any traces of mold, and then allowed to dry thoroughly...
Not being able to see this is a handicap for me but I would think you could spray some bleach-water on the affected areas and be done with it. I'm not sure how necessary any overlaps of the felt would be, or, even if the felt is necessary.

My puzzlement is the fact that the slab should have an opportunity to breathe on a regular basis and a sleeper system precludes that possibility. the felt worsens the issue in my thinking. Not too hip on sleeper systems.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:58 AM   #6
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Water damaged basement subfloor


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FWIW that criteria passes my personal taste test. I see no reason to add more "ribs", the 16" on center ribs works for me and is in compliance with any codes. The 3/4" ply is more than suitable and the t&g is a requirement also. That situation is good to go, meaning a little backerboard or DITRA and it is tile-ready.
Excellent. I had read elsewhere that 1 1/4" was the minimum recommended subfloor thickness for underneath tile, but this combined with the DITRA would make a fairly noticeable elevation difference between the two areas.

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I don't know that tile is the best choice but it certainly won't hurt anything. I'm not sure why you would want to waterproof the closet unless you anticipate another deluge of some kind. The floor would be easy enough to waterproof if that's what you want to do. The 34" dimension would be suitable for using DITRA which comes 39" wide. DITRA is waterproof and the use of some KERDI Band at the walls and up the walls slightly would be all that is necessary to waterproof the area. The KERDI Band would turn up the walls slightly and could be hidden behind some baseboard.
My thought being that small water spills are inevitable anywhere you have running water, and the laminate in that closet is definitely not a good choice. It seemed to 'drink' any water that was spilled on it! What would you suggest other than tile? I imagine any kind of lino would be fine as well?

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Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Not being able to see this is a handicap for me but I would think you could spray some bleach-water on the affected areas and be done with it. I'm not sure how necessary any overlaps of the felt would be, or, even if the felt is necessary.
Ok, sounds good. The house in general doesn't have any drainage problems, and the basement is actually quite dry, so the asphalt felt is maybe overkill. If you think it'd help, I can always post a few pictures online somewhere.

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My puzzlement is the fact that the slab should have an opportunity to breathe on a regular basis and a sleeper system precludes that possibility. the felt worsens the issue in my thinking. Not too hip on sleeper systems.
If I was redoing the whole basement I'd be to open to alternatives, but this room flows into the rest of the finished basement and there are no flooring problems elsewhere, so it is easiest to leave it alone, I suppose. The concrete floor is quite rough (really uneven, almost wavy, surface), so I maybe the sleeper system was the easiest way to level it without having to pour more concrete? What subflooring alternatives are there for installing over concrete?

Thanks a lot for the response! It seems like you're the most active guy on here; it must be a lot of work to educate an army of home reno newbies!

Cheers,

Chris
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:06 PM   #7
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Water damaged basement subfloor


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Excellent. I had read elsewhere that 1 1/4" was the minimum recommended subfloor thickness for underneath tile, but this combined with the DITRA would make a fairly noticeable elevation difference between the two areas.
Actually you will see a requirement of 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" for thickness before the tile. That's with most tile underlayments.

But, DITRA is guaranteed over only a 5/8" plywood substrate if it's t&g.

Quote:
I imagine any kind of lino would be fine as well?
Yup!

Quote:
Thanks a lot for the response! It seems like you're the most active guy on here; it must be a lot of work to educate an army of home reno newbies!
I'm active right now only because I am on the heels of my carpenter friend waiting to do a bathroom job when he completes his portion and his life hasn't gone so well the last couple of days. he's behind so I'm behind. That's the way it always seems to go.

Helping DIY'ers from time to time is a good passtime for me - keeps me out of the bars.


Last edited by Bud Cline; 02-14-2008 at 02:14 PM.
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