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Basement Floor Dilemma

 
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:57 PM   #1
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Basement Floor Dilemma


Just got back from checking out a problem with a customer's flooring job that I did about 4 months ago. He calls me and says the beautiful maple hardwood that I installed in his basement was buckling...about 6 inches A little history... He had an overflow in his pool which flooded the basement and destroyed the carpet. He ripped it all out and asked me to install a hardwood floor. I tried to talk him into some other less volatile flooring options, but his insurance company OK'd a new hardwood floor. I insisted that he let me put down a Dricore subfloor (about 750 sq.ft.) and proceeded to install a high end Maple hardwood floor,beautiful 6" baseboard, custom built matching bar, yadda,yadda. Anyway he loved it, until the other day when he decided to drain 2" out of the pool onto the side of the house. I walked into the basement and the middle of the floor looked like a pitcher's mound about 6" high and 15 ft. long. I was "floored". I put my moisture meter on it and the reading was off the scale. Surprisingly, the boards were all still intact with only a little cupping on about 6 planks! I reluctantly broke out my skillsaw and cut out the top board and Dricore (with his permission) and found a pool of water on the concrete floor. I told him to rent a floor fan and heavy duty dehumidifier and leave them on for at least 48 hrs. I'm hoping that once it dries out I can cut out the rest of the top boards and the floor will fall flat again. Then if I'm lucky I can replace the cut boards and Dricore. The homeowner admits fault and is desperate to have a flat floor again. He'll put down a rug to cover up the imperfections, anything to not have to replace the whole floor. On the one hand I feel sorry for the guy, on the other hand I can't believe the stupidity of what he did. He swears this will never happen again, but what if it does?
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:40 PM   #2
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Bill him.

Be kind, show a discount, but bill him. Even if it happens again.
I know that dosn't ease the pain of seeing your hard work damaged though.

~Matt

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Old 05-25-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Ron,

First off, I am not a hardwood guy and may just be blowing smoke, but I had always heard that hardwood should not be installed basements particularly below grade. Not aware of any hardwood warrantied in that situation, even with the Dricore.

Rich
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Yeah, that was pretty dumb.

I would tear up the whole floor. If the slab is wet, it needs to dry. Do you have a moisture meter for concrete?

As for showing a discount, no, don't do that. I myself as a floor guy would have done something wood for his basement, but would have made him aware of risks is his basement were to flood again. But you tried to talk him into other options, his fault, your gain.

As for not installing below grade. It can be done. E-Z way is engineered products floated. Hard way (for installing unfinished wood), stringer system which is very pricy.
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Old 05-26-2006, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Could be wrong, but I thought that Dricore recommends not to use their product for hardwood installation.

I am currently bidding a job with similar circumstances and I think I am going with a traditional built up sub floor, sleepers and ply, then hardwood and prayers for the HO not to do anything stupid.
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:40 AM   #6
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


I once was in an abandoned gymnasium where a skylight had been leaking for some time and the hardwood floor came up in waves that at their peak reached almost six feet high before the boards had separated and collapsed. At that point you could actually walk around under the hardwood flooring. Before it broke, though, there were these waves of wood getting steadily larger down the room. A skateboarders paradise, I guess.
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:45 PM   #7
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Hi guys, I have a similar problem that was brought to my attn tonight. I am a general contractor in Louisville, Kentucky. Afriend has had an addition (2000sq ft) put on, 3 stories, hardwood floors, crawlspace (36") ventilated i assume. The hardwood was allowed to aclimate for two weeks mid feb., installed mid march, finished mid may. Buckeling is occuring on the first and second floor, mainly the first in the larger area spaces- not hallways etc. The ac was not turned on until after the problem started to try to change the humidity in the area.
Let's assume he has no moisture problem -but I have not inspected it. I am curious how his contractor dealt with the crawlspace and whether he put down plastic or some barrier over the dirt below to prevent excess moisture.
ok, what is the proper way to deal with this...on a new install is it reasonable to expect the floor to be repairable, or should it be re installed.
I will be calling MY flooring installer tomorrow but cannot reach him tonight, thought i would pose the problem here in the meantime.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:44 AM   #8
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Here's an update: Three weeks later and I haven't heard from this guy. When last we spoke, I told him to rent the floor fans and dehumidifier and dry everything out then call me. Well yesterday I bump into him in front of H.Depot and he tells me he's going in to buy a wet/dry shop vac. Someone unplugged his sump pump and the basement flooded again for the third time He wants me to tear out the floor and Dricore and put in a new hardwood floor ASAP. He'll pay me again and make absolutely sure that these floods won't happen again I tried to talk him out of it but he loves the look of the maple hardwood in his favorite room. The customer is always right,right? If I don't do it, he'll get someone else to do it. However I think I should ask for payment in full in advance just to be safe. What would you do?
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:36 PM   #9
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


I would rip up old floor and install a stamped overlay,here is a site with a nice pic and more info.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:36 PM   #10
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


I would rip up old floor and install a stamped overlay,here is a site with a nice pic and more info. increte.com
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Old 06-29-2006, 10:04 PM   #11
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Here's a picture of the floor. I pulled it all out today and convinced the H.O. to paint the concrete, get the water problem fixed, and then we'll discuss flooring options.
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:36 PM   #12
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Re: Basement Floor Dilemma


Now that the living room floor is out and the hallway and bedroom still have the maple, what would you do on the concrete floor? Assume that water will come in again.

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