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Question DetailsAsked on 9/14/2013

mold remediation

what are the steps to remediate mold under a floating floor at ground lrvrl

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1 Answer


Hate to say it, but it needs to come up -

1) remove flooring - padding at least will probably have to go entirely,, flooring may or may not be moldy on the bottom

2) do proper mold removal of the worst of it for living and working safety

3) remediate the water source causing mosture to come through the (presumably) concrete slab. See Home > Basement Waterproofing link in Browse Projects at lower left for a lot of advice on how to locate the source of your water and remediate it

4) do a final pass to kill any remaining mold spores or growth on the slab

5) install a positive vapor barrier on the slab

6) install a new floor that "breathes" and does not have- which generally means no natural materials (artificial fibers only), open-gap underlayment, and breathing covering like carpet

Basically speaking, unless you radically change the moisture environment under uyour house, once you have had mold you will have it again if you put down a flooring that retards evaporation from the concrete slab. The only real way to eliminate that is to install a full heavy-duty seamless membrane water vapor UNDER the slab (i.e. before construction) so water does not get to the concrete at all.

Yes, a lot of people have had success with sealing the concrete and installing an over-slab visqueen barrier, with floating laminate or hardwood installed over that, but there is no guarantee you will not have repeat problems unless you have lowered the water table, YEAR-AROUND, to at least 3 feet below slab level - up to 10 feet lower in fine grained silts and sands and soft wet clays, which is generally not feasible.

Your call on whether you try a floating floor again or not. If you do, use at least 6 mil plastic and preferably 10 mil, and it has to be tightly caulked and compression-sealed against the foundation walls so it also covers the crack between slab and foundation, and seams should be top and bottom taped with waterproof tape designed for vapor barriers and should be absolute minimum number of seams necessitated by maximum width of plastic available. I have done installations with truly waterproof (NOT breathable) blue tarp instead of visqueen to have a heavier protection layer and zero seams, as they are readily available in up to 50x100' single pieces, allowing seamless installation in almost any room. Again, make absolutely sure the vapor barrier has NO natural materials - should be totally plastic/nylon fabric AND thread or it will mold and rot too.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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