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Swelling around the toilet


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While corrective action for an uneven floor with elevated moisture, loose toilet and leakage is a no brainer, what corrective action would one suggest for uneven floor, elevated moisture but new vinyl, firm toilet attachment and no signs of leakage i.e. they recently replaced the floor covering and wax ring but not the moisture deteriorated underlayment?

And what about the same senario except with no elevated moisture just dry swollen underlayment?

Thanks, Chris

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Hi,

They've only got two choices:

1. Live with it

of

2. Remove the toilet, strip off the vinyl, replace the deteriorated underlayment or flooring and then replace the vinyl and toilet.

If the deck is OSB and is just swollen but not rotten, they can save a little time by grinding down the high spots versus cutting out the flooring, but there's no easy way to make anyone happy in this scenario unless they're willing to live with it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

While corrective action for an uneven floor with elevated moisture, loose toilet and leakage is a no brainer, what corrective action would one suggest for uneven floor, elevated moisture but new vinyl, firm toilet attachment and no signs of leakage i.e. they recently replaced the floor covering and wax ring but not the moisture deteriorated underlayment?

And what about the same senario except with no elevated moisture just dry swollen underlayment?

Thanks, Chris

If the underlayment is damaged, I'd recommend replacing it. I can't imagine another recommendation.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks

The way I see it is that the underlayment in this case is part of the floor covering assembly and not the structual floor assembly. Therefore it is a facing just like drywall is a facing. If the drywall was moisture damaged but the source was corrected could one justify the need for corrective action as a required repair? I mean it appears at that point to be a cosmetic condition and not a clear and present threat to habitability.

If I recommend repair and the buyer punts that to the seller I have had sellers reply that it will just dry out and they will not fix it because its cosmetic.

However I agree with Jim and the point that need of repair should be indicated. For example something along the lines of "recommend restoring floor to a dry condition and replacement of any moisture damaged material"

What do you think?

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What Mike said.

What Jim said.

Someone just covered up the mess w/new vinyl. No way to know what's going on without tearing it out, but having done dozens or hundreds of "rehab" baths back in my HUD days, it's reasonably safe to tell folks it's a mess that should be torn out & replaced.

Very basic rehab carpentry stuff.

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Thanks

The way I see it is that the underlayment in this case is part of the floor covering assembly and not the structual floor assembly.

Yes, but it's a damaged part of the floor covering. It's a part of the house that's damaged.

Therefore it is a facing just like drywall is a facing. If the drywall was moisture damaged but the source was corrected could one justify the need for corrective action as a required repair?

Well, first of all, what’s with the word “requiredâ€

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I always note that raw sewage from the current homeowner and his/her family has leaked from the toilet and damaged the sub-floor. I further note that replacing the sewage soaked subfloor would probably be a good idea.

The fact that the vinyl has been replaced and the toilet seems secure does not mean that the toilet doesn't leak; it may indicate that whomever installed the floor caulked the toilet and created a nice water tight seal at the china base. A good test to prove or disprove this hypothesis would be to do nothing and see how long it takes for the toilet and the future rider to plunge to the basement.

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Chris, that ain't no pummeling. Just gentle advice. Come back around & you'll see all sorts of poundings, usually on the most obscure items.

As far as theories, what's wrong w/the theory that one should observe defects, analyze what's wrong, & then direct the customer to appropriate action? Observe, Analyze, Direct.

Direction can be as simple as "Fix it", or if you're comfortable providing more advice, tell them how to fix it in detail, as in.....

"The subfloor around the toilet is damaged from leaks. It could still be leaking. Since it's a toilet, the leaks contain raw sewage. Covering up this sort of defect w/new materials is poor practice, as the largest amount of work to be done is removing the toilet & flooring, which they alread did to get it to this point. Folks that wouldn't repair a simple subfloor defect when they've alread completed accomplished approx. 85% of the necessary work might not have fixed the leak. There's no way to tell without removing the toilet & checking the work.

The toilet & flooring should be removed, the subfloor repaired as necessary, & then toilet remounted on a new wax ring & new underlayment & flooring installed."

Or, something like that.

We already have a country full of inspectors trying as hard as they can to dodge responsibilities in reporting items. Be unique. Do it the way Katen said. He's real smart & knows about this stuff.

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Hi Chris,

First, anybody that has "promulgate" in their vocabulary is likely to be an asset to the forum...so stick around.

Second, none of us should be too thin skinned when asking for advice. I used to find Katen caustic and he cut me to the quick on more than a couple of occassions. Now I just find him abrasive. The fact is, I think I find him abrasive because he has a broad depth of knowledge and when he yaks at me I must put my tender ego aside (I'm sensitive, I admit it) and try and digest his point of view.

Each of us has something unique to offer from technical knowledge to business savvy to keen communication skills.

Six or ten of the folks who are regulars here represent the best of the best in the profession and I plan to beg, borrow and assimilate everything they know and ultimately write a report that's of huge benefit to my client(huge benefit=expensive to the point of them grunting but still writing the check) and one that I'm proud to have written. I also must admit I'd like to be known as The Home Inspector God . It's a goal, everyone has dreams.

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Lets play devils advocate.[:-dev3]

The wax ring was replaced and so was the floor covering, however they were both repaired without addressing the wet and swollen sub-floor.

Now the sub floor dries out, the toilet settles, becomes loose and starts to leak at the wax ring again.

The only way to correct this issue is to replace the damaged underlayment or, if it is OSB, you might be able to sand it down but only if the damage is minor.

Tell your clients that the floor should be addressed.

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I'm pretty late on this one, but if the commode's still loose, the sub-floor may be damaged to the point that the flange screws have nothing to bite into. New wax ring or not, the commode's still gonna leak and exacerbate the damage to the sub-floor.

Fascinating, too, is how there's always a learning curve, but we invariably wind up with similar methods of doing and/or saying things. I tended more toward euphemisms when I first started checking out houses, but quickly learned that saying something like, "I wasn't able to determine the source of leakage beneath the hallway bathroom because I didn't want to expose myself to raw sewage," reeaaally got the message across to buyers, sellers, or whomever. It certainly drives the point home much better than calling it "waste water," or something similarly dopey.

Finally to Chris--the folks on this board are opinionated and oftentimes abrupt because they're bright and experienced, and aren't ambivalent about the things they believe to be true. But it isn't personal, and you'll actually begin to appreciate being challenged and being made to rethink your approaches to the ways you do certain things. I was quasi-blasted by Jim and Kurt a week or so ago for my opinions about reporting language, but then two days later, they both wrote very kind posts regarding some soffits I've been repairing. Stay on course, and this board will become a tremendous asset for you.

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Well Jim I guess I am odd man out on the recommendation thing. Don’t get me wrong I of course make recommendations and give advice even while the realtor standing nearby is winching, squirming and about to have a coronary cause I am threatening his or her deal. I did it today even right after the realtor got done telling the new guy with him how great I was even though I killed his last deal and he hoped that I would not do it again on this one. Well I did it anyway. The house had a broken foundation that had settled more than 2â€

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After considering further about what Jim said about witnessing the unanimous consensus of Oregon’s HIAC committee decision to recommend that Oregon’s home inspection standard be changed to require that the inspector provide recommendations for corrective action I have come to the realization that I have probably misinterpreted their intent. It’s that my reaction to what the HIAC committee did was ironically due to my belief that they were bending over in support of the realtors not the client. The realtors are always after the recommendation, the required items, and comprehensive direction for the seller to make their deals work. What I thought, because of the wording particularly the use of the word “Recommendâ€

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