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I'm having a house built, and I'm curious to know if excessive rain can damage the framing. All framing was just completed, and we're just a few work days from having a roof. With one hurricane passing and another one on the way, we're catching a good deal of rain in the south eastern US. Could this damage the wood?
Your framing is probably okay, but your subfloors are probably toast. Wet subfloors are one of the big precursors to squicky floors. Contractor should have covered subfloors when rain was imminate. Give the contractor a stop work order until he provides a solution to the soaked subflooring, like replacing it.
Posts: 32 | Location: West Virginia | Registered: 08 February 2005
The rain can only damage the framing and the sub-flooring if it is not allowed to dry, before closing everything up. Just take a look at the framing and sub-flooring before the finishes are applied, make sure you look at it with your contractor. I always do this with my customers if they have a question about something.
Posts: 3 | Location: MA | Registered: 26 July 2005
We had to replace the flooring on our first floor and have lived with squeaks on the 2nd floor despite screwing in the boards about every few inches. Based on my negative experience with delays in roofing, I would have the contractor replace the soggy floorboards. They will crack and split and cause grief the whole time you own the house.
Posts: 1 | Location: Connecticut | Registered: 16 August 2005
OSB and Plywood can certainly be damaged by rain, snow, moisture. I'll bust the myth now. Our contractor left a window open for most of the winter or at least in inclimate weather. I noticed a raised portion of the subfloor. We had to have a section cut out, but more could have been done to prevent moisture. When hardwood was laid, it still was not perfectly flat. I would suspect that continual rain with no significant drying time will damage any porous material. Some contractors are jerks!
I agree that it's almost impossible to keep your framing from getting wet during construction (unless you have a modular or panelized home built in a factory). I'll bet that most homes get wet during construction. It would be almost impossible to replace all the subflooring since the walls are built on top of it. I think the reasonable solution would be to make sure the home gets to dry out before being covered with flooring or sheetrock. You might try screwing the subfloor down rather than nailing to reduce the chances of squeeks in the future. If you're unsure if your walls or floor are dry enough, try to get a moisture meter reading (disaster recovery subs use these meters to determine how wet an area of a home is after a minor fire or water pipe breaks). Look for them in the yellow pages under Fire & Water Damage Recovery.
Posts: 70 | Location: Kansas City | Registered: 16 August 2005
HandyRob had a good idea about testing the moisture, but I do woodworking, and while the pro disaster recovery pros probably use $600-700 moisture meters, you can get one from $40 -80 at palces where you can buy woodworking supplies. I just saw one on sale at harborfreighttools.com for 19.99 GR
Posts: 6 | Location: PA | Registered: 12 August 2005
I am a builder in west Texas. We don't get much rain here. But to be safe and avoid angry customers we spray subfloors with thompsons water seal immediatly after put down. Also try putting liquid nail on your floor joist then fasten plywood down. this eliminates any sqeaks in the future.
If you are going to abuse subfloors by leaving them exposed to rain and snow for weeks or months, then there certainly can be problems with the subflooring. But this is rarely the case and homes that are being framed normally have the water swept from the floors the next working day after a rain storm.
Plywoods and OSB react differently to water. Plywoods will absorb water faster and swell faster than OSB, but plywood will return to its original shape and size after drying.
OSB resists water penetration and absorbs water less easily than plywood, but if it does and when it swells, it does not return to its original size.
Again, under normal circumstances when rain will be on the structure for a day or two and floors swept dry the next working day, there is no problem with the floors getting wet and there is hardly ever a reason to replace them.
Experienced some swelling in subfloor mainly where nailed which allowed more moisture penetrations. Was able to sand high spots and use some floor leveler (powder product mixed with water used under vinyl flooring) to correct the slight damage before installing hardwood floors. No squeaks and performing well year later. Extent of damage and type product going over subfloors will determine extent need to deal with any problem.