water under floating floor

pixiedesignNovember 4, 2010

Hi all - Our basement has "floating" laminate flooring that the previous owners installed, as well as a small bit of carpet in one hallway. We recently discovered that the drain in our basement's exterior entry stairwell had clogged up and water was pretty much gushing under the door and... under the floor! We only found this out by stepping on the carpet--that is halfway across the room from the door--and finding it to be sopping wet.

We've temporarily unclogged the drain (though plan to call in a professional to properly unclog it totally) and have been running a fan and a dehumidifier in the basement non-stop. The carpet has dried up, and the water is no longer coming under the door... but what to do now?

Obviously the carpet has to go. I am not sad about this as it is hideous and filthy, there is not much of it, and there is actually visible mold growing on part of it near a bathroom (separate issue). Once we get the carpet up, we'll decide what to do about that part of the floor... BUT, what to do about the floating floor that covers the majority of the floor? It's been dried out for weeks now, there doesn't appear to be any warping or visible mold growth. Should we tear it up? Spray some mold killer underneath?

If we tear it up, it will be quite a cost to replace it--we're looking at options that inhibit any future mold growth and/or are good options for water-prone areas, e.g. carpet tiles, finished concrete, etc.)--but, we don't want to leave it down if it will pose some sort of trouble or hazard later. Can anyone give us some insight?

Additionally... it appears that the water touched a small portion of one of the drywall interior walls, and it has soaked up about 2 feet from the bottom in about a 3-4 feet wide area. A waterproofing professional used a "moisture meter" and determined this. It seems to be the only place this happened. Do we truly need to tear up that part of the wall, or can we get away with leaving it?

Any and all input is very, very welcome. Thanks!

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I'm not clear what you have on the floor. If you have laminate flooring on top of XPS or a Delta FL-type or Dri-Cor-type system and there's no sign of damage, what's to replace?

A sheet of drywall runs about $11. Replace it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 4:07PM
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Thanks, worthy! That was sort of our feeling as well, but this is our first home and first encounter with basement issues... so we weren't sure if that was being "neglectful" somehow or just practical. :)

I don't know the exact type of floor (the previous owners explained about the "floating floor" design), but after tearing back some carpet just now, I'm pretty sure it is similar to Dri-Cor. I'm assuming then that this style of floor is specifically designed to weather this type of water encounter...? My only lingering concern would be mold... but once it's dried up any mold should die, right?

Looks like we'll be tearing up some carpet and busting a hole in the wall this weekend.

Thanks for your input! Really appreciated.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 2:58PM
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My only lingering concern would be mold... but once it's dried up any mold should die, right?

As long as the water is drained away, the mould shouldn't be significantly activated. Of course, even dead mould can be an allergen. It's the Third Kingdom that you can never really escape.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 8:18PM
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