If you are confused and frustrated about the query “how to dry water under vinyl plank flooring,” then you have come to the right spot.
Water damage is quite awful for anything – be it furniture or floor. No matter if you have a wooden floor or vinyl, water can have a pretty bad effect on it.
If you stay in an area where the humidity is high, or your house area is flooded with heavy rainfall, there is a high chance that your floor can catch water and start rotting slowly.
Flooring is not an inexpensive idea so that you can perform the replacement every now and then. Therefore, the more durability a floor has, the better it is for you. In addition, maintenance is required to elongate the durability of a floor.
There are various types of flooring options available, and people choose them according to their preferences and affordability. Vinyl is one of the popular choices that people opt for to get durable flooring with a good appeal.
Generally, vinyl is proved to be water-resistant, but the joints between the plank can absorb water or moisture and put you in big trouble. The edges of the plank will start to get loosened from the base, and in some time, you will notice the floor is either swollen with moisture or the edges are all came off of the adhesive.
How to dry water under vinyl plank flooring? What is the quick, easy and effective way out? Is there any home remedy? Many such questions may whirl in your mind, and we are here to answer them all. Let’s get started.
Keep Reading: Guide On Eliminating Stains From Hardwood Flooring
How To Dry Water Under Vinyl Plank Flooring — Comprehensive Explanation
Is It Possible for Water to Seep in Vinyl Plank?
Click-lock and Glue-down, and vinyl flooring are usually water-resistant. As a result, luxury vinyl tiles are excellent for damp environments like kitchens, bathrooms, and indoor swimming pools.
Seam and perimeter sealing are critical to prevent water from seeping beneath your vinyl floor. As a result, mold can grow under the vinyl planks.
Glue-down vinyl planks can be damaged if the seams aren’t correctly sealed, allowing water to leak in and wash out the putty or adhesive that holds them to the flooring. There is a tendency for the side parts of some floorboards to rise.
It is impossible for water to enter the click-lock technology of floating LVT flooring. It’s still possible for water to sneak under the vinyl floor if it isn’t adequately sealed along the walls’ edges.
Any vinyl flooring moisture issues can be exacerbated if you reside in an area that gets a lot of snow in the winter. This is due to the fact that people’s shoes and boots may bring in snow and rock salt when they enter the house.
Alkaline ice melters dissolve the adhesive glue between wood planks, allowing water to pass through and melt the ice. As a result, water will be able to infiltrate under the boards more easily through the exposed seams. Are frustrated with sticky floors after mopping? Read our industry experts guide.
How To Detect Moisture Under LVP Flooring
It is important to detect the problems and their root cause. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to figure out the solution. Moreover, you may want to try the way outs if you are 100% sure of the problem.
This is why we came up with some ways to detect the problem in the first place. Wet subflooring can cause your floating or glue-down vinyl planks to start buckling. Examine the planks for evidence of buckling around the edges.
When bubbles start to form within your vinyl planks, you know there’s water underneath your subfloor. Warping, buckling, and discoloration are all indicators of water or moisture damage on vinyl floor planks.
The crawlspace is an excellent place to look if you suspect that your vinyl floor is getting damaged because of a wet subfloor. Mold can grow on the floor joints if there is a lot of moisture in the air.
You need to dry off your subfloor if the joints are blackened or releasing water. Look beneath the vinyl floor to see if there is any evidence of water damage.
The most outstanding HVAC System may fail and start leaking humid air, or there could be a leaky pipe in the room. Mold might also be a sign that the vinyl floor is leaking beneath the boards.
Toxins from these fungi are released into the air, causing respiratory illnesses. With a mold test kit, you may check to see whether there is any mold development underneath your vinyl surface. Mold emits an earthy, musty scent as well.
Removing a few vinyl planks from a concrete subfloor can allow you to see whether there is any moisture present. Tools can be used to conduct tests.
A rubber mat can be used instead of testing equipment for concrete subfloors that you don’t have access to if that’s all you have available. For the first 24 hours, leave the mat in place.
After using the mat, if you notice dampness beneath the mat, then your concrete flooring is leaking. We have recently published a well-researched article on getting rid of hazy hardwood flooring.
Addressing Damaged Areas
As the first step of removal, you need to understand the floor condition and decide the method accordingly. All type of damage doesn’t go well with all methods. Based on your specific condition, you must decide that otherwise, you may not get the desired result.
Inspection & Understanding
Laminate flooring isn’t the only form of flooring that can be damaged by water. Wooden floorboards can bend and swell if they’re exposed to water. The weakest direction is sideways because the wood fibers in genuine wood run lengthwise.
Wood crowns or cups when it bends in this direction. The paper backing of even water-resistant flooring like vinyl can be damaged if the water seeps beneath the surface and begins to disintegrate.
On the other hand, natural wood can be reused, whereas laminate can’t. Even wood that has been cupped or crowned can be sanded flat if necessary. It is impossible to sand laminate flooring. Is there no hope of a fix?
In the event that a damaged board is beyond repair, it can be exchanged for a new one. Laminate boards are commonly used in new construction. It’s unavoidable that some boards would be left as each box contains a specific amount of boards, to begin with.
Extra laminate boards may have been kept in a closet or attic by you or the previous owner. Remove the board and the problematic board if it is at the very end.
A circular saw with a fine-finish blade can be used to cut out the damaged board in the middle. It’s always a good idea to ask the flooring manufacturer about the best ways to install your new floor.
For some manufacturers, it’s recommended that installers don’t use commodity subfloors with luxury vinyl floors. You should go with a “better” or “best” alternative.
As AdvanTech subflooring is more moisture resistant, it can assist in stopping moisture from reaching the LVF layer and becoming stuck there.
Check the crawl space to know whether there are holes in your vapor barrier and other places where water can seep into the space. A minimum of 6″ of overlap between vapor barriers and the ground is required.
Crawl space should be made habitable. It can save money by preventing the buildup of humidity and moisture in the crawl space and providing the extra benefit of greater energy efficiency.
In a conditioned crawl space, air sealing is essential for controlling air movement. Taking the strain off of the HVAC system by controlling temperature can help improve the home’s energy efficiency.
Through regular climate management and appropriate indoor air quality, conditioned spaces can help prevent mold growth. Be conscious of the material’s permeability so that it can dry properly on the outside.
There must be a means for the assembly to dry the water or to prevent moisture from accumulating in the first place if it becomes wet.
This continuing moisture movement in the building assembly can be managed by sequencing items with an awareness of the permeability of each material, which will allow the structure to react to the demands of nature.
You Might Also Find This Guide Helpful: Guide On Installing Vinyl On Stairs
When Water Is On Top
Wetness will only affect the top layer of laminate flooring. As long as there are no gaps or holes in the laminate’s surface, it is impervious to water.
Water can get into laminate’s seams if it sits for an extended period. The laminate’s edge sections pose a greater challenge because they are sliced and exposed.
Using a wet-dry vacuum, completely dry up all spots where water has gotten in. If you plan to use vinyl flooring in a bathroom, follow all of the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully.
Guest or half-bathrooms can be installed without considerations because water is less abundant there than it would be in a room that has a bathtub. The toilet and the area behind the sink would be the primary areas of concern in these restrooms.
When Water Is Under
As soon as water seeps beneath laminate flooring, it must be drained. Pull up any baseboards or quarter-round the perimeter if there is a little bit of water on the floor. A wet-dry vacuum might be able to get rid of the water if it’s not everywhere.
Remove the floors that are infected. After the quarter-round and baseboards have been removed, parallel laminate boards’ last course should slant upward, making it easier to remove the floorboards.
You can then gradually increase the number of boards you use. The perpendicular and initial course of floorboards can’t be removed as readily as others. Remove laminate floorboards in this scenario. You might also love to read our detailed guide on DIY ways to shine your laminate floors.
The Process In Brief
Now that you know how vinyl floor gets damaged with moisture and water and how to detect them, it is time to focus on the main section, which is the removal of water from the vinyl floor or how to make the water dry.
We have tried to keep the methods as detailed as possible. Follow all instructions to get maximum results.
Materials and Tools: Gather all the necessary tools and materials, including plastic sheeting, 1/4-inch plywood, a floor scraper, fans, a heater, and a heat gun, before beginning this method.
Inspect The Floor: After examining for signs of moisture under the floor or on either side of the joints, they should look for mold, which indicates that condensation is a possible cause. After that, they’ll need to use a few fans to dry up the subfloor.
Dripping Water: Dig outside the trench to redirect the flow of water is the only option if consumers discover water leaking from the crawlspace.
Floor Scraper And Plastic Sheet: Using a floor scraper to remove all the peeling vinyl flooring is required if it is glued down; otherwise, a plastic sheet and 1/4-inch plywood sheet can be used to cover the entire floor. Installing the new one will be a breeze after that. When the subfloor becomes spongy, it is recommended that the user scrape it off.
Heat Gun: If moisture has damaged the concrete subfloor where the vinyl flooring was laid, it will be necessary to use a heat gun to warm the glue on the vinyl plank. After that, they must carefully remove the vinyl boards.
Use a Fan: To ensure the subfloor is properly dried out, they need to remove all of the planks and then turn on the fan for at least two or three days.
Mandatory Mold Inspection
The first thing you should do after a flood or moisture problem is to look for mold. Mold and mildew-resistant vinyl plank flooring are available.
However, in case you have any concerns about a plumbing issue, a leaking kitchen appliance, you should inspect your vinyl flooring. You can either hire a mold inspector or get your own mold kit and do your own inspection.
The lab analysis is included in the cost of this DIY Mold Test kit, as are instructions for the collection of samples and the essential tools. The only additional expense is the shipping fee to the lab.
In case you have any questions, you can call or email and obtain a response within a few hours. Use the lab’s customer service for this kit, and be aware of mold. Rubber gloves, bleach, and water are all that are needed to remove some molds.
Unfortunately, there are more dangerous forms of mold that necessitate more careful handling. Some molds can’t be cleaned and must be surgically removed. Make sure to consult a mold removal expert if you have a more significant mold problem. We have also published a detailed guide on using Swiffer on vinyl flooring that you can check here.
Prevention Of Moisture & Mold
The appropriate installation of vinyl flooring tiles is the first step in preventing moisture under vinyl flooring. Before laying vinyl planks, the subfloor should be checked for moisture levels.
The concrete subfloor building phase is also an excellent time to avoid vinyl flooring from becoming damaged by moisture. You should do the following to avoid moisture-related issues:
- It is important to keep the water-cement ratio as low as possible so that the slab can dry thoroughly before the vinyl can be installed on top of it. Don’t add water to your current concrete mix.
- If you’re creating concrete flooring on a damp building site, you must ensure proper water displacement. Installation of additional drain lines and the usage of pumps for water extraction may be necessary.
- Rushing to place tiles over a wet concrete slab would most likely cause moisture issues in the future if the concrete isn’t completely cured and dried. You may want to re-evaluate the timelines of the project to ensure that drying and curing time is included. If it doesn’t work, you can try to speed up the drying process by using a dehumidifier.
- In order to prevent runoff water from the snow, rain, and sprinkler from seeping into the porous concrete surface, the use of a vapor retarder is necessary.
Few Words Before Wrapping Up…
This was the detailed guide that you may follow on how to dry water under vinyl plank flooring. The DIY methods are interesting and cost-saving, but we wouldn’t say that in a dire situation, you should go with trial and error with every method described here instead of calling the professionals.
If the area is flooded and you need to get rid of water stagged in between the floor planks, you should seek professional help. These DIY methods are for less complicated situations.
Maintenance is the crucial step for increasing the durability of the floor, and these steps belong to the maintenance where you need to check the floor whether it has captured moisture and started to malfunction or not.
Based on your findings, you must decide which method you should choose. Keep yourself protected to avoid any type of electrical hazards as the problem you will be dealing with is water.
Hopefully, the instructions are going to help you if you follow those sincerely. Don’t skip the parts of mold inspection and detection to understand if the floor is damaged for moisture or not.
Let us know your thoughts on this.
Jenny SteffensHobick is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at House Whirl. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.