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Old 07-08-2013, 04:28 PM   #1
sailah OP
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engineered flooring whoopsie

I just went into my basement (very small 12x18 maybe) that has cheapo engineered flooring over a moisture barrier and then concrete.

Apparently over the weekend (I was gone) the drain backed up and most of the floor is/was wet. It has drained back down, but the damage is done.

Is there anything to correct this situation or just rip it up and start over?

I'm moving soon so I don't really care to spend a bunch of money on it. Just wondering if I could/should file a claim or does this follow under actual flood damage? I live in Pittsburgh proper so there wasn't actual flooding.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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I would contact homeowners Ins.


Sewer backup isn't flooding.
If it was a washing machine hose that burst it would be fully covered.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:35 PM   #3
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The insurance is a personal choice and your deductable may be more than a replacement floor. If the currently flooring is engineered, meaning real wood, it may be salvageable. If its laminate meaning a veneer with pressed cardboard as its structure, the flooring is toast.
12x18 comes out to about 216 sq ft. You can get tile or cheap laminate for a buck a ft. Nicer tile or flooring go up from there. If it were me and I was selling the house, now is the chance to spend 400 bucks and have a pretty room for the new owners.

Good luck with the move...
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:43 PM   #4
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this is the second time it has happened. First time i had a plumber ream out the line to the street and figured I was in the clear.

It's laminate flooring, cheapo cardboard stuff.

I would have used tile but the floor is painted and the tile guy said it wouldn't bond.

I have to think some acid would eat the paint and give a good bond, no?

The floor is reasonably level but probably not level enough to put tiles down directly without leveling it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:55 PM   #5
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It's actually smaller than I thought (TWSS). I could just throw some cheap epoxy floor paint down and hope for the best. Or not do shit. Which is what I'm leaning towards after I rip all this stuff out.

Fortunately all my guns were off the ground and everything was in bins, plus it's all crap down there anyways good excuse to get a dumpster and pitch most of it.

I'm also really glad there isn't poop everywhere, it's just rain water sorta



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Old 07-09-2013, 05:54 AM   #6
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Take everything out of the room and get a fan going to help dry the floor. Hope for the best.

BTW... There are back flow preventer that go in the house discharge line to the street that will prevent this issue in the future.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:01 AM   #7
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It is (or was) actually nice looking flooring.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:35 PM   #8
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I had something similar recently, I got a job to do a floor repair. I show up and right in the middle of the room, 2 5" boards are pushed together and nearly standing up, the floor expanded by nearly 5"! At first I had no idea what why, I started asking the building owner question and it turns out there is a concrete floor under there with a floor drain. The drain backed up and swelled everything. Not a drop of water was ever visible above. The entire 700sq/ft floor was ruined, most of the boards were cupped and there was lots of mold under there. They started looking into the issue more and the drain was broken, they had to dig a trench across the room and replace the sewer.

Sailah: you mention you are moving soon, in my experience, good functioning sewers do not clog and back up. When that stuff starts to happen you have a break or tree roots, or both. Be careful on how you proceed with selling the house or claiming insurance damage.

Edit: just saw you are in Pittsburgh, we have lots of clay sewer pipe around here that is falling apart. Careful with who you let jam a metal snake down that drain. That stuff can be brittle.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:54 PM   #9
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If the drain is under the floor, you could remove the wood floor, grind the paint off and put tile down tile leaving the drain open like in a shower. This way if it over flows it'll just go back down the drain.

That last 3 houses I had, it was this way in the laundry room.

Edit... you should have a yard sale with the contents of that room to pay for the new flooring.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcma111 View Post
Take everything out of the room and get a fan going to help dry the floor. Hope for the best.

BTW... There are back flow preventer that go in the house discharge line to the street that will prevent this issue in the future.
Backflow preventer, excellent. " Hope for the best", no so much. The best is shown in the last picture. The swelling and delamination will not go away as the material dries out. Laminate is worthless shit that, given enough time, will never fail to look like the cheap plastic coated trash that it is. A minor flood only speeds up the inevitable.

I would resolve the continuing sewer issue, rip the particle board floor up, then have a piece of level loop commercial carpet installed. Have it installed with tack strips, not glue, and skip the pad. Relatively inexpensive, looks respectable, and it can be dried, or easily replaced after the next flood.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:41 PM   #11
sailah OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
I had something similar recently, I got a job to do a floor repair. I show up and right in the middle of the room, 2 5" boards are pushed together and nearly standing up, the floor expanded by nearly 5"! At first I had no idea what why, I started asking the building owner question and it turns out there is a concrete floor under there with a floor drain. The drain backed up and swelled everything. Not a drop of water was ever visible above. The entire 700sq/ft floor was ruined, most of the boards were cupped and there was lots of mold under there. They started looking into the issue more and the drain was broken, they had to dig a trench across the room and replace the sewer.

Sailah: you mention you are moving soon, in my experience, good functioning sewers do not clog and back up. When that stuff starts to happen you have a break or tree roots, or both. Be careful on how you proceed with selling the house or claiming insurance damage.

Edit: just saw you are in Pittsburgh, we have lots of clay sewer pipe around here that is falling apart. Careful with who you let jam a metal snake down that drain. That stuff can be brittle.
Since we are neighbors you have a recommendo for someone to snake the drain? I'm in Shadyside

Progress report...

I tore up the floor and barrier. It was soaked.

I bought a big ass squeegee with handle, bristle brush, heavy duty cleaner, bleach and rented a commercial dehumidifier. I got the crap up, floor is now cleaned, degreased and bleached so much I felt like I have been swimming in a public pool all day during kiddie hours.

I have the dehumidifier all day tomorrow so I plan to let it run for the whole 24 hours. I might do another disinfectant scrub down depending on how scrappy I feel tomorrow.

I am planning on calling in a plumber to help evaluate the situation and snake the drain. I'll inqiure about the backflow preventer thanks for that

I think at this point I am going to leave it painted concrete and decide later what to do. It's really just a junk room anyways.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:09 PM   #12
trailer Rails
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
Since we are neighbors you have a recommendo for someone to snake the drain? I'm in Shadyside

Progress report...

I tore up the floor and barrier. It was soaked.

I bought a big ass squeegee with handle, bristle brush, heavy duty cleaner, bleach and rented a commercial dehumidifier. I got the crap up, floor is now cleaned, degreased and bleached so much I felt like I have been swimming in a public pool all day during kiddie hours.

I have the dehumidifier all day tomorrow so I plan to let it run for the whole 24 hours. I might do another disinfectant scrub down depending on how scrappy I feel tomorrow.

I am planning on calling in a plumber to help evaluate the situation and snake the drain. I'll inqiure about the backflow preventer thanks for that

I think at this point I am going to leave it painted concrete and decide later what to do. It's really just a junk room anyways.
I can't think of any specific independent plumbers, I have used roto rooter in the past, they use high pressure jets to clear the clog and clean the drain, then they can put a camera down and see what is going on. Shadyside has had some storm sewer problems, if things are not clogged, you may need a back flow preventer. I know in the Maryland and Holden area there has been some issues with the storm run off.

Like what has been mentioned, tile that room, Pittsburgh has too many water issues to have wood or carpet in a basement.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailah View Post
Since we are neighbors you have a recommendo for someone to snake the drain? I'm in Shadyside

Progress report...

I tore up the floor and barrier. It was soaked.

I bought a big ass squeegee with handle, bristle brush, heavy duty cleaner, bleach and rented a commercial dehumidifier. I got the crap up, floor is now cleaned, degreased and bleached so much I felt like I have been swimming in a public pool all day during kiddie hours.

I have the dehumidifier all day tomorrow so I plan to let it run for the whole 24 hours. I might do another disinfectant scrub down depending on how scrappy I feel tomorrow.

I am planning on calling in a plumber to help evaluate the situation and snake the drain. I'll inqiure about the backflow preventer thanks for that

I think at this point I am going to leave it painted concrete and decide later what to do. It's really just a junk room anyways.
What a miserable break! Sounds like you've got a good plan, though.
What about a vinyl "sheet goods" floor covering? Cheaper/easier/quicker than tile (I've done both).
It would look better and more finished than paint.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:31 AM   #14
trailer Rails
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Lots of rain and flooding this morning, it was an interesting drive to work.

Are you saying above water?
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:11 PM   #15
sailah OP
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Got it figured out. Had a good plumber come over and he snaked the drain to the street about 65'. Found a bunch of baby wipes and a lot of roots
Sent the sewer cam down and I got to check it out.

The line is 5' sections of 6" terracotta pipe and at every joint there were significant roots. Some with 70% blockage. He prescribed some root killer I got at Home Depot and also to get the sewer line insurance which in my area is offered by dominion for $5/month.

At least I know why it happened and how to prevent it hopefully from happening again.

There is also a grate in my driveway that drains the runoff to the line and that was basically at a standstill and he cleaned that (actually his assistant, poor bastard).

For $190 I think it was money well spent
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