Our office with laminate flooring was slightly flooded by an out of order
sprinkler outside the building.
We have mopped off the water on the floor. However, there is still water
underneath the floor. Stepping on certain areas would squeeze out some
Do we have to tear out the whole floor to remove those water, or would the
water drain down through the foundation? Is there any company specializing
in this type of work?
The building is a 1-story commercial building.
Here are some photos showing the water on the floor:
How long had the water been sitting?
The water is trapped between the slab & the laminate ....get someone
(you?) after it with a shop vac.
After you get readily vac'd water, prop the vac floor style nozzle in
the "lowest" spot, leave it running and it will draw the water to it.
Set up a couple 20" box fans & also turn up the heat.
Of course there are water damage / flooding cleanup companies but they
charge an arm & a leg...since their typical MO is to screw some
As Ransley mentioned....insurance deductible?
OP is better off just replacing the laminate flooring.
if theres ANY CHANCE this may occur again replace the laminatewith something much more durable, thats not bothered by water
polished concrete is near indestructible, and fairly cheap. terrazo last forever expensive but just about indestructible
theres ceramic tile that looks like wood. more expensive than laminate, but lasts near forever.
some vinyl tile is extremely durable, and looks good
theres a wide variety of alternatives
I like sheet vinyl linoleum -- no leaking through there -- except when
you roll a chair while sitting on it, it tends to separate the top
layer with the pattern from the layer underneath. Maybe that's less
likely with better quality, and maybe impossible if the pattern goes
all the way through, but they don't sell Congoleum anymore.
IMO, it has to come up and be replaced for all the reasons stated by the
other posters. The risk of mold and all that involves is far too great to
make any half-way remediation practical.
No, you'd be tearing up the floor to dry it out and replace the warped
boards. While you're in there you investigate the extent of the
flood, the moisture content of the concrete and remaining boards, and
possibly clean the area with TSP or some other mold killer. Anything
else is crossing your fingers and clicking your heels three times.
Ah, yes. I see. He used the expensive stuff. But, if the wood's purpose is
as a filler, water might not affect it. If, for example, the company mixed
wood dust with the plasticizer, the result wouldn't be particularily
vulnerable to water.
The edges have clearly swollen in the pictures. Discussing
theoretical situations is pointless.
I also don't understand your comment about the relative cost being
dependent on whether it has wood fiber in the product. The cheapest
stuff out there has wood fiber in it.
I was trying to distinguish between real, solid wood (the expensive stuff),
and the faux wood made of sawdust and plasticizer.
There're at least two kinds of laminate: Solid (or veneer) wood with an
indestructible finish and some composite material covered with (essentially)
wallpaper, then coated with the bullet-proof stuff.
Ouch. You can see that the laminate flooring has swelled up at the
edges in places. That will never lay back down. Those boards will
have to be replaced at the very least. It's probably safe to assume
that more will swell up. The legs of the wood furniture will also
wick up the water ans start swelling or blowing off the finish. You
should never let stuff sit in water. I trust you just took those
pictures as evidence and then proceeded to promptly vacuum up as much
of the water as you could.
Most commercial buildings I have worked on had sealed concrete slabs.
You cannot rely on the concrete absorbing much water. I'd remove all
of the flooring back to where there is no more water in evidence. A
moisture meter would help determine how saturated the laminate and
concrete are, and would tell you when you had removed enough
flooring. Put the furniture up on some plastic blocks. Dry the place
out with fans, dehumidifiers, and/or sweeping compounds. An AC on a
continuous run will extract a lot of moisture. Meticulously clean
everything before anything goes back down. The worst thing you could
do is to put new flooring back down before the place is back to being
bone dry. Once mold starts growing it's a bitch to get rid of it.
You are looking at an insurance claim. You are probably looking at a
number higher than your deductible. Whether you want to make the
claim and risk affecting your premiums will depend on how much higher.
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