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Wood Basement Floors: Why they Stink

Wood Floors

Moisture Damaged Wood Flooring

Far too often, Total Basement Finishing is called to refinish a basement that was originally finished with wood sub floors. We see what was once a beautiful finished basement floor- with top-quality wood and thick, comfortable plush carpet installed on the ground.

Alternatively, beautiful wooden basement floors are installed directly on the floor with no carpeting, creating what looks (at first) like a beautiful basement finishing solution. And it IS beautiful! However, consider what happens next:

  • Moisture and water vapor makes its way through the basement floor and is released underneath the wood flooring and sub flooring. Alternatively, a basement flood or a plumbing leak collects water in the wooden flooring.
  • The wood floors become increasingly saturated with the water, causing them to swell and buckle as they expand.
  • Mold, rot, and mildew begin to grow underneath the flooring, spreading upwards and slowly destroying the floors.
  • Humidity enters into the basement along with mold spores and dust mite waste, collecting on other objects in the basement and encouraging mold and damage.
  • Unhealthy allergens and foul odors build in the basement, making the area uncomfortable and unhealthy to live in.
  • As the air in the basement warms, it rises up into the upper levels, bringing with it allergens such as mold spores and dust mite feces as well as the musty smell of an unhealthy basement.
  • The finished basement is ruined. The wood will need to be torn up and removed at great expense. The homeowner will need to decide if they want to refinish the basement.

Mold can begin to grow in just 48 hours in a moist, warm environment with organic material, and there's no easy way to dry wood flooring out. Installing wood floor- even with a plastic barrier underneath- is a serious risk at best.

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