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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Sometimes that will actually raise the relative humidity in a craspace/basement. As hot and humid air enters the crawl space it quickly cools and the moisture in the air condenses and makes the basement damper.

YES. Good point, thank u. The floor has gotten worse since he punched the holes. I don't know about the expansion gap on either floor. It's a possibility on the 2nd floor because they did add quarter round to the base, but I don't know because I didn't lay it and I don't remember ever looking on the first floor because there was nothing wrong w it aside from being beat up.

There were 9 kids, 2 parents and one grandma living in this 2 bedroom house with no working septic tank for 11 years.

Someone rigged the line to the septic and just had it loose above ground dumping out in the backyard somewhere.

That has nothing to do w anything but just giving you an idea of how trashed the floors were and even then no problems..
 

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After it is demoed back to the subfloor and redone, if the new flooring doesn't breathe he could still end up with mold issues. I'd recommend putting down a moisture barrier.

Those brick holes can get filled back in and it can be an unvented crawlspace IF the space is remedied with one of the methods from R408.3
514159

514160
 

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I would start with spraying a few inches of closed cell for you vapor and get a hygrometer. A small part of my basement has a dirt floor and before the poly I put down it was over 90% humidity. I would spray foam but it's on ledge and the lowest part is only about 12" below the joists.

I assume the old flooring didn't get pulled to save money? We use red rosin under our flooring and haven't had an issue in 15 years. Good luck, that's a bit of a science project, need to figure out humidity levels first.
 

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Regardless of anything else, the truth is that WHOEVER INSTALLED THIS NEW FLOOR IMPROPERLY DID THE DAMAGE. What I am telling you is that you need a forensic construction engineer to come in and do an evaluation, determine who is at fault and what caused it and then write it up for an attorney.
If Lowes was the original contract then Lowes and its subcontractor are directly liable. This is one case wherein I would not touch the job until a forensic construction engineer has made evaluation.
If you do ANYTHING, especially removal and replacement you are ending the possibility of recovery. So get the client to sign a WAIVER detailing that he might have rights against whoever caused the damage but wants you to immediately effect full repair without investigation. Otherwise you might be sued as well!. If lowes ordered the install, it makes no difference that the customer chose the material, the contractor knew or should have known it was the wrong material for the purpose and would cause severe damage. Even the manufacturer should have had warning statements in the material to follow as well as installation instructions.
The last issue is that SINCE there IS an existing problem, I would want an engineer to give me the specifications for repair. Yes I know how, and know what to do, but I would accept NO responsibility nor liability and an engineer's stamp resolves that. Remember that a current stamp will probably require class 1 basement treatments (ground vapor barrier) as well as new vapor barrier under the subfloor above the joists.
 

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Regardless of anything else, the truth is that WHOEVER INSTALLED THIS NEW FLOOR IMPROPERLY DID THE DAMAGE. What I am telling you is that you need a forensic construction engineer to come in and do an evaluation, determine who is at fault and what caused it and then write it up for an attorney.
If Lowes was the original contract then Lowes and its subcontractor are directly liable. This is one case wherein I would not touch the job until a forensic construction engineer has made evaluation.
If you do ANYTHING, especially removal and replacement you are ending the possibility of recovery. So get the client to sign a WAIVER detailing that he might have rights against whoever caused the damage but wants you to immediately effect full repair without investigation. Otherwise you might be sued as well!. If lowes ordered the install, it makes no difference that the customer chose the material, the contractor knew or should have known it was the wrong material for the purpose and would cause severe damage. Even the manufacturer should have had warning statements in the material to follow as well as installation instructions.
The last issue is that SINCE there IS an existing problem, I would want an engineer to give me the specifications for repair. Yes I know how, and know what to do, but I would accept NO responsibility nor liability and an engineer's stamp resolves that. Remember that a current stamp will probably require class 1 basement treatments (ground vapor barrier) as well as new vapor barrier under the subfloor above the joists.

This may be the most absolute, by the book way to hold the installer liable. But for most people the time and money spent to pursue something that very well may be more cost that will never be recovered. Its easier to hire a couple young guys to tear it out and do it right, given there is somebody there that knows what the right way is.
 

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This may be the most absolute, by the book way to hold the installer liable. But for most people the time and money spent to pursue something that very well may be more cost that will never be recovered. Its easier to hire a couple young guys to tear it out and do it right, given there is somebody there that knows what the right way is.
I expect the damage to be multiple times the original install value (at least 12-20 times I would bet), especially at todays 100 dollars per sheet for subfloor. I would NEVER touch this job unless I gave FULL WRITTEN DISCLOSURE that damage was apparently caused by a contractor using improper materials and methods and that the customer may have a claim against the contractor. I would document the actual conditions and damage including written and pictorial evidence. I would then make the customer sign a release stating that they wanted me to continue with repairs.
Even though you and I both know how to fix this, an architect or engineer should actually sign off in order to eliminate our liability. What if there is or was something else that has happened and we missed it? A warm artesian well just under the surface of the house, possibly a micro steam leak in a hot water line? It has happened you know.
In most AHJ in Florida a full permit would have to be pulled, which generally means a wet stamp here. In other places the might allow usual and customary building methods.
 

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I’ve ripped out lots of crappy work. Plenty of good work too, of course. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with forensic construction engineers.

If fixing floors is in one’s repertoire, and one is hired to fix a floor, I don’t see a whole lot of risk involved with fixing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I get it and thank you all for the replies. I am fully aware of the risks of touching a job like this and agree totally with the last few comments. I have been held liable for collateral damage before, or they tried to hold me liable, but what they didn't know was that I had already been to every single unit in every building before we roofed it and took pics of all the damage so when they tried to say it was my fault or my work that caused the damage, I was like, yeah don't think so! When I showed them the evidence they quickly shut up. That was my first lesson in, "investors are crooks". I just thank GOD he gave me the sense to know to protect myself even though I was 100% sure that guy wouldn't try to pull some crap like that. Because he did.

That's right about the time that I found this site as a matter of fact.

Anyway, I agree the costs of doing it right with the engineer do outweigh just repairing it himself, however funny that you mention it, but they did have a pipe leak a few months ago during a freeze.. and who knows if there are more micro leaks.. I'll have to ask them about their water bills and do a little probing in that area because the house is very old and the construction was definitely done by less than professionals.

There are also natural springs that possibly run under this home because they discovered a huge one behind the house and turned that into a huge pond.

On the flip side, this guy has been trying to sue Lowes for the install but they are denying any fault. So the engineer might be necessary. All in all, the information you all contributed has given me some ideas and shed light on possible problems we had not considered before. But if my memory serves me correctly, the floor did really start going bad after that freeze when the pipe busted.
 
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