Does the floor have the foam underlayment like residential laminate
does? If so, even if it is closed-cell, that is a lot of little pockets
for water to hide in. Can you say mold incubator? Like everyone else
said- call your insurance agent. I take it you own the building? Only
sure cure is rip out, dry out, and replace as needed. ServiceMaster and
similar companies specialize in this kind of work, but at the prices
they usually charge, self-help demo and hiring a flooring company to put
down a new floor, may be about as cheap. Taking stuff out is easy, if
you don't plan on reusing it.
replying to RicodJour, Stormsnomore wrote:
I am experiencing this situation with water due to a severe storm in our area
with torrents or wind and rain. Due to past storms in our state, many insurance
company's went under leaving us with state funded insurance, with only helps us
in catastrophic events. So no help with our floor. They said our home was just
deteriorating through normal aging thus the reason for occasional water from
certain weather related conditions. Don't assume everyone can make an insurance
claim. Fortunately the leak was very minimal no visible swelling in the affected
corner. But getting to it would mean removing a very large area. Just put it
down 3 months prior.
replying to Stormsnomore, passerby wrote:
If the swelling is not visible (or minimal), and at least a few hours have
passed, then there is no reason to even touch it. If it were to swell, it would
have done so already. Once it swells, there's nothing you can do except replace
- it will stay warped even after it dries. That said, it is hard to say which
way the water goes between underlayment and the planks. If it's very recent, and
I mean just a couple hours ago, you may still see some more swelling elsewhere.
Not much you can do about it but wait until the event is over, then assess the
damage and replace what's damaged.
replying to RicodJour, Patty wrote:
The problem with the insurance claim is this: once you put in a claim, your
insurance goes up for three or five years, and if you want to switch insurance,
they can see your claim and the price will be higher. Happ Ned to us in NJ.
Short of having a prof. mitigation company handle it, I would have
rented a powerful wet vac. ASAP. After that, if still squishy, lay down
old towels and try to squeeze more water to the surface. Then, fans and
Not very comparable, but we had a flood in our kitchen, shortly after
redoing cabinets. Afraid the plywood cabinets would bulge from water,
but we got it up fast enough that that was avoided. Particle board
would probably have been worse because it expands and then crumbles.
That materials looks exactly what I put in a former office. A floating
material - not terribly expensive. The instruction were to only damp
mop the floor, and to avoid prolonged periods of water at the edges.
Anyway, I would not hire the same installer. Photo 2, enlarged to
"X3Large", bottom of photo shows three rows/courses that are not
staggered. Each of the 3 boards end on the same line.
4 cents worth now days
Actually that's the design of the floor. Its a wider plank floor made up of
three board images.
Look out at the "dry" areas were the light hits it, you can see the edges of
the boards puckered up.
But anyway this entire floor is toast. Those edges will never flatten out.
They will dry out eventually but as furniture is moved around it will chip
and look like crap.
Who owns the sprinkler? If you are a tenant and another tenant or the
building owner caused the damage, they have liability.
Given the amount of water, my guess is the floor is pretty well toast at
this point. If the boards show any signs of selling, they are never going
to fit again. If the water was a puddle in one spot, it may not be a big
deal, bug given the saturation, water is probably between the wood and the
plastic membrane and the plastic and the floor. It could take months to dry
out. The cost of taking it up, drying, replacing, may be near the cost of a
If someone wanted me to take it up carefully, dry it and replace it,
I'd charge double a new floor at least.
People are talking about drying out the laminate flooring. You can
reduce the moisture content, but how are you going to eliminate the
swelling? It can't be done without heat and pressure that is most
certainly not within a DIY or even committed contractor's
capabilities. Even if it were, it's not worth it for laminate
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