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Water trapped under engineered wood flooring



I am currently having a major issue with my engineered wood flooring.  The flooring was installed in fall 2010 over a concrete slab foundation.  The planks are glued together on the grooves but not glued down to the floor.  There is a water resistant, overlapping underlayment layer beneath the entire install that extends 1- 2 inches up the walls on all sides and is covered by trim.  there is also a 1//2 inch space on all sides to allow for expansion, that is hidden by trim.  The underlayment was a preventive measure to keep moisture from entering the wood from the concrete. 


4 days ago I noticed my socks getting wet as if I had stepped in small drops of water.  When I walked back through the living room to investigate, I heard a squishing sound when I walked next to the rocking chair.  I moved the chair, and with pressure applied to the end of certain planks, water bubbled up. 


My first thought was that we had a leak, but after checking, looking underneath and behind every appliance and connection in the home( which were all dry), checking the water meter dial for water running when everything was shut off, pulling off the baseboards on the walls surrounding the area to look for any wetness or a point of entry, checking the ceiling for leaks, and even looking at the service access port to the septic line in case of a  drain line leak, we are pretty confident that the water came from a spill.  The water smells like dish soap and is totally clear.


We had a relative visiting, who apparently did not understand the nature of the floor, because I walked into the room on the morning of that same day to find a two separate PUDDLES  of soapy dishwater just sitting on the floor, when I asked (in shock) what happened she said she had used the dish sponge to clean up  a piece of food from the wood, with no explanation as to why there was standing water just sitting there.  I have to assume that there may have been a drink spilled at some point (ground zero seems to be next to the rocking chair) and dishwater poured over it, but never wiped back up.


At this point in time the affected area is about 10 feet long and 8 feet wide with no part of it against any wall.  Some areas squish when walked on, but the amount of water that is squeezed up between boards is very minimal if any.  I have been able to use towels combined with walking back and forth across the planks to remove what would equal about 4 -6 oz of water if measured, and I have fans on the area, but it seems to make no difference. The problem is that the water is trapped between the underlayment and the wood with nowhere to go. There is no easy way to access it short of ripping it all out, in which case I wonder if any of it would be salvageable since it was glued together.


I don't think we have enough leftover in the garage to replace the entire affected area, so I would really like to just be able to get the water out.  The planks are a very distressed finish, so the water damage will not be very noticable once dried.



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Posted 2012-11-03T18:56:56+0000  by Mishca14 Mishca14

If possible; try pulling up the trim closest to the area and see if you can lift up a section of the floor. Just a little bit is all you need to get some circulation and air moving under the floor. Use a fan to get a head start on the process.


If that is not possible, then maybe a dehumidifier running for a couple of days will draw out the moisture and help with the drying out process.


A last resort is to cut out one plank in the center of the area and some how piece in a new one after the moisture is gone. Yes you will have to ruin that initial plank, but if you have even a couple of pieces you should be able to "puzzle" it back in.


Let us know how its going.

Posted 2012-11-04T15:33:10+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL
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