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Steps to Take If You Have a Damaged Subfloor

Posted on June 22nd, 2018 by

When a leak or flood occurs, one of the most common areas that can be damaged is the subfloor. A damaged subfloor needs immediate attention to reduce the risk of mold and enhance the quality of the flooring materials. To repair the subfloor beneath hardwood flooring, Carlsbad homeowners need to take a few important steps.

Find the Floor Joists 

You’ll need to identify where the floor joists run by visually examining the area or using a stud finder before starting the project. It’s important to determine where the joist is located to avoid cutting over it. 

Remove the Damaged Material 

Begin by using a circular saw on the subflooring before removing the materials affected by moisture. Avoid cutting too deeply and damaging electrical or water lines by determining the thickness of the subfloor. The depth of the circular saw should be set slightly more than the subfloor. Use a pry bar to lift protruding nails, and sweep or vacuum any debris that is present. You may need to ventilate the area and allow it to dry to prevent mildew or mold from forming. Allowing the affected materials to dry for a day can also prevent the wood from rotting. 

Create Solid Framing 

You’ll need to use a piece of 2×6 lumber on the existing floor framing to create a base for the new subflooring you plan to install. The new framing needs to be carefully measured and installed to ensure it’s level with the old framing. The edge should also be aligned with the floor joist. 

Measure the Plywood 

When you’re ready to replace the old subflooring material, use 5/8″ CDX plywood, which is ideal for areas that were previously wet because it won’t deteriorate when it’s in contact with water. A small gap should be present when installing the plywood because natural expansion can occur over time. 

Secure the New Plywood 

Purchase 8d galvanized nails to secure the new piece of plywood to the frame, and hammer a nail into the material every six inches. There should be approximately 1/8″ of space between the plywood and the frame, which will allow the wood to move slightly. If you want to reduce the time it takes to secure the plywood, consider using a rapid-load nail gun, which will offer convenience and efficiency. You can use wood glue as an additional way to secure the plywood. 

Damaged subfloors can occur if there’s a leak from your refrigerator or if the bathroom floods due to a toilet. By knowing how to repair and replace the subfloor, you can enhance the quality of the setting and avoid potential issues in the future.

Many homeowners find it difficult to do their own floor installation. Carlsbad residents can get in touch with Unique Flooring if they need new floors installed or need high-quality flooring materials. Stop by our showroom or give us a call at 760-945-0010 today.

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