Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Living Areas & Workspaces>Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!
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mtngigi
Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!

My bedroom used to be the garage in my 1930s bungalow, so it has a cement floor. Before moving in, I had new carpet put down. Half of the carpet and pad are now wet and ruined, thanks to the non-stop deluges we've been suffering through here in Colorado. My house is built up against a hillside, and water has seeped into the bedroom from the hill behind me. It's pretty hard to tell exactly where it's coming from, but that's a moot point. The water stopped halfway into the room, I guess because of the angle or level of the floor ... not really sure.

I've pulled the carpet back to where the dry starts and removed the wet padding, and can now see the old garage floor - what fun. I now have that indoor pool I've always wanted. :p

Here's my question. Now that I know what I'm up against when we get heavy rains, I'm thinking I should 86 the carpet - so I'm considering tiles. Can tile be installed over a cement floor? Would rain still be a problem if I went that route? What would have to happen with the cement before it could be tiled over? Is there a certain kind of tile that's better for this application?

Also, is there anything I can do immediately to help keep at least some of the moisture from seeping through. A corner in my closet is where some rain came through - the wallboard is wet and damaged ... anything I can put over it as a quick fix?

Well, any and all advice will be welcome. I can't do anything for awhile, so I'm thinking I'll just pull all of the carpet up - then I'll just have to live with the garage floor until I figure out what I want to do. I just don't think it makes sense to put the carpet back .... does it?

A. Spruce
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!

Since you say it's only half of the room, is it safe to assume it's the half closest to what used to be the roll-up door of the garage? Garage floors have a pretty good slope to them for drainage (rain/snow melt from cars has to go somewhere, doesn't it? ) and you description is in line with this.

There is probably little to nothing that you can do to keep water out, without some fairly substantial remodeling, which would include installing a curb foundation along the wall that used to be the roll-up door and possibly an cement overlay of the existing floor that will both level it out and raise it up a few inches, giving you more flood protection. There are sealants you can try (elastomeric or beutyl based ) but honestly, they don't tend to stick to dirty surfaces too well, so leakage will always be a problem.

Tile will probably be able to survive periodic moisture/flooding issues, I'm not a tile guy, so I can't really offer advice there.

dj1
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!

Tile will endure floods, not floods of Biblical proportions, but repeated flooding conditions can eventually cause the tiles to separate from the surface they're attached to.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!

As I've always said, water belongs on the outside of your home and should be kept there. You need to address that from the outside by waterproofing the foundation and creating adequate drainage for surface and groundwater to get away from the house. That is going to be rather involved and costly but it is the only way to do the job correctly. Well, at least you still have an intact only slightly-damaged home, from my understanding a lot of folks around you are in far worse shape. The interior curb-type drain systems do work, but again the water has made it inside when it shouldn't have and it is still doing damage even though the floor will be dry. Look for a contractor who will address the water ingression totally from the outside and if they insist on an interior curb drain, go looking for someone else who understands that water belongs outside. In the meantime the carpet may be salvageable once the floor dries out. Carpet cleaners usually offer a water extraction service which coupled with ventilating the area usually works well enough- but that's not going to be viable till the water stops infiltrating.

Good luck with this and my condolences for you and your neighbors- it's darn near impossible to prepare for and deal with flooding of the proportions y'all have recently seen.

Phil

mtngigi
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!

Thanks to everyone who responded. Thought I had set up notifications, but apparently I forgot, so I didn't know anyone had replied. I'm now at a point where I'm not freaking out so much (the rain has finally let up). I'm just sort of resigned.

My problem is rampant unemployment and no finances to get anything done - so while I'd love to do what Mastercarpentry has suggested, it's just not going to happen. I don't see much point in having carpet in that room, since the alternative (tile) seem like it would be easier to deal with if this happens again.

I now have a pretty good idea that most (if not all) of the water came from below - over-saturated ground water coming up through the cement, not from the hillside like I initially thought. This is what happened to my neighbor across the street, whose basement flooded, but not from the creek behind her house, but rather from ground water - though the creek did go over the banks - lots of sandbags there now.

Something new I've spotted is a slightly up-heaved crack in the closet floor. I feel like it would be nice to get the whole floor done over with new cement (it's pretty uneven), and then deal with covering it with tiles. But that's not going to happen for awhile, either.

Well, the kindness of strangers has given me a large area rug to cover up some of the floor for now. It's just something I'm going to have to live with until I find work or win the lottery, whichever comes first.

I can't figure out how to remove the strips of wood with spikes coming up from the bottom that were placed by the carpet layers. Do those strips come with those spikes already on them? Do I just pry the wood strips up somehow?

Thanks again everyone - there are definitely people who had it worse than me, although that fact doesn't make my situation any easier to deal with.

A. Spruce
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!
mtngigi wrote:

I can't figure out how to remove the strips of wood with spikes coming up from the bottom that were placed by the carpet layers. Do those strips come with those spikes already on them? Do I just pry the wood strips up somehow?

Yes, you can remove the carpet tack strips. About every 6" or so you'll see a nail head, this is the nail that is holding the strip to the floor. Take a flat bar or similar prying instrument and drive it under the strip at the nail, this will pop it loose from the concrete. The strips will shatter and break as you do this, leaving some nails in the concrete. Wear gloves and eye protection, and simply pull any nails that don't come out with the strips.

mtngigi
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!
A. Spruce wrote:

Yes, you can remove the carpet tack strips. About every 6" or so you'll see a nail head, this is the nail that is holding the strip to the floor. Take a flat bar or similar prying instrument and drive it under the strip at the nail, this will pop it loose from the concrete. The strips will shatter and break as you do this, leaving some nails in the concrete. Wear gloves and eye protection, and simply pull any nails that don't come out with the strips.

Thanks A ... I don't know why I'm not getting subscription notifications ... but I'm not.

mtngigi
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!
A. Spruce wrote:

Yes, you can remove the carpet tack strips. About every 6" or so you'll see a nail head, this is the nail that is holding the strip to the floor. Take a flat bar or similar prying instrument and drive it under the strip at the nail, this will pop it loose from the concrete. The strips will shatter and break as you do this, leaving some nails in the concrete. Wear gloves and eye protection, and simply pull any nails that don't come out with the strips.

So .... they just hammered those nails right into the concrete? That can't be easy to do.

mtngigi
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!
dj1 wrote:

Tile will endure floods, not floods of Biblical proportions, but repeated flooding conditions can eventually cause the tiles to separate from the surface they're attached to.

If I had known how ... I would have started building an ark - I've never seen rain like what we had this summer ...

:eek:

A. Spruce
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!
mtngigi wrote:

So .... they just hammered those nails right into the concrete? That can't be easy to do.

It is surprisingly easy, the nails penetrate less than 1/4", but are surprisingly tenacious. You will pop divots in the concrete, but these are easily patched and covered with new flooring later.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Colorado Flooding - Need Floor Advice Please!

A direct bonded tile floor will survive a flood of Biblical proportions.

After hurricane Ike we simply picked up the fish, scrubbed the floors, and life continued.

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