My husband and I learned how to fix water damaged floors. I never wanted to be in the situation where I would have to learn how to fix water damage and mold, but we were placed in the situation where we had to learn. Check out this post here to see how we found ourselves in this situation. Long story short…our laundry room flooded and we were stuck with crazy water damage!
Alright, so this is what we started off with. My husband and I had NO idea as to where to even begin. We were completley at a loss. We didn’t know the extent of the problem. So we called a family friend contractor to come and help us. He showed up and started explaining to us how to finish this project, but we shortly realized that we were stupid and decided to just do the project for us while we hovered over him.
Next time (hopefully there will never be a next time) my husband and I will be able to do this project, because I watched every second of the fix so that I wouldn’t be so helpless in the future. The first thing you need to do is get rid of the particle board (or plywood) above the floor. In our situation there was like 200 layers of linoleum on top of the particle board. I made the comment that the previous owners were clearly too lazy to pick up the linoleum so they just laid it on top. And the contractor told us that is because there was asbestos so they couldn’t pull it up! Wait…hold the phone. Awesome. I know asbestos isn’t dangerous unless tampered with, but still…
In order to get rid of the particle board and layers of old flooring you should take a skill saw and cut the top layer into squares. This is really important, because it will be way too heavy and awkward to get rid of the particle board without cutting into little squares.
Once you get rid of the particle board you will be able to analyze what you are working with and see the damage easier.
He then used his skill saw to saw a hole into our floor so that he can get underneath our home to see the damage underneath the home too.
Right when he cut away the wood our entire vent pipe came crashing down. Okay maybe no crashing, because he caught it. BUT if he didn’t catch it the pipe would have come crashing down. Apparently our pipes weren’t strapped up. So our contractor put a board underneath the pipe to keep it up without falling. SO that piece of wood isn’t actually what you need to do. Unless your pipes come crashing down…then you might have a large problem!
At one point he had to cut REALLY close to the wall. A hand saw (or circulur) saw just won’t get close enough. A reciprocal saw bounces too much to get close to the corners and so the contracter busted out a tool and I was in complete AWE. I quickly asked him every question I could possibly ask about this tool (which was probably the coolest tool ever). He told me it was called a Multi-Tool (affiliate link.)
This tool is amazing. Instead of the blade shaking, bouncing, or turning, it just vibrates. The vibrating blade makes it easy to cut along corners and tight spaces without accidently bouncing and cutting more than you want. This is 110% going to be my next tool purchase and it is in my Amazon wish list as I type this! I will be buying this exact one when I choose to purchase. Dewalt is amazing and it will be cheaper on Amazon than in a big box store.
Okay…pitch over. I just LOVED this tool soooo much and I am so excited to get my own. I really wish I would have bought one right when we moved into this house. My projects would have been SO much easier! I am kicking myself for not knowing about this amazing thing! Okay…moving on….
He then took a reciprocal saw and cut out the entire wall where the pipe was. PLEASE be careful when doing this! There are wires and things in the wall that you don’t want to hit. In our case there was two water lines and an electrical wire that would have been a nightmare if we would have cut one of those vital things. We were SO blessed that there wasn’t too much damage once he opened up the wall. It could have been just SO much worse!
He realized that he needed a bigger space to work with because there was more damage underneath the house than we thought AND he now needed to fix the pipe. Which was definitely not what we had in mind, but needed to be done.
Our contractor was AWESOME! He built us a new PVC pipe and then he strapped up all of our pipes so that we could use our washer and dryer properly when the time came.
THIS is what was underneath our home! Can you believe it! How did our washer and dryer not fall through the floor?
He then put two large boards in place of the hole and nailed them down.
My husband and I were able to take it from here. We first put down paper underneath the new particle board. We stapled it to the floor. This is the paper you should be looking for!
I used my stapler where I opened up the stapler and just hit it really hard against the wood. This was possible, but NOT very convinient! You want to know another product on my wish list? A staple gun!
I will be buying one of these bad boys! A Dewalt Staple Gun. (affiliate link). It isn’t anything fancy, but it would certainly do it’s job.
We then put down new particle board and screwed it down. You could choose to do plywood, but plywood is much more expensive. In this little space we need to buy 2 large particle boards ($22 each) and we used 1 and 1/2 of the board.
We then put our wood floors back!
Stay tuned for the FULL laundry room reveal! I am really excited to show you guys what we ended up with! I took this time to paint and do some other fun things that I am crazy excited to show you! 🙂
In the end this project took a professional contractor 6 hours! We did have a couple of hiccups such as the piping that was not expected, but we were REALLY happy with our contractor. We ended up not spending too much, because he was a family friend. We had to talk to our inspector about his “bad” inspection, because apparently this water damage has been going on for years and he should have caught it. Our inspector apologized and gave us our money back for the inspection. I felt bad asking for our money back, but he really should have caught this amount of damage. After a month a half we were finally able to use our laundry room again. My brother, cousin and dad came over to put back our appliances and were are so happy! I am putting the final touches on the laundry room this week and I am SO excited to share with you guys what I did! Stay tuned my lovelies!