large bubbles/ripples growing in new floor

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Nina, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Nina

    Nina Active Member

    I had a vinyl floor laid in my kitchen in May this year, roughly 3 weeks later a large bubble started to form in the middle of the floor, over the next few weeks it grew and more formed, the floor was so bad the children tripped over the ripples that had formed. most were concentrated in the middle of the floor but there were also ripples/ridges at the door to the hallway and around the cabinets near the sink, some of the ridges were over an inch high. The fitting company sent the fitter back out who said he'd never seen it happen before and asked if i'd had a leak since the new install because water can cause bubbles. I hadn't. The bubbles/ripples started forming in the middle of the floor near the table, away from any water sources and a good 8 feet away from the area of the previous leak before christmas.
    I have lived in this house for 30 years and my there was always vinyl or lino on the floors. They are concrete floors and all previous lino, including the may install and the latest install have been laid without adhesive.
    We did have a big leak at before christmas which was the reason for the new flooring in may but the concrete floor at the sink area where the leak happened was dry, it smelled of damp but it was dry. My husband and I made sure it was dry before the new vinyl went down.
    The vinyl company rep came to inspect the floor and agreed it needed to be replaced...
    It was replaced 4 weeks ago with the same brand, same make (different colour) vinyl and the ridges are starting to form again, starting at the hallway door this time and there are some more in the middle of the floor. The areas the ridges are forming are high traffic area's, we have 4 kids who are forever running through the kitchen to the back yard and the ridges/ripples/bubbles are forming in these places.
    Ive called the company and they are sending someone out to inspect the floor. I cannot understand why this is happening(again) as we have always had vinyl/lino on the floor and never had this kind of problem. We have not changed anything in the house either, ie radiators, heating system etc.

    If anyone has any idea or suggestions Id be very grateful. Sorry for the long post, I wanted to give as much information as possible.

  2. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member


    My best guess would be you still have a moisture problem. We need more information though to be accurate.

    What brand of vinyl? Did the flooring company do a moisture test? Might be a good idea to bring in a second professional to take a look to protect yourself.

    Some of the other members here will have questions and ideas to help!

  3. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    It's almost a sure thing that moisture is your issue.

    Whatever leak happened before Christmas that caused you to replace the flooring in May and then again 4 weeks ago probably soaked the earth under your concrete slab and that slab is virtually saturated with moisture. Think of a sponge that you dunked in water then wrapped up with plastic. How long would that take to dry?

    "it smelled of damp but it was dry."

    That's not really a good sign. You can't see the moisture under or within the concrete slab but you did smell something. There are some very crude ways to evaluate a slab for moisture. The popular method for quite a few years was to tape down a sheet of rubber mat or plastic about 2'x2' for a few days. When you peel the mat back if you see the concrete darker than the surround area that shows some evidence of moisture. Notice that the slab that's not covered will almost never show VISIBLE evidence of that moisture condition. That's because the moisture is dissipating immediately into the air.

    Another crude test I do that can expose the same issue in a much shorter time is to take my propane torch to the slab. I can show a customer or a general contractor how the heat brings up that moisture--------moisture I can both SEE AND SMELL but as they are want to avoid delays or added costs to the project they are prone to deny.

    But the REAL tests for moisture are done with precise meters and modern testing technology. Those measures will give you specific numbers that can help you choose what kind of flooring will and will not work. It also can help you decide if you need to spend some money on the various methods of moisture remediation--------or choose a different type of flooring.

    Good luck.
  4. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Knowing where you are located may help us as well since there are different methods of installations in various areas of the world. It sounds like you may be in Europe somewhere.

    The type of flooring would also help as there are some that are far less forgiving if the installations are not precise.
  5. Omnipotent

    Omnipotent Flying Dutchman

    For how long has the floor been uncovered? If you've removed all the lino from the floor at chrismas the floor should have been dry by now. If you put something like a coach on it it will stay wet too.
  6. Nina

    Nina Active Member

    Hello again, thanks for your replies!.

    I'm in Dublin, Ireland.

    The bubbles are starting a good 8 feet from where the original leak was, so i'm having a hard time figuring out how the area where the leak was is unaffected as was the previous new vinyl.

    The areas that are "growing" are the high traffic areas.. there are 3 there now and i can almost bet that they will procreate over the next few weeks until they are tripping everyone up.

    When the last new vinyl was taken up ( by company we bought the floor from) the vinyl was dry where the leak had been and also where the major ridges were was dry also.

    Its a regular pvc based vinyl. I know this is gonna sound very odd but I don't remember the exact specs... I loved the floor when i first seen it and picked it out.. then the replacement was identical. I had ordered and paid for the flooring in January and im afraid my memory is not that great lately. ;)

    Ive just been corrected by my husband... the leak was actually last summer.. so over a year ago. :eek::eek:
  7. Nina

    Nina Active Member

    the company did not do a moisture test.

    The brand of vinyl was majestic, northern ireland based brand AFAIK.

    We also removed the WHOLE kitchen prior to both installs.. everything, even the sink. the room was totally empty both times.
  8. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    If you remember, how much adhesive was on the concrete and on the vinyl. Do you have pictures of the slab and back of the vinyl.

    To me this is not sounding like a moisture issue. Really need to see the backing where the wrinkles and bubbles are. Slab too.
  9. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I have to agree w/ Tandy. It doesn't sound like moisture to me. It sounds more like a fiberglass product improperly installed, but pics would help immensely.
  10. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    She said none of the resilient floors that have ever been installed including the most recent installations have ever been adhered. That does kind of point to something other than moisture. I kind of forgot about the loose lay aspect. If that's wrinkling and bubbling it's maybe being pinched somewhere that it's supposed to be free of for expansion.

    Kind of hard to understand why the installers and shop would miss that though when they came out to look at it. If it were a severe moisture when they peeled it back to see they'd know right away.

    We can't see what's underneath from here. I think now that I ran off on the wrong track assuming so quickly it was moisture.
  11. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    It might not be a moisture issue! It would be great to see some pictures if possible.

  12. Nina

    Nina Active Member

    Ill get pics of the back of the vinyl once the kiddies are in bed.
    floor2.JPG there is a few bubbles starting at the door way into the hall.
    new floor1.JPG you can see the new bubbles forming in the centre of the room..
    old floor.JPG this is how the old floor looked a few weeks before the new install, it got worse as time went on.

    When the floor was taken up the vinyl under the ridges was completely dry.. no dark ( mildewey) marks or or any wet spots. It was obviously slightly dirty from being on a concrete floor but not wet. Even the installers said it was not wet.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  13. Nina

    Nina Active Member

    unfortunately I won't be able to post pics of the back of the vinyl where the bubbles are forming as its in the centre of the room and would require a fair amount of work to empty the end of the kitchen ( for a 3rd time lol) but I can take up the edge at the corner and take a pic of the back of the vinyl there and also the concrete so as to give an idea of what the vinyl is and what the concrete is like.....
  14. Tandy Reeves

    Tandy Reeves Resting In Peace Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Good job with the pictures. Looks like the wrinkles are both in the length and width. Very good clues. I think we will have the answer after seeing the backing and slab.
  15. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member


    Are you rolling anything heavy across that floor? I went back and reread your first post and you stated that there are bubbles around the table? Chairs with wheels?

    That last picture reminds me of carpet bubbles caused by chairs with wheels.

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  16. Nina

    Nina Active Member

    These are pictures of the back of the vinyl and also the concrete that its on.

    Our kitchen table is against the wall currently so only 3 chairs are being used at for the last few weeks. 2 of them hardly ever leave the sides of the table and the other one i normally put over near the door during the day ( it drives me mad to walk around chairs, objects in the kitchen, either in under the table or against the wall lol) they are normal chairs, very lightweight. If im taking one to reach the wall cubbord for something ill carry it.. they are rarely dragged across the floor.
    And as 2 of them are turned sideways to the table with their backs at the wall they are really never moved unless by me to clean.
    Nothing heavy has been dragged across the floor at all, even when we were re installing the cabinets my husband and i carried them into place and used a dolly for the dishwasher and oven.



    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  17. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    Great pics Nina! That should help out a lot! I bet some of the other members will have some great imput! I think Tandy might have some ideas!

  18. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    Looks like IVC.
    When the old flooring was pulled up, was there any dislocation of the concrete? Was it darker in some areas?
  19. Nina

    Nina Active Member


    Well, its discoloured where the leak was at the sink and at the area where the fireplace used to be ( we bricked it up last year) im assuming from the years of coal dust that made its way under previous floorings and also a small area at the back door( maybe where rain must have obviously crept in over the years.

    There were no cracks or crumbling areas of the concrete either.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  20. Nina

    Nina Active Member

    Thanks Rob, not bad pics for a camera phone huh ! lol.

    I hope someone knows whats going on, im baffled and the installers that came out ( and the rep) didnt know either, and as ive said we've pulled/pushed/dragged nothing on the floor. The room is in bad need of re wallpapering but I havent done it yet because I didnt want to be dragging anything around and have the installers say " oh well, you pulled the bird cage across the floor.. or some other reason not to replace the original). I would not even let my husband refit the skirting boards just in case.:eek:;)

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.