From a nail polish stain to water damage, there are several ways your vinyl floor can become visibly damaged. Before you decide how to repair it, consider what caused the damage. Depending on the severity, you may need to take extra steps in the repair process.
If the vinyl floor's edges are lifting or the surface shows ring stains, water or moisture probably caused the damage. Although vinyl usually resists water well, continuous exposure to moisture or a water build-up can cause severe damage to your vinyl floor. Find out if the subfloor is damaged by peeling back the edge of the vinyl to see the subfloor underneath. If you find water rings or a moldy surface, you may need to patch your subfloor along with making repairs to the vinyl. A stain with rings on the subfloor shows that the water problem developed over time. Leave the area exposed for a few days to allow air to flow to the subfloor to dry it. During the drying period, check for any leaks or water build-up that may have caused the damage. If the problem seems beyond your repair ability, contact a professional for a recommendation.
Non-eroding liquids, sunspots or punctures may have damaged your vinyl floor. In this case, where only the surface layer of the floor is damaged, you won't need to patch the subfloor underneath.
Fix-it Tip: Make the seam less noticeable by cutting along the pattern lines.
You might need to patch the subfloor if moisture, a hole or other damage weakened an area of the floor. When you take a look at the subfloor in a manufactured home, you will most likely find either particleboard (sometimes called D2) or Orient Strand Board (OSB) beneath the carpet padding or tile. Carpeting and padding that have not been damaged can be pulled back while you repair the area, then glued or tacked over the patched subfloor area. Vinyl tile and linoleum will need to be patched.
Store the plywood in the room where it will be installed for at least 24 hours to allow the wood to settle in the room's temperature. When you're ready to install, remove floor covering and molding from the damaged area. Locate and mark the floor joists on both sides of the area to be patched. Manufactured home joists usually sit 16 inches apart and can be spotted easily by the trail of nails or staples along the joist.
Find the joists that run just outside the damaged area. If you plan to use a handsaw to cut out the area, make a pilot hole at the corner of the patch. This allows the saw blade to slip through the hole for a starting point. If a handheld saw sounds like too much work, you can use a circular saw to cut out the patch. Set the blade at the proper depth, deep enough to cut out the damaged subfloor and shallow enough so you don't reach the joists. Square off the area and remove the damaged floor.
CAUTION! Please take precautions when using electrical and handheld saws. Always use safety equipment and follow instructions provided with the tool.
To support the patch, cut pieces of a 2×4 to fit the patched area like a frame. Match the top edge of the 2x4s with the bottom edge to complete the frame. (See illustration.)
Using an electric drill and three-inch drywall screws, install the cut 2×4 flat against each joist. Drill two screws into each end of the frame boards for support.
Measure the floor area to be patched. Subtract 1/4 inch from both the length and width to allow for expansion after it settles into place. With a power saw or handsaw, cut out the plywood patch.
Lay the patch on the frame and screw the plywood into the frame. Countersink the screws so the heads are set into the floor.
Replace, reinstall the carpeting or patch the floor covering.
The factory assembles your manufactured home layer by layer which makes the floor and subfloor more complex than in a site-built home. You'll find it handy to know what's under your floor when repair time comes.
A welded steel chassis sits at the base of the home. The wooden joists and subfloor structure bolts to the chassis outriggers.
The floor joists are spaced 16 or 24 inches apart and may run lengthwise or crosswise.
On top of the chassis rests a piece of black fiberboard, fiberglass cloth or heavy tarpaper called the underbelly. The underbelly protects the home from moisture, animals and insects, and helps insulate the subfloor.
The heating/cooling ductwork and plumbing lines run between the insulation and the joists. Usually the electrical wiring runs up the walls, but in rare cases the electrical wires may be under the floor.
The subfloor usually consists of 5/8 or 3/4 inch particleboard or OSB panels. Because some particleboard has little resistance to water, wipe up spills quickly and take care of any leaks before the moisture can weaken the subfloor. If you are replacing the subfloor, substitute plywood of equal thickness for the particleboard.
Batten insulation sit between the floor joists.
This plastic sheeting, between the insulation and the subfloor, keeps the moisture in the air away from the insulation.
Cut through the blackboard to expose the joists. Apply glue to a tapered wooden shim. With a hammer, drive the shim between the joist and the floorboard.
When you are finished, apply a belly board patch to the blackboard.
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