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    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2017
     
    What ho one and all,

    I told an elderly neighbour that I would run this past you.

    Over one year ago, she had a first floor bathroom leak that did not bring the ceiling
    down, but did require a complete new ceiling in the living room, which is quite large.
    There was also some water damage to the wooden floor tiles, and the insurance suggested
    that they would all have to be replaced, along with a complete redecoration. The
    replacement floor tiles are square oak, (narrow lengths, edge stuck) about 8mm thick and
    around 150 x 150.

    Everything was fine until about one month ago, when some areas of the tiles have bowed
    upwards. Seems like an increase in humidity has caused expansion and blam, up they pop.
    Looking at them, it seems the during the refurb, the builders laid a thin levelling screed
    over the original screed and in virtually every case where the tiles have lifted, they
    have brought the levelling screed with the. The tile are apparently, well stuck to the
    screed but the screed has not stuck to the original floor.

    She has had the insurance guys around but has been told that there was only a one year
    guarantee and that has not expired. I would hope that her insurance will cover the new
    issue.

    She however, has no idea what the guarantee actually covers. Would it cover the actually
    tiles themselves? Although what can go wrong with a floor tile? Would it cover the
    workmanship? In which case, one year would hardly be sufficient, particularly as in this
    case, it appears to be poor workmanship.

    Of the three lifting areas, which are increasing in size, none of them are under the leak
    area. Could it be that the original screed was not allowed sufficient time to dry?

    I believe there is an expansion gap around the edge, and if so, it is under the skirting,
    but surely an expansion gap is useless if the tiles are stuck down.

    Annoyingly, the original, similar tiles, have been down for over 40 years without any
    issues.

    Really grateful for any suggestions that I will relay to her.

    Thanks and toodle pip

    Rex
  1.  
    Were the wooden floor tiles allowed to acclimatise to the room temperature for a day or two before laying? It could be due to expansion.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2017
     
    I feel fairly sure that the levelling compound has not dried fully, coupled possibly with moisture from the original leak. As a consequence moisture trapped under the wood tiles has caused them to lift. It also appears that the levelling compound has not bonded to the original floor, maybe because they didn't wait long enough for the screed to achieve a good bond. or-, There can be several causes for this, dusty/dirty floor to start with, incorrect sealing of the substrate, many builders use PVA, personally I don't, acrylic sealers are IMO much better and many levelling compound manufacturers specify it. Some floor adhesive manufacturers also specify a second sealer coat on top of the levelling compound. As well as improving adhesion and "grab" I guess it may also act as a moisture barrier.


    P.S. Do I understand that the tiles at not only stuck to the floor but also edge glued one to another?
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2017
     
    Thanks for the comments. I don't think the tiles are edge glued to each other as those that have lifted are all separate. But each tile is made of strips of oak, about 8mm thick and edge glued to create each tile.

    I don't know if they were acclimatised first, I should hope so, but have no idea of how the builders worked. Likewise the drying of the original floor or levelling screed. I would guess they did a bodge job, but what do Iknow.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2017
     
    Posted By: RexOver one year ago, she had a first floor bathroom leak that did not bring the ceiling down, but did require a complete new ceiling in the living room, which is quite large.
    There was also some water damage to the wooden floor tiles, and the insurance suggested
    that they would all have to be replaced, along with a complete redecoration. The
    replacement floor tiles are square oak, (narrow lengths, edge stuck) about 8mm thick and
    around 150 x 150.

    Everything was fine until about one month ago, when some areas of the tiles have bowed
    upwards. Seems like an increase in humidity has caused expansion and blam, up they pop.
    Looking at them, it seems the during the refurb, the builders laid a thin levelling screed
    over the original screed and in virtually every case where the tiles have lifted, they
    have brought the levelling screed with the. The tile are apparently, well stuck to the
    screed but the screed has not stuck to the original floor.

    She has had the insurance guys around but has been told that there was only a one year
    guarantee and that has not expired. I would hope that her insurance will cover the new
    issue.

    She however, has no idea what the guarantee actually covers. Would it cover the actually
    tiles themselves? Although what can go wrong with a floor tile? Would it cover the
    workmanship?

    I'll just comment about the financial aspects. You say the leak was over a year ago. You say the problem with the tiles occurred about one month ago. You say she has had the insurance guys around but has been told that there was only a one year guarantee and that has not expired.

    That leaves a lot of uncertainty about the situation in my mind. Firstly, I presume the guarantee is to do with the new floor tiles? Secondly, you don't say when they were purchased and/or installed, so was that over a year before they failed or not? Thirdly when you say the guarantee has NOT expired, was that a typo for NOW?

    As for what the guarantee covers, the best way to understand that is to read the guarantee! I guess her insurance paid for the new tiles and their installation; is that correct? And were the tiles and installers chosen and/or approved by your neighbour or by her insurance company? Were the installers members of any trade association or approved by the tile manufacturer?

    Depending on exactly how things were arranged she will have to take up a claim with the installers, the tile manufacturers or the insurance company so it's important to establish exactly what the sequence of events was.

    Even if the guarantee was only one year and the tiles have been installed for longer than that, she still has rights and is entitled to a good outcome for up to six years. There's some advice at:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/claim-using-a-warranty-or-guarantee/
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/insurance/insurance/problems-with-insurance-policies/problems-with-an-insurance-claim/
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2017 edited
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: Rex</cite>Thanks for the comments. I don't think the tiles are edge glued to each other as those that have lifted are all separate. But each tile is made of strips of oak, about 8mm thick and edge glued to create each tile.

    Ah, I know the type, usually laid in alternating directions to create a checkerboard effect. Because of their laminated nature these tiles are likely to be very dry when laid. this coupled with tight fitting could mean that even a small amount of moisture from below will cause side pressure until eventually something gives.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2017
     
    Gentlemen,

    Again, thanks for the comments. yes a typos; I really should improve my proof-reading. The guarantee has expired.

    As for the time between the tile purchase and laying, I really don't know. But as i say, she is elderly and caring for her husband who is awaiting the Grim Reaper. So she would have had little to no idea about anything, even over a year ago. Just wanted the leak fixed and the lounge liveable again.

    DJH and Owlman, I will pass your comment along. Guess it will be in the hands for the insurance company but may be she should consult a loss assessor to argue her case?
  2.  
    Providing the elderly neighbour did not buy from "A" and then have "B" fit the tiles (in which case expect a game of ping-pong) then IMO the claim is against the installer. Any guarantee can only extend the legal rights but can not limit them. Goods and services must be fit for purpose and a laid wooden floor should not lift after (just over) one year. It matters little why the tiles lifted (actually probably better called engineered parquet) the fact that they failed is the issue and again IMO the first call would be to the installer. To some extent the more tiles that lift the better as it shows a fundamental flaw in the whole job.

    I expect there will be a lot of (undue and out of order) pressure by anyone who may have some responsibility over the tiles to get the elderly person to accept that it 'must be their fault' and that 'nothing can be done'

    I would be surprised if the insurance co. wanted to be involved as I'm not sure that poor workmanship would be an insured risk.

    The elderly person should keep any evidence of when the tiles first lifted e.g. statements from others and any communications from any involved people or organisations. Avoid using the telephone to anyone who might have a responsibility as telephone calls count for nothing - its a pain but it has to be in writing.

    And a good start would be a visit to Citizens Advice or age concern otherwise I fear your elderly neighbour will get stitched up.

    Of course the installers might roll over and reinstall the lot - but somehow I doubt it.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2017
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_HungaryProviding the elderly neighbour did not buy from "A" and then have "B" fit the tiles (in which case expect a game of ping-pong) then IMO the claim is against the installer.

    That depends on who hired the installer. If as I suspect there was an insurance claim that paid for the work then it may be her claim is against the insurance company and not the installer. In short unless and until we have more information we have no idea who is responsible or what for.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2017
     
    Again gentlemen, many thanks for your thoughts.

    I will see what Citizens Advice has to suggest but in the past, I have not been impressed with their offerings. If I am on benefits and in rent arrears, they seem to be up to speed, but with something like this, somewhat out of their league. But I will give it a try.

    I don't know the details of the original claim, but she is 87 and caring, virtually full-time for her 91 y.o husband, who is currently in hospital. So I imagine that she originally called the insurance company and left everything to them.

    Fortunately, whomever will not be able to say that the current issue is her fault since there are three areas of lifting and they are gradually increasing in size. Although in these three areas, the 'tiles have totally lifted, the increasing areas around them are lifting such that if one walks on it, the floor feel loose, because they are.

    I will see what I can offer to push the repair along. But she does have three sons, only one of whom lives almost locally (but he has his own problems with a very disabled child), and I don't want to tread on family toes.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2017
     
    What ho one and all,

    Just an up-date.

    First off, I did offer to make phone calls on her behalf, but since she has three sons, I did not want to step on any toes. Have not heard one way or tother, however, I have heard that one of her sons, who lives conveniently in Malaysia, is handling the case!

    She told me that an assessor visited the other day and his opinion is that the water based levelling screed was not compatible with the original concrete. don't understand that since the original concrete, likely to be a sand/cement mix, would surely have used a bit of water?

    My opinion is that the original wooden tiles were laid with bitumen. When the tiles were lifted, the bitumen has been scrapped off, but not too well. Self levelling compound poured over, has not bonded with the remaining bitumen and one year later, a bit of expansion and whammo, the tiles have lifted.

    Rex
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2017
     
    Here is a head-sup on the lifting floor tiles.

    The insurance company have finally agreed to handle everything and have given her a report.

    The original floor tiles where stuck with bitumen for the last x decades. Having removed them a year ago, they did whatever to dry out the original concrete floor and applied a resin DPM. Then they levelled with a water based, 6mm levelling screed. Onto this, they glued the new wooden tiles, that have a resin coating on both sides, to the levelling screed, with an acrylic resin. Having lifted the tiles, they took moisture reading and have come up with the original concrete being around 170-180 whatever, and apparently, anything less than 200 is dry.

    The conclusion is that the water based levelling screed was a/ not sufficiently dry when laid and as it was between two resin layers, would not dry; b/ the water based levelling screed did not adhere to the resin based DPM; c/ the DPM was not roughened to crate a bonding surface for the self levelling screed.

    Rex
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2017 edited
     
    well done, Rex, you are obviously a good citizen not to mention a great neighbour :smile:

    gg
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2017
     
    Thank you. She is just a really nice, elderly neighbour with a husband who, although currently in hospital, is due home in the near future ad will be bed-bound. Just old age so no chance of any recovery.

    What with one thing and another, I'm only pleased to help if I can. And I haven't really done much.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeSep 7th 2017
     
    Glad to hear it worked out ok. Hope they do a better job second time around.

    <blockquote>..they did whatever to dry out the original concrete floor and applied a resin DPM. Then they levelled with a water based, 6mm levelling screed. </blockquote>

    So in short the screed didn't stick to the epoxy resin DPM.

    There are some suggestions here for preparing an epoxy floor for tiling. I suspect the similar guidance would apply to screed as tile cement..

    https://www.hunker.com/13401302/how-to-lay-tile-over-epoxy-floor
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