Please Help!! Mold and Moisture under laminate floor

Bon22May 4, 2012

Hello all! I am new to GW and haven't posted here in flooring yet, but we are in the beginning stages of a complete kitchen reno. We had the contractor take up the laminate flooring and underneath (under the 'vapor barrier') there were some small puddles and the cement was covered in mold!!

We are on a slab, this is the main floor.

Mold is now gone (not black mold.. phew), any suggestions as to why this happened? We just had the other half of the house re-done 2yrs ago with beautiful laminate flooring and we are stressing over the fact that we probably now have mold and water under that floor!!

Can this be prevented?

thanks in advance!

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I can't inspect your jobsite, but from your description I can venture an educated guess: Your house is built on a concrete slab and that concrete is emitting moisture. That moisture is condensing on the vapor barrier and is resulting in the liquid water you see and, consequently, the mold and mildew growth.

Before you install any new flooring product, find a flooring specialist who is knowledgeable about moisture and concrete and who can give you a prescription for correcting the problem. Lots of ways to reduce moisture transmission through concrete...the least costly being to correct any standing water issues outside the house near the foundation by providing roof runoff pathways to lead water away from the foundation and even by removing plantings that may be contributing to the problem.

There are topically applied moisture barriers in both liquid applied and sheet versions that we use to 'seal' concrete slabs and prevent moisture migration.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 12:00PM
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You might have to install flooring that is not a vapor barrier.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 8:55PM
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glennsfc, thank you, yes that is what happened. We will be tiling in the kitchen, and afterwards taking up the flooring on the other side to see what's going on inder there. No other option.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:20AM
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Glennsfc, as always, pretty much expertly summed it all up.

I will only add that a penetrating sealer be used in multiple applications if required. Non or less penetrative sealers can be blown off by excessive hydrostatic pressures becasue tehy do not penetrate as deeply.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 5:29AM
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