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large bubbles/ripples growing in new floor



"large bubbles/ripples growing in new floor," in the Vinyl Flooring Q&A forum, begins: "I had a vinyl floor laid in my kitchen in May this year, roughly 3 weeks later a large bubble ..."

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Old August 9, 2011, 03:48 AM   #1
Nina
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large bubbles/ripples growing in new floor


I had a vinyl floor laid in my kitchen in May this year, roughly 3 weeks later a large bubble started to form in the middle of the floor, over the next few weeks it grew and more formed, the floor was so bad the children tripped over the ripples that had formed. most were concentrated in the middle of the floor but there were also ripples/ridges at the door to the hallway and around the cabinets near the sink, some of the ridges were over an inch high. The fitting company sent the fitter back out who said he'd never seen it happen before and asked if i'd had a leak since the new install because water can cause bubbles. I hadn't. The bubbles/ripples started forming in the middle of the floor near the table, away from any water sources and a good 8 feet away from the area of the previous leak before christmas.
I have lived in this house for 30 years and my there was always vinyl or lino on the floors. They are concrete floors and all previous lino, including the may install and the latest install have been laid without adhesive.
We did have a big leak at before christmas which was the reason for the new flooring in may but the concrete floor at the sink area where the leak happened was dry, it smelled of damp but it was dry. My husband and I made sure it was dry before the new vinyl went down.
The vinyl company rep came to inspect the floor and agreed it needed to be replaced...
It was replaced 4 weeks ago with the same brand, same make (different colour) vinyl and the ridges are starting to form again, starting at the hallway door this time and there are some more in the middle of the floor. The areas the ridges are forming are high traffic area's, we have 4 kids who are forever running through the kitchen to the back yard and the ridges/ripples/bubbles are forming in these places.
Ive called the company and they are sending someone out to inspect the floor. I cannot understand why this is happening(again) as we have always had vinyl/lino on the floor and never had this kind of problem. We have not changed anything in the house either, ie radiators, heating system etc.

If anyone has any idea or suggestions Id be very grateful. Sorry for the long post, I wanted to give as much information as possible.

Regards.

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Old August 9, 2011, 05:39 AM   #2
RFI
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Nina,

My best guess would be you still have a moisture problem. We need more information though to be accurate.

What brand of vinyl? Did the flooring company do a moisture test? Might be a good idea to bring in a second professional to take a look to protect yourself.

Some of the other members here will have questions and ideas to help!



Rob

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Old August 9, 2011, 06:25 AM   #3
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It's almost a sure thing that moisture is your issue.

Whatever leak happened before Christmas that caused you to replace the flooring in May and then again 4 weeks ago probably soaked the earth under your concrete slab and that slab is virtually saturated with moisture. Think of a sponge that you dunked in water then wrapped up with plastic. How long would that take to dry?

"it smelled of damp but it was dry."

That's not really a good sign. You can't see the moisture under or within the concrete slab but you did smell something. There are some very crude ways to evaluate a slab for moisture. The popular method for quite a few years was to tape down a sheet of rubber mat or plastic about 2'x2' for a few days. When you peel the mat back if you see the concrete darker than the surround area that shows some evidence of moisture. Notice that the slab that's not covered will almost never show VISIBLE evidence of that moisture condition. That's because the moisture is dissipating immediately into the air.

Another crude test I do that can expose the same issue in a much shorter time is to take my propane torch to the slab. I can show a customer or a general contractor how the heat brings up that moisture--------moisture I can both SEE AND SMELL but as they are want to avoid delays or added costs to the project they are prone to deny.

But the REAL tests for moisture are done with precise meters and modern testing technology. Those measures will give you specific numbers that can help you choose what kind of flooring will and will not work. It also can help you decide if you need to spend some money on the various methods of moisture remediation--------or choose a different type of flooring.

Good luck.

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Old August 9, 2011, 08:53 AM   #4
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Knowing where you are located may help us as well since there are different methods of installations in various areas of the world. It sounds like you may be in Europe somewhere.

The type of flooring would also help as there are some that are far less forgiving if the installations are not precise.

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Old August 9, 2011, 09:05 AM   #5
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For how long has the floor been uncovered? If you've removed all the lino from the floor at chrismas the floor should have been dry by now. If you put something like a coach on it it will stay wet too.

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Old August 9, 2011, 10:28 AM   #6
Nina
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Hello again, thanks for your replies!.

I'm in Dublin, Ireland.

The bubbles are starting a good 8 feet from where the original leak was, so i'm having a hard time figuring out how the area where the leak was is unaffected as was the previous new vinyl.

The areas that are "growing" are the high traffic areas.. there are 3 there now and i can almost bet that they will procreate over the next few weeks until they are tripping everyone up.

When the last new vinyl was taken up ( by company we bought the floor from) the vinyl was dry where the leak had been and also where the major ridges were was dry also.

Its a regular pvc based vinyl. I know this is gonna sound very odd but I don't remember the exact specs... I loved the floor when i first seen it and picked it out.. then the replacement was identical. I had ordered and paid for the flooring in January and im afraid my memory is not that great lately.

Ive just been corrected by my husband... the leak was actually last summer.. so over a year ago.

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Old August 9, 2011, 10:31 AM   #7
Nina
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the company did not do a moisture test.

The brand of vinyl was majestic, northern ireland based brand AFAIK.

We also removed the WHOLE kitchen prior to both installs.. everything, even the sink. the room was totally empty both times.

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Old August 9, 2011, 10:37 AM   #8
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If you remember, how much adhesive was on the concrete and on the vinyl. Do you have pictures of the slab and back of the vinyl.

To me this is not sounding like a moisture issue. Really need to see the backing where the wrinkles and bubbles are. Slab too.

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Old August 9, 2011, 10:41 AM   #9
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I have to agree w/ Tandy. It doesn't sound like moisture to me. It sounds more like a fiberglass product improperly installed, but pics would help immensely.

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Old August 9, 2011, 12:13 PM   #10
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Tandy Reeves said View Post
If you remember, how much adhesive was on the concrete and on the vinyl. Do you have pictures of the slab and back of the vinyl.

To me this is not sounding like a moisture issue. Really need to see the backing where the wrinkles and bubbles are. Slab too.
****************************** *****
She said none of the resilient floors that have ever been installed including the most recent installations have ever been adhered. That does kind of point to something other than moisture. I kind of forgot about the loose lay aspect. If that's wrinkling and bubbling it's maybe being pinched somewhere that it's supposed to be free of for expansion.

Kind of hard to understand why the installers and shop would miss that though when they came out to look at it. If it were a severe moisture when they peeled it back to see they'd know right away.

We can't see what's underneath from here. I think now that I ran off on the wrong track assuming so quickly it was moisture.

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Old August 9, 2011, 12:15 PM   #11
RFI
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It might not be a moisture issue! It would be great to see some pictures if possible.



Rob

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Old August 9, 2011, 01:00 PM   #12
Nina
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Ill get pics of the back of the vinyl once the kiddies are in bed.
floor2.jpg there is a few bubbles starting at the door way into the hall.
new-floor1.jpg you can see the new bubbles forming in the centre of the room..
old-floor.jpg this is how the old floor looked a few weeks before the new install, it got worse as time went on.

When the floor was taken up the vinyl under the ridges was completely dry.. no dark ( mildewey) marks or or any wet spots. It was obviously slightly dirty from being on a concrete floor but not wet. Even the installers said it was not wet.

Last edited by Nina; August 9, 2011 at 01:11 PM. Reason: edited to add explinations
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Old August 9, 2011, 01:08 PM   #13
Nina
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unfortunately I won't be able to post pics of the back of the vinyl where the bubbles are forming as its in the centre of the room and would require a fair amount of work to empty the end of the kitchen ( for a 3rd time lol) but I can take up the edge at the corner and take a pic of the back of the vinyl there and also the concrete so as to give an idea of what the vinyl is and what the concrete is like.....

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Old August 9, 2011, 01:12 PM   #14
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Good job with the pictures. Looks like the wrinkles are both in the length and width. Very good clues. I think we will have the answer after seeing the backing and slab.

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Old August 9, 2011, 01:19 PM   #15
RFI
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Nina,

Are you rolling anything heavy across that floor? I went back and reread your first post and you stated that there are bubbles around the table? Chairs with wheels?

That last picture reminds me of carpet bubbles caused by chairs with wheels.



Rob


Last edited by RFI; August 9, 2011 at 01:26 PM.
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