Water Damage Under Linoleum Floor: Reasons And Solution

Water Damage Under Linoleum Floor Reasons And Solution

If you see water settling beneath the linoleum floor, there is a point to be concerned about. Water damage under the linoleum floor can result in severe aesthetic and durability problems. But this situation happens in spaces where moisture exposure is excess and linoleum can’t bear it for long. 

When the problem is prevalent, there are solutions to it too. Most people panic when they see moisture droplets beneath linoleum and the discolored and warped flooring. Relax! There are legitimate solutions to this. But to execute them, you will need to examine the reason and understand how you can solve this. 

Don’t worry. I am here to discuss the reasons and solutions to water damage under the linoleum floor to clear out your dilemma and problem. Let’s start then.

4 Reasons For Water Damage Under Linoleum Floor

The damage to the linoleum floor starts as the water settles beneath the linoleum floor. But how does that happen, and why? There are two reasons why water manages to settle beneath the floor and doesn’t even dry, causing severe water damage. 

1. Linoleum is Not Waterproof:

Linoleum is pretty water-resistant, but not waterproof. If water or moisture stays on the linoleum floor for a long time, the water seeps across the seams and goes beneath the floor. If exposed to dampness for a long time, the moisture slowly penetrates the surface and settles under linoleum flooring. 

It is a common issue for the linoleum flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. Excess moisture and water in these areas cause moisture to move and remain under the floor, causing water damage to the flooring.

2. Vapor Shield In Linoleum:

Once vapor or moisture settles under the linoleum floor, it does not dry immediately. No matter how hot it is, the smoke can’t escape or evaporate as linoleum creates a vapor barrier between the floor and the sheet. So it locks the moisture beneath the surface, which causes the vapor to stay there for a long time. 

As the moisture remains under the linoleum floor, the vapor starts causing water damage to the floor. It becomes difficult to remove moisture from beneath, resulting in a distorted linoleum floor. 

3. Leaked Water Pipe:

In areas like bathrooms and the basement, the problem of the leaky water pipes is widespread. When water leaks from the tube, they slowly settle under the linoleum flooring. You won’t be able to notice the leak as it happens internally. As this happens, water slowly warps the flooring. 

Keep checking for water leaks to avoid these issues. 

4. Poor Ventilation:

Poor ventilation is a significant cause of water damage beneath linoleum flooring. When the area is not ventilated, moisture accumulates on the linoleum, slowly seeps underneath the surface, and settles there. As moisture can’t escape due to poor ventilation, this issue happens. 

Ensure the area is ventilated so that minor spills and moisture can’t settle under the linoleum. 

4 Effects Of Water Damage Under Linoleum Floor

Unfortunately, water settling beneath the linoleum floor can cause severe damage to the flooring. If the action is not taken immediately, the effects can be tough and huge losses. To remain alert in the heavily moisture-exposed areas, you need to address the impact. 

Here are four effects of water damage under linoleum floor: 

1. Distortion:

As water seeps down the linoleum flooring, it slowly loosens the adhesive beneath the floor. Therefore, the linoleum would come off the subfloor. Additionally, it would absorb moisture and water. The shape would distort and collapse as it shrank afterward.

You must replace warped and distorted linoleum, and you can’t repair them. It is better to wipe away moisture from the floor beforehand. 

2. Discoloration:

Another significant effect of water damage is the discoloration of the linoleum flooring. Linoleum flooring has a beautiful appearance which would naturally diminish if the linoleum absorbs water. Due to water absorption, just like ink spreads out on wet paper, the color on the floor would spread too and ultimately fade away. 

Extended exposure to water or moisture would cause this, and replacement would be the only option. 

3. Mold Growth:

Not many people can address this issue as this happens beneath the floor and is not visible. But a natural side effect of water settling beneath the floor is mold growth. As moisture is perfect for mold breeding, mold would eventually grow beneath the surface and make the flooring extremely unhygienic. 

Mold can cause diseases and infections. You should clear out the moisture on time to prevent mold growth. 

4. Damaged Subfloor:

The moisture locked under the linoleum floor is in contact with the subfloor. This means it affects the subfloor simultaneously. A plywood subfloor or other water-sensitive subfloors would warp and loosen over time if exposed to moisture for too long. This ultimately means that the entire base of the flooring gets damaged. 

A damaged subfloor is very risky as the floor may crack or break. Treating it always is essential. All the effects are harmful and somewhat dangerous. So you should address the issue if you see the slightest sign of water under linoleum flooring. 

5 Solutions To Repair Water Damage Under Linoleum Tile Floor

You need to repair it when you notice water damage on and under the linoleum tile floor. It is pretty hard when the damage becomes severe. There is always a way out, no matter how hard it is! I will share three solutions to repair water damage under the linoleum tile floor.

1. Wipe the Moisture:

If you see moisture droplets on the surface which is about to seep down, wipe away the spills and moisture immediately. Even if it has just started penetrating the floor, dab a towel on the floor and let the humidity get soaked by the towel. Look across the seams and wipe that thoroughly as water seeps from there. 

2. Dry Beneath The Floor:

If the water settles under the floor, you need to clean the moisture. With a utility knife, loosen the linoleum tiles. Slowly remove all the linoleum tiles where the humidity has been locked. Next, with a towel, soak the moisture from the subfloor and wait for the wetness to dry. Lastly, you need to use a suitable adhesive to adhere the linoleum tiles to the subfloor. 

3. Replace The Floor:

If you see the floor distorted and discolored, there is no other way than to replace the floor. Buy linoleum tiles of your choice, gently scrape off the tiles from the subfloor, and clean the subfloor. Dab the floor with a towel to soak the moisture. Clean the subfloor thoroughly and make it plain. As the subfloor is repaired, replace the floor with new linoleum tiles. 

4. Change The Damaged Tile

You may see only one part of the floor damaged. When this happens, you should pry up the specific section of the floor that is damaged. Remove the tile that has been destroyed and replace it with new tiles. Remember to soak the moisture beneath before returning. This way, you can keep the remaining flooring intact. 

5. Consult An Expert:

When in doubt, you should consult an expert. There are many conditions when you may not understand the exact fault. Like if there is an internal leak or damage, you may not identify the site. In that case, it is best to consult a plumber or a flooring expert. 

These are the possible solutions to clear out the water damage under the linoleum flooring. 

5 Tips To Keep The Linoleum Floor Secure

Precaution is better than cure, right? So you should be cautious all the time to keep the linoleum floor secure from water damage. A few steps and precautions can save your flooring from damage.

Follow these tips to keep the floor secure and tiptop:

Tip 1: Keep The Floor Dry

Be it the bathroom or kitchen, or any other space, you should keep the area dry. Wipe away the spills immediately as you notice them. Besides, after using the moisture-exposed areas like the bathroom or kitchen, wipe the floor thoroughly and keep the floor dry. This process would reduce the risk of moisture seeping into the linoleum floor. 

Tip 2: Ventilate The Area

It is impossible to check the moisture level on the floor continuously. So keep the area well-ventilated so that the minor moisture gets evaporated. You can also use a table or ceiling fan or exhaust fan in the space so that airflow removes the excess dampness. 

Tip 3: Apply Sealant

Sealing the linoleum floor is a necessary precaution to prevent water damage to the linoleum flooring. Sealing the base means a protective layer on the floor prevents water from seeping into the linoleum. Sealing the bathroom and kitchen floor is very important to avoid water damage. 

Tip 4: Waterproof Subfloor

A waterproof subfloor can at least reduce the risk of severe damage. When the subfloor is waterproof, it won’t get damaged by the moisture locked under the linoleum. Using a waterproof subfloor like concrete would be beneficial. 

Tip 5: Strong Adhesive

Use an adhesive that is firm and long-lasting. When the glue is of good quality, water won’t be able to warp or destroy the linoleum easily. Minor water spills won’t affect the floor. So use the adhesive that suits the best to the subfloor and linoleum. Also, reapply the sealant once if you see any minor damage. 

I believe these tips will help you!

Related Questions:

Does Water Ruin Your Linoleum Flooring?

As linoleum is water-resistant but not waterproof, long exposure to moisture and water can damage linoleum flooring. It absorbs water slowly, which distorts the shape and fades away the color of the linoleum flooring. Therefore, long exposure to water would ruin linoleum flooring. 

Is It Normal To Get Water Damage On the Linoleum Floor?

Yes, it is common to get water damage on the linoleum floor if you expose it to moisture conditions for a long time. The water damages are unavoidable if you take care of them. 

You should check for leaks and keep the linoleum dry to avoid water damage. But if you don’t maintain the linoleum flooring, it is normal to get water damage.

How Do You Fix Water Under Linoleum Flooring?

To fix water damage under the linoleum flooring, you have to take off the flooring first. Use a utility knife to detach the linoleum tile gently. Next, take a towel to wipe the subfloor saturated with water. Once the subfloor dries, sand and clean it to restore a plain surface. Lastly, apply an adhesive and reinstall the linoleum tiles. 

How Long Does It Take To Fix The Damaged Linoleum Floor?

It may take around 1 or 2 days to fix the damaged linoleum floor. It depends on the severity of the condition. 

If you need to clean beneath the linoleum, you will need to wait for a day to let the subfloor dry completely. The next day, you can sand and clean the subfloor and reinstall the linoleum. If you need to replace the floor, you may need around 3 to 4 days to fix the damaged linoleum. 

What Happens If Water Gets Under Linoleum Flooring?

As the water gets under the linoleum flooring, it is absorbed by the linoleum. This absorption results in damage to the linoleum flooring. 

Linoleum distortion is what happens initially. Then the color and shine of the linoleum fade away slowly destroying the condition of the flooring. Water under the linoleum also encourages mold growth. 

What Do You Do If You Get Water Under Linoleum Flooring?

If water gets under the linoleum flooring, you would either repair or replace the flooring. Immediate action is required to avoid severe damage. 

For repairs, you need to remove the floor, remove the moisture, clean the subfloor thoroughly and reinstall the linoleum. If the linoleum floor is destroyed, you would like to replace the floor with new linoleum tiles. 

Can You Fix Water Damaged Linoleum Flooring?

It is not possible to restore the condition of a water-damaged linoleum flooring if it has been already discolored and distorted. In that case, you would need to replace the entire flooring with a new set of linoleum tiles. If you see only a few damaged tiles, you can simply replace them. 

Can Water Seep Through The Linoleum Floor?

Across the seams of the linoleum flooring, water can seep through the floor. Also, when exposed to water for a long time, the linoleum floor absorbs water and swells eventually. As it is not waterproof, water ultimately seeps through the linoleum flooring.

Final Verdict:

Please consider water damage under the linoleum floor a severe issue. As you have read, it damages the floor and the subfloor. The entire flooring becomes fragile due to hazardous water damage. And when you can prevent it with a few precautions, why not do that? 

Keep the linoleum floor dry and sealed permanently to improve its longevity and maintain its beauty. If the water damage has already occurred and the damage is severe, speak with professionals so that they can fix it.

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Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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