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leaks on subfloor

How can i protect my sub floor (second story) from further urin leaks.
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Posted 2015-04-01T17:30:12+0000  by Kami Kami
Do you mean the toilet is leaking?  If so, it's a pretty common problem especially in older homes and unfortunately leaks often go unnoticed.  The leaks can lead to rotting of the subfloor and the potential for mold growth.

Underneath the toilet is what's called the closet flange and between the flange and toilet is a wax ring that seals the connection.  The toilet is also bolted to the flange which keeps the toilet from shifting.

There are two situations that cause most of the leaks.  Especially in older homes the flange is often constructed of cast iron and over time the lip of the flange deteriorates and the bolts break free allowing the toilet to shift, breaking the seal.  The other problem is improper placement of the flange, which should sit on the finished floor.  If the flange sits too low a thicker wax ring and/or spacers need to be added, but that can increase the chance of a leak or spacers are omitted completely.  If the flange sits too high, the toilet wants to rock, increasing the change of a leak.

In either case, you'll have to pull the toilet to evaluate the situation.  If the subfloor is rotted, must be replaced because the flange needs to be secured to the floor with screws.  In the case of a damaged cast iron flange, replacing it really isn't a DIY project for most people but there are repair kits available.  Personally, I like a solid stainless steel ring.  It just fits over the damaged flange and is screwed to the subfloor using #12 x 1 1/2" stainless steel, flat head sheet metal screws.

If the flange is below the finished floor, up to 1/4" you can use an extra thick wax ring.  After that, you need to start adding spacers or use one of the specialty seals meant to replace the wax ring.

If this isn't the answer to your question or you need more details, just let us know.

Posted 2015-04-02T01:54:09+0000  by Adam444
Well Kami,

Why don't we answer the question a second way?

If your sub-floor simply needs protection, you can use an oil-based primer like Zinsser Cover Stain to seal the urine-damaged floors.

This will keep the existing damage from bleeding up and creating an odor.

It will also protect the sub-floor from future damage ... from say pet urine.

Water-based primer will simply re-wet the stain and the stain and odor will bleed through.

Sealing a water-based stain requires an oil-based or shellac-based primer.

Posted 2015-04-07T21:22:41+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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