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Question DetailsAsked on 2/7/2016

Clean water overflowed in basement, making floating floor wet. Dihumidifier on,does floor need to removed?

Sewer back up caused water to overflow In basement going under floating floor. We have dihumidifier on with heat to help the floor to dry. Floor is made of man made wood finished planks. Slight damage to some planks. Should I pull up the floor to prevent mold, etc?

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IF the sewer backed up, NOT clean water - will have lots of biologics in it which have to be disinfected - which yuou cannot do under a floating floor even if it should stay - which it should not.

You are talking Engineered Wood floor - as they dry, will warp more, and quite likely grow a mold/mildew farm in the sewage-contaminated water underneath. If you claimed on your insurance (assuming you have sewer backup coverage for about $10-15/year more typically) the adjusted would be having the smoke and water damage contractor remove and dispose of the flooring and underlayment (if any).

I guess if not claiming on insurance, you can try drying it out - I would give less than 10% chance the floor will look acceptable afterwards, and about 1% chance you will not have nasty odors as long as it is left in there, at least during humid season and anytime groundwater level rises and dampens the soil under the slab. The big issue is if it is noto totally dried out within about 2-3 days you will form a mold farm under (and possibly in) the flooring - but to dry it out that way you need serious ventilation and dehumifcation pulling the wood moisture content down to well below 15% - at which range you will be prety much assured of serious buckling, warping, and opening up of joints.

Basically, ANY floating floor (or carpet) has to come up after flooding, even with clean water - and basically only very thick plank hardwood and pure vinyl have a reasonable chance of being salvageable.

My recommendation - don't mess with it, tear out - and do NOT use for firewood - nasty glues and solvents, plus you would be aerosolizing the contaminants into the house.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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