Hornung's Helpful Hardware Man

 

Flooring

Q:  Bill, first off, great show. Thank you for all the helpful advice. Second, great store. Thank you for the great prices and more importantly, service.

OK, here is my situation. We moved into this house approx 10 years ago. The previous owner had a 3 seasons room installed off of our kitchen that looks out over our large backyard. Over the years we have noticed worms on the floor and an odor coming from that room. Usually in early spring.

What I have since found out... The owner allowed the company to install the 3 seasons room on top of an existing wood deck that sits approx 4 inched off the ground. They installed 3mm laminate flooring. So, everytime it rains and water gets under there, so do the worms..and much like the water, worms "wick" up an we find they all over the floor, dried up (which my wife just "loves"). I believe that my odor problem is from the laminate flooring soaking wet, never able to fully dry.....

So, I now need to deal with it. What I was thinking... Tear up the flooring and place concrete board down over the existing wood deck, over that, tile. Will this suffice or cause more problems?

I know the correct procedure would be to pour a concrete slab however, i really don't want to go through all of the pain, aggravation and money for this as it really only gets used 3 seasons...

Let me know your thoughts.
Thanks,
Mike of Mechanicsburg

A:  You have a situation that if continued will eventually rot the deck out underneath the laminate flooring. To avoid a complete tear down you will need to provide an air space between the deck and the floor so that it will not rot. or to reduce the rot cover completely the ground under the deck with plastic sheeting. You can use stone ballast to improve the appearance and hold down the plastic. Just make sure you have some air movement under the deck so that it is not totally enclosed. I am not talking about putting a fan in but vents or leaving it open. You may also have to prevent the wicking of the water up the posts that hold the deck up by installing a separation plate if the posts go directly into the ground verses being in cement. It sounds like you also have a problem with water getting in from the sides especially where the wall meets the floor on the out side. this is a common problem and can be corrected with a good caulking like lexcel or big stretch. another common source of water damage is from the edges of the windows. This will require again caulking on the sides and bottom and flashing at the top of the window. Now one last thing that gets a lot of these summer rooms in trouble is where the roofs meet. At this point there are different expansion and settling rates that cause leaks and can run down and cause trouble depending on how it is constructed. Although you didn't mention this I thought I would bring it up as a precaution. Thanks for listening.
 

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