How to Dry Vinyl Flooring With Water Under It: Effective Techniques and Prevention Strategies

How to Dry Vinyl Flooring With Water Under It?

To dry vinyl flooring with water underneath it, the first step is to remove the baseboard trims and test the moisture levels with a moisture meter.

If the moisture level is more than 10%, some planks need to be removed for drying.

If it is less than 5%, a dehumidifier or heater can be used to dry the water without removing the planks.

Use a shop vac or dry vacuum to extract the water from underneath the flooring.

Once most of the moisture is removed, turn on a dehumidifier or heater to dry the remaining moisture.

After a few hours, use a moisture meter to check the moisture levels.

If it is 0%, the removed planks can be re-installed as long as they are dry and unaffected.

If the planks are damaged or bubbled, they need to be replaced.

If the vinyl flooring was glued down, it also needs to be replaced because the glue washes off and won’t stick.

To prevent water from getting underneath vinyl flooring, use a waterproof carpet or mat, seal gaps with wood caulk, clean water spills immediately, and use a waterproof underlayment.

Key Points:

  • Remove baseboard trims and test moisture levels with a moisture meter
  • If moisture level is more than 10%, remove planks for drying
  • If moisture level is less than 5%, use dehumidifier or heater to dry water without removing planks
  • Use shop vac or dry vacuum to extract water from underneath flooring
  • Turn on dehumidifier or heater to dry remaining moisture
  • Check moisture levels with moisture meter after a few hours; if 0%, re-install dry and unaffected planks or replace damaged ones

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that vinyl flooring is made of a synthetic material called polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is derived from petroleum?

2. Despite its water-resistant properties, vinyl flooring can still be affected by water damage if it remains soaked for an extended period. Rapidly drying the water under the vinyl is crucial to prevent further damage.

3. When attempting to dry vinyl flooring with water underneath it, using a wet/dry vacuum can be highly effective. By sucking up the excess water, it helps prevent further saturation and accelerates the drying process.

4. Another lesser-known method to dry vinyl flooring with water trapped beneath is by using a dehumidifier. Placing the dehumidifier in the room with the affected flooring will help extract excess moisture from the air, aiding in the drying process.

5. To avoid any potential hazards, it is crucial to turn off the electricity in the area where the vinyl flooring is wet. This step will prevent any risk of electrocution during the drying process. Safety should always be the top priority when dealing with water damage.

Removing Baseboard Trims And Affected Boards

Vinyl flooring is susceptible to damage from water seepage. To effectively dry water underneath vinyl flooring, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the baseboard trims and affected boards. This will provide access to the subfloor and facilitate proper drying.

  2. Check moisture levels with a moisture meter. If the moisture level exceeds 10%, significant water damage is present. In such cases, some planks may need to be removed for drying.

  3. For moisture levels below 5%, it is possible to dry the water without removing the planks. Use dehumidifiers or heaters to accelerate the drying process.

  4. Use a floor scraper to remove planks showing signs of moisture such as being raised or swollen. This tool is especially helpful for removing non-glued normal boards.

  5. If the vinyl planks were glued to the floor, a different approach will be necessary for their removal. This process can be more challenging.

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Remember, proper drying of water under vinyl flooring is crucial to avoid further damage and maintain its quality.

  • Remove baseboard trims and affected boards
  • Test moisture levels using a moisture meter
  • For moisture levels above 10%, remove some planks for drying
  • For moisture levels below 5%, use dehumidifiers or heaters to dry water
  • Use a floor scraper for removing raised or swollen planks
  • Different approach required if planks are glued down

Using A Wet/Dry Vacuum Or Shop Vac To Extract Water

Once the baseboard trims and affected boards have been removed, the next step is to extract the water from underneath the vinyl flooring. A wet/dry vacuum or shop vac is an effective tool for this task. These vacuums are specifically designed to handle wet environments, making them ideal for removing excess water from the subfloor.

To begin the extraction process, carefully maneuver the vacuum over the affected areas, ensuring that all trapped water is sucked up. Take your time and be thorough to remove as much moisture as possible. This step is crucial to prevent further damage and promote effective drying.

Replacing Glued Planks

In cases where the vinyl planks were glued down, it is essential to replace them if water has affected them. Water can cause the glue to wash off, preventing the planks from properly adhering to the subfloor. Attempting to reuse damaged or bubbling planks will likely result in an improper installation and potential future issues.

Replacing glued planks requires a few additional steps compared to removing ordinary boards. Firstly, use a chisel and a rubber mallet to carefully pry up the damaged planks. Take your time and ensure that you remove all remnants of the old adhesive. Once the subfloor is clean and free from any residue, apply a new layer of vinyl adhesive or glue following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure proper adhesion for the replacement planks.

Drying Moisture With Dehumidifiers Or Heaters

To effectively dry the remaining moisture and reassemble the vinyl planks, dehumidifiers or heaters can be used. These devices help increase the evaporation rate, aiding in the drying process. However, it is crucial to note that dehumidifiers and heaters work best when there is not a significant amount of water present.

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After extracting most of the moisture using a wet/dry vacuum or shop vac, turn on a dehumidifier or heater in the affected area. Allow the device to run for a few hours, periodically checking the moisture levels using a moisture meter. If the moisture reading reaches 0%, it indicates that the area is dry and suitable for reinstallation of the previously removed planks. However, if the moisture meter still indicates levels above 0%, it is necessary to continue the drying process until the area is completely dry.

Signs Of Water Under Vinyl Planks

Detecting water underneath vinyl planks is crucial for identifying potential water damage and taking appropriate action. There are several common signs to watch out for:

  • Lifted or raised boards: When water seeps under vinyl planks, it can cause them to lift or rise from the subfloor. This is often accompanied by a spongy or soft feeling when walking on the affected area.

  • Damp or cold boards: If you notice that certain areas of your vinyl flooring feel damp or colder than the surrounding areas, it could indicate the presence of water beneath the planks. This is a clear sign that moisture is affecting the flooring.

  • Bubbles or swelling: Water trapped underneath the vinyl planks can result in bubbles or swelling on the surface. These abnormalities indicate that water has infiltrated the layers of the flooring material, causing it to expand or warp.

Identifying these signs early on will allow you to take immediate action and prevent further damage to your vinyl flooring.

Additional Notes:

  • These signs may serve as indicators of water damage but it’s always recommended to consult a professional for a thorough assessment.
  • Regular maintenance and inspection of vinyl flooring can help identify and address water-related issues promptly.

Tools And Supplies Needed To Dry Water Under Vinyl Plank Flooring

To effectively tackle the task of drying water under vinyl plank flooring, it is essential to have the necessary tools and supplies at hand. Here is a comprehensive list of the items you will need:

  • Wet/dry vacuum or shop vac: This versatile cleaning tool allows for the efficient extraction of water from underneath the vinyl flooring.

  • Mop: A mop is useful for cleaning the surface of the vinyl planks once the water has been extracted.

  • Floor scraper: A floor scraper comes in handy when removing normal vinyl planks that are not glued down.

  • Moisture meter: This tool will help you accurately measure the moisture levels in the affected areas, ensuring that the drying process is successful.

  • Caulk and caulking gun: These tools are necessary for sealing any gaps or cracks that may have allowed water to penetrate the flooring.

  • Vinyl adhesive or glue: If you need to replace glued-down planks, vinyl adhesive or glue will be required to secure the new planks to the subfloor.

  • Chisel: This tool is necessary for removing glued-down planks. It allows you to carefully pry up the damaged planks without causing excessive damage to the subfloor.

  • Rubber mallet: The rubber mallet is useful for gently tapping the chisel and removing glued-down planks.

  • Work gloves: It is crucial to protect your hands while working on the removal and reinstallation process, as well as when handling potentially wet or damaged flooring.

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By being well-prepared with the appropriate tools and supplies, you can ensure a smooth and effective process of drying water under vinyl plank flooring.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Will water dry up under vinyl flooring?

In cases of flooding or severe sewage leaks, water trapped beneath vinyl flooring may struggle to dry up naturally. This is because excessive condensation tends to accumulate between the vinyl planks and the substrate or underlayment, hindering the evaporation process. As a result, proper mitigation measures should be taken promptly to remove the water and prevent any potential damage or moisture-related issues.

Will water evaporate under vinyl flooring?

Yes, water can potentially evaporate under vinyl flooring, but it largely depends on the circumstances. If the water is only a small amount or if it is able to seep through the vinyl and reach the subfloor, there is a possibility that it can evaporate over time. However, it is crucial to assess the extent of the water damage and the condition of the subfloor to determine the best course of action. In cases where significant moisture is trapped under the floor, it is necessary to address the issue promptly to prevent any potential damage to the subfloor and the growth of mildew.

What to do if water gets under flooring?

If water manages to seep under your flooring, it is essential to act promptly to minimize damage and prevent further issues. Start by removing any floor coverings and disposing of any damaged paper products. Once the area is cleared, thoroughly dry the floorboards to prevent mold growth and warping. Following this, clean and disinfect the affected floorboards to eliminate any potential bacteria or lingering odors. It is crucial to ventilate the room adequately to assist with the drying process. Lastly, seek the assistance of professionals like ServiceMaster of Lake Shore for comprehensive restoration services to ensure a thorough and effective restoration of your flooring.

What to do if water gets under luxury vinyl?

If water seeps beneath luxury vinyl flooring, it is crucial to address the issue promptly. Begin by identifying and removing the affected planks, particularly those that display signs of moisture or have warped edges. Utilize a floor scraper to carefully detach the glued planks. Subsequently, it is necessary to run a dehumidifier continuously to expedite the drying process and minimize any potential damage caused by excess moisture. By taking these steps promptly, you can mitigate the impact of water damage on your luxury vinyl flooring.

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