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At wit's end with this floor

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  • At wit's end with this floor

    Hi,
    I manage apartments in 2 story buildings. One second floor apartment has squeaky flooring. I removed the carpeting and padding and found that the plaster (or whatever it is) is all crumbly and cracked. It seems like the squeak is coming from the wood beams beneath the plaster floor, but as you can tell, I don't know much if anything about floors.

    Should we remove the plaster flooring to expose the beams beneath? Or is there a better (and hopefully easier) solution?

    Thanks in advance.
    Pat
    If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

  • #2
    Re: At wit's end with this floor

    Need pics of whatever this "plaster" would be?

    Call a good, recommended, carpenter from your area. Probably can isolate it and take care of it with a few screws in under an hour.

    And if it's something else, he/she can give you the right options to get the property making money again.

    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: At wit's end with this floor

      My guess is it floor leving compound,

      more than likely if it is crumbing it needs to be removed,

      but pictures would be helpful,

      and then one could give better advice.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: At wit's end with this floor

        I've tried to upload 4 pictures. I never did it before and don't know if I was successful.
        Here goes nuthin'
        Attached Files
        If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: At wit's end with this floor

          Originally posted by BHD View Post
          My guess is it floor leving compound,

          more than likely if it is crumbing it needs to be removed,

          but pictures would be helpful,

          and then one could give better advice.
          Sounds right to this novice, BHD. I hope you guys can see the pics. They came out as links. And, they're that ugly amber color. I took them at night a few minutes ago.

          After talking with the owners, we're thinking maybe remove the compound, like you said, then maybe install.....???? Plywood? I hope not. New leveling compound?? But, could I possibly nail or screw something into the subfloor to tighten the joist or something like that?

          Thanks for your replies.
          If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: At wit's end with this floor

            well some thing is moving a some, as the (what ever it is is cracked and disintegrating),

            I would clean what ever it is up, and then see what the sub floor is, and then depending on what the sub floor is plywood or wafer or solid lumber, , and screw it down to the joist,


            If it is a considerable difference in height, (it looks like that one chunk is over 1/2 thick unless that is carpet padding,) I would fill it back in with a plywood or wafer board screwing it down to the joist,

            I first clean it up and see what is going on, then determine how to level it, or fill it in if needed.
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: At wit's end with this floor

              I agree, looks like floor leveling compound and due to the fact the sub floor is not tight the movement cracked it. I would clean it up see what the sub floor is. If it is tongue and groove plywood you should be able to screw it to the joist then take care of the floor.
              Charles

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: At wit's end with this floor

                Before you do too much, what kind of heat is in the apt.? The "plaster" looks to uniform to be floor leveling compound. Also, it looks like a 2x4 across the doorway--is it?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: At wit's end with this floor

                  Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
                  Before you do too much, what kind of heat is in the apt.? The "plaster" looks to uniform to be floor leveling compound. Also, it looks like a 2x4 across the doorway--is it?
                  Yes, that's a 2x4 across the doorway. And, it doesn't squeak.
                  The kind of heat? Well, the a/c unit has a heat pump and it's central air.
                  If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: At wit's end with this floor

                    good point there, did not think of that possibility,

                    If it is a in floor heat, that could make it fun, in a light weight concrete or self leveling product.
                    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                    attributed to Samuel Johnson
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: At wit's end with this floor

                      The 2x4 makes me think it is, as BHD says, a lite weight concrete or self leveling product--probably the thickness of the 2x4. If it is, it might contain tubing or electric heat. I would find that out before I did anything. If it does, better get a pro in there. if not, I would still recommend a pro. :-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: At wit's end with this floor

                        We're in Palm Desert. There have been big earthquakes since the building was constructed. I remember an 8.5 in the late 80's. Who knows what damage it caused to these buildings. Also, before I became manager, the drain pipes for the inside a/c units got clogged over the years and the condensation spilled out onto the carpets. I regularly blow out the pipes now and don't have this problem. However, that water could have contributed to damaging the floor leveling compound. ???

                        Anyway, today we're going to remove some of the floor leveling compound to see the subfloor. I hope I'll be able to drive some deck screws or concrete screws (depending on the subfloor material) into the studs beneath it.

                        Any other ideas you might have are very much appreciated.

                        I'm sending you a cyber pumpkin pie!!
                        If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: At wit's end with this floor

                          My carpet man just called me and had me talk to a carpet padding specialist. He told me that the material that's crumbling is lastoseal (sic). He told me to remove the lastoseal and install plywood of 3/4 or 1 inch.

                          Any thoughts from this info?

                          Thanks
                          If it ain't broke, I haven't seen it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: At wit's end with this floor

                            Originally posted by OnTheJob View Post
                            My carpet man just called me and had me talk to a carpet padding specialist. He told me that the material that's crumbling is lastoseal (sic). He told me to remove the lastoseal and install plywood of 3/4 or 1 inch.

                            Any thoughts from this info?

                            Thanks
                            I have no knowledge of the product,
                            but I think he is guiding you in the correct direction,
                            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                            attributed to Samuel Johnson
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: At wit's end with this floor

                              Looks like a gyp-crete floor that has gone to pot.
                              I found this...(http://www.naylornetwork.com/fap-nwl...00&projid=1323)

                              2) The Cost- Gypcrete floors have great benefits to reducing costs during the construction phase, however host a multitude of problems later on in the life of the building. If your building was built using lightweight gypcrete on the second and third floors, then you will run into a few problems when trying to upgrade to ceramic tile. Firstly- re-pouring gypcrete can be very costly from a labor standpoint. Secondly- after time, gypcrete will start to crumble turning into a very fine dust-like particulate. Before you upgrade to ceramic tile, you will want to remove the existing flooring, whether that be vinyl or VCT, and during this process the gypcrete will start to crumble, and also come up in large chunks. This is where it is very important to follow the fire code. FIRE CODE says you MUST replace it using at equal or better material within the guidelines of the code. The material that you use must have a minimum of a 1-hour fire barrier, so you have a few options. Obviously your first option is to hire a subfloor expert to come and re-pour gypcrete in the damaged areas. This option tends to be very costly and time consuming. In addition we have found that in most cases even when gypcrete is re-poured correctly, and ceramic tile is installed directly over the new gypcrete, it does not take long for the gypcrete substrate to start to deteriorate. We have seen ceramic tiles start cracking and have a very hollow sound as quickly as 6 months after being installed. This result is from the gypcrete being compacted, or impacted by a hard floor such as ceramic and tends to break down into a dust underneath the tile which results in a hollow sound that will eventually lead to cracking tiles.
                              3) The Alternatives- Your second option is to use a cement board, commonly called backerboard or Hardi-board. This ¼" cement board is constructed of a cementious core sandwiched between two layers of fiber mesh. By using this type of product you can minimize your cost, eliminate unexpected delays and speed up the turnaround time needed to finish the upgrade. Once you have removed the existing vinyl or VCT, and the original gypcrete has either come lose or deteriorated, you can fill in the damaged areas with self leveling patch or mud, and then install your ¼" cement board. The labor associated with screwing down the cement board is far less than that of a certified technician for gypcrete and the cement board also complies with the 1-2 hour fire barrier required by law.

                              Good luck!

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