LVP-Luxury Vinyl Plank Concerns

LVP-Luxury Vinyl Plank Concerns

This article addresses important concerns with luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring and the potential issues associated with water damage and damaged subfloors.

"Despite its waterproof properties, luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring can still be susceptible to damage when exposed to excess moisture or water infiltration. While LVP is designed to resist water, any moisture that becomes trapped beneath the flooring may lead to deterioration and softening of the vinyl planks. Consequently, it's crucial not to overlook water under the flooring simply because it's marketed as waterproof. If left unaddressed, water damage can compromise the integrity of the flooring and necessitate replacement.

Knowing when to replace a damaged subfloor is essential for maintaining the structural integrity of your flooring system. Several signs indicate that a subfloor may need replacement, including the presence of squeaks or other noises, cupping or warping of the floor surface, cracked or popped tiles, noticeable sagging or unevenness, the emergence of a moldy or mildewy odor, or bubbling of the tiles. Recognizing these signs early on and taking prompt action can help prevent further damage and ensure the longevity of your flooring system."

Manufacture warranty: Advantech is covered for 500 days against moisture after purchase".
Warranty exclusions: "This warranty does not cover moisture absorption... nor mold and mildew".

Here are some tips to look for water damage on vinyl plank flooring:

  • Buckling or Warping: Inspect the vinyl plank flooring for any signs of buckling or warping. Water damage can cause the planks to swell and lift from the subfloor, creating uneven surfaces.
  • Discoloration: Look for any areas of discoloration on the surface of the vinyl planks. Water damage may cause the color to change or fade, indicating moisture penetration.
  • Soft Spots: Press down on the vinyl planks with your fingers and pay attention to any areas that feel soft or spongy. This could be a sign of water damage weakening the material.
  • Peeling Edges: Check the edges of the vinyl planks for any signs of peeling or separation from the adjacent planks. Water damage can cause the adhesive bond to weaken, leading to separation.
  • Mold or Mildew Growth: Inspect the surface and edges of the vinyl planks for any signs of mold or mildew growth. These are common indicators of prolonged exposure to moisture.
  • Musty Odor: Pay attention to any musty or unpleasant odors emanating from the vinyl plank flooring. This could be a sign of mold or mildew growth due to water damage.
  • Visible Water Stains: Look for any visible water stains or watermarks on the surface of the vinyl planks. These can indicate areas where water has penetrated the flooring material.
  • Cupping: Examine the edges of the vinyl planks for any signs of cupping, where the edges of the planks are higher than the center. This can occur when water absorption causes the edges to swell.
  • Expansion Gaps: Check for any widening of expansion gaps between the vinyl planks. Water damage can cause the planks to expand, leading to gaps between them.
  • Subfloor Damage: Inspect the subfloor beneath the vinyl plank flooring for any signs of water damage, such as discoloration, soft spots, or mold growth. Subfloor damage can indicate that water has penetrated through the vinyl planks.

By regularly inspecting your vinyl plank flooring for these signs of water damage, you can catch any issues early and take appropriate action to prevent further damage. If you notice any of these signs, it's essential to address the water damage promptly to avoid costly repairs and ensure the longevity of your flooring.

Contributors for this article:

Valerie Hawkins Geoff Gaberino
Property Owners & Managers
Perdido Realty Vacations Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals, Inc

Written by: Sean Kemper, Educator, Trainer & Innovator for ETI Solutions

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