What Do Spongy Floors Mean With Water Damage Cleanup?
No one likes the feel of an expected solid floor bouncing or sagging underfoot. A springy or spongy feeling could indicate a minor issue, a major problem or no problem at all. Clean Restoration of Hannibal will investigate and help if your floors have water damage that causes an unsound floor.
Knowing some of the reasons why floors are spongy and the causes can help one determine whether further steps should be done. If a second story floor is spongy or bouncy and the first-floor ceiling under the spongy area has drywall cracking in the ceiling or cracked and damaged plaster, then there should be a higher level of concern.
A spongy feel underfoot might indicate that the subfloor is not securely attached to the floor joists. This condition allows the floor to give slightly when you step. Subflooring typically consists of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheets. Both of these products make solid subfloors, but if they become saturated, through leaking plumbing or flooding, the glue that holds them together releases. Called “delamination,” this causes the sheet to swell and become spongy underfoot.
If the subfloor is damaged it will likely swell and “lift” the flooring, or you may notice a “mushy” feel when you step on the floor. Subfloors are generally made with plywood or OSB (oriented strand board), and the best choice is usually for it to be replaced.
On Concrete Floors
Homes that are built on a concrete slab seldom have spongy floors, but there are two conditions where they may have a spongy floor. If a finished concrete slab floor is spongy in places, usually the sponginess will only be in a small area (i.e. 2 to 4 square feet) and not the entire floor.
If the concrete slab is not flat but dips in places or has a hump, then the flooring laid on top of the slab may bow or be spongy when stepping on the areas that dips or does not have a fully flat surface.
Unlike floor joists, which are solid, trusses are engineered with smaller members in a triangulated design that allows the relatively lightweight trusses to bear as much or more load as traditional floor joists. They naturally bounce a little. Any alterations you make to a floor truss system can void the manufacturer’s warranty and can conflict with the system’s pre-engineered load distribution.
The finish floor layer is the top layer. It may consist of carpeting, tile, vinyl, linoleum, laminated flooring or other similar products. In addition to the floor being bouncy or spongy, you may see cracks in the tile or grout, if it’s a tile floor or hear a snapping or creaking sound if its a laminated type of floor.
At times there may be spongy floors that appear to slope or sag, as well as being spongy. This may indicate that there could be more than one factor. You need the Clean Restoration team to come out and investigate.
General Water Damage
OSB board and plywood will not stand up to water over time; the glues that hold these two products together easily fail after prolonged exposure to water. Plumbing or roof leaks that go undetected can cause deterioration of the structural strength, resulting in sponginess.
Moisture stains on the floor may indicate that there has been a leak or moisture issues. Check the base boards and lower portions of the wall for stains as well. If dark discolorations are noted, then there may be a mold and mildew, which usually means that there is a moisture problem. Musty odors are another indication of mold or mildew.
Damage During Construction
During construction if the wood sub flooring (OSB Board or Plywood) gets wet, especially for prolonged periods of time, the sub floor loses a portion of its structural strength. Homes that are built during the rainy season and fail to get roofed and wrapped properly are more susceptible to this type of damage.
Water Damage Cleanup In Hannibal
Spongy and bouncy floors can be a warning sign of a structural issue; you could need some restoration work. If your floor suffers water damage, call the best water damage cleanup team in the area. The certified water damage cleanup professionals at Clean Restoration & Emergency Services are ready to guide you through the clean up and drying process after a significant water loss. Within an hour, our water damage cleanup team will be on site to evaluate the damage and to begin the extraction process.
The Clean Restoration & Emergency Services team is certified by the IICRC and serves the tri-state area. If your Hannibal home has significant water damage, contact us for an immediate answer. Call or use the online form to get in touch with our water damage cleanup experts for general questions.