Q&A / 

Repairing Flood Damaged Floor

flood damaged floor

Here’s a hardwood floor being ripped up as part of the hurricane cleanup in Houston, TX. (C) Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Flood Damaged Floor

Many things that happen in your life each day usually are connected in some fashion. It’s the same with me and today was a very strange day. I’m convinced that you’ll appreciate the story I’m about to tell and no doubt it’s going to benefit you in one way or the other.

My day started before sunrise. I love getting up early and I’ve been devoting about ninety minutes each day revising and updating the thousands of pages of content at my AsktheBuilder.com website.

It’s important to realize I’ve made a conscious effort over the past twenty-five years to create as much evergreen content as possible for you. Many of my past columns are as relevant today as they were the day they were written. An example might be how to install metal flashing around a chimney or how to install a thin concrete overlay. But some columns need to be freshened up.

AsktheBuilder Podcast

CLICK this image and listen to the first call on the podcast. I talked to Jill about how to repair wood kitchen flooring, and possibly installing an inlay border as an option. Copyright 2018 Tim Carter

Each day, I receive through the Ask Tim page at my website questions from readers like you and folks that find me on the Internet. Today I saw a question come in from Roger who lives in Houston, Texas. He was a flooding victim from the horrible Hurricane Harvey that transformed much of his city into a small sea.

When a visitor submits a question to me through my website, they get an automatic response from me letting she / he know that I got the question and how soon I might get back with an answer. I also tell them about an emergency service I offer where I can call you on the phone for a small fee. The calls can happen same day in many cases.

Roger decided to do that. He needed an answer fast. I saw his order come in, I asked him to send photos to me and we jumped on the call. It turns out a few months before the wretched storm he had completely remodeled the house. It was up for sale when the rain fell from the sky. His new hardwood floors were ruined by 10 inches of water.

He and his wife decided they wanted to make the house trouble free for the next owner and wanted to put down a thin concrete overlay. I told Roger I had quite a few columns about the topic and then walked him through his options about the best way to install the 2 inches of concrete he had to put over the existing floor.

We discussed finished flooring and he was unaware of realistic wood-look solid vinyl flooring. When I showed him photos of how it comes in narrow strips like real wood and is waterproof, he was dumbfounded. I thought he had died and gone to Heaven he was so happy!

One thing led to another in the conversation and he discovered I’m about to debut my new podcast. Not too awful long ago, I used to do a two-hour call-in home improvement radio show. It was fun answering live questions and helping homeowners like you each weekend. But podcasts are the new thing and they give listening control to you.

I mentioned to Roger that the next time he needed help and advice, I’d be able to call him and we record the call for the podcast. There would be no cost for this service. He was happy to hear that!

The same is true for you. Each week, I’m going to do a minimum of two calls to a homeowner, or a contractor, builder, remodeler, to try to help solve a problem you might have. My only requirement is that you need to supply at least two high-resolution photos of the problem. Photos allow me to zero in on the best solution to the problem. You can go here to sign up to be on the podcast:

CLICK to go to the AsktheBuilder Podcast Page

At the end of the call, Roger asked me a very unusual question. He was thinking of starting to dive into the remodeling and contracting business and wanted to know what the best resources were where he could bone up on tips and techniques. Roger also expressed that he was terrified of getting taken to the cleaners by contractors and subcontractors that didn’t know how to do jobs the right way.

Oh my, that’s a loaded question if I ever heard one! My advice was somewhat simple. Roger and I both agreed that the Internet right now is like the Wild West of the USA in the late 1800s. In other words, there’s lots of danger out there and vast amounts of misinformation.

The first thing I did was mention to Roger the existence of countless associations in the building products industry. For example, I let him know about the Portland Cement Association, the Brick Industry Association, the California Redwood Association, and several more.

Many of these groups have curated thousands of pages of excellent written white papers filled with professional illustrations or photos about the proper way their products should be installed. I’ve relied on this information for over four decades myself. You simply can’t believe how much great information can be found using these resources.

I then gave him the tip of the day by telling him what to do when he landed on a home improvement website. Instead of looking at the content and photos, I suggested he immediately find the About Us page. Go there and determine who created the content at the website and how many years experience they have working in the homes of paying customers.

It turns out that many websites out there are created by hobby bloggers who’ve never worked a day in a paying customer’s home. You need to be very leery of information you find at websites like that!

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