Does your road trip buddy need a little love? Read through to know how to repair water damaged floor in travel trailer so you won’t have to spend a leg and an arm at the repair shop.
Troubles such as water leakage arise at travel trailers, which may then cause rotten floorboards. This is extremely a pain in the head and costly! Fortunately, you can actually do the repair by yourself — such a lifesaver!
Repairing The Water Damaged Floor Of Your Travel Trailer
Before you do anything, you have to check your floorboard’s condition. When you walk through it and realize it’s not exactly structurally stable, then you’ll know it needs a little bit of love. A spongy floor is a signal that it is damaged, most commonly, due to a water leak.
In this case, you can consider getting professional help. You might want to make sure you are getting your hands on a good deal. The repair better be worth it and not worth the price of the travel trailer itself.
For another option, if you are the DIY and practical type of person, you can do the repair yourself. This will cost you lots of sweat but will definitely save you some money — which is not really a bad deal.
Of course, when the floorboard has been rotten due to a water leak, covering it up with floor mats and such won’t do the trick. You will have to replace it with a new one and create that fresh floor look. In the next part, you will be guided on how to properly replace the floorboard.
Replacing The Damaged Floor
Doug Klassen had experienced the problem of having a rotten travel trailer floor in 1991. He had successfully replaced the wooden floor so we can take his experience as an example to learn. According to him, you can replace the floor in just six steps.
Step #1. Determine the scope of the damage
With an awl, measure the full extent of the damage. This is a very crucial step before you go on about replacing.
You wouldn’t want to replace only the kitchen floor only to later find out that the living room and bedroom floors were damaged too. You will just end up frustrated and with a lot of work so better do this step properly.
Step #2. Remove floorboards from damaged areas
Once the extent of the damage was determined, start removing the rotten floors. Make sure that everything is completely peeled off unless you want to keep some stinky pieces of vinyl as souvenirs.
Step #3. Let the wood frame dry
After ripping the rotten floors off, dry the wooden frame for a week. This is to ensure that you wouldn’t be encountering the same problem once you install the new flooring.
Step #4. Kill the lingering mold
When the wood frame has been dried out completely, it is now time to kill the lingering mold due to the water damage.
Doug used an antifreeze which he placed in a spray bottle and was sprayed throughout the damaged area. You can also use a borax solution which works just as fine, but is just a little bit more expensive. Once the chemical is applied, dry the wood out for a week or two.
Note: Antifreeze is fatal to humans and animals so you have to be extra careful when using it.
Step #5. Using a diluted epoxy resin, cover the wood
To avoid encountering the same problem, you have to create a strong waterproof bond. To do this, epoxy resin is mixed with a hardener and is applied to the wood.
The diluted epoxy resin also prevents mold from growing on the wood surface. If you have to cover a wide space, you can mix the epoxy resin with thinning agents such as acetone, denatured alcohol, or xylene.
Note: Fumes from the epoxy may be harsh so make sure to use gloves and a respirator while working on it. It is also best to do the mixing in a well-ventilated area.
Step #6. Install the new flooring
After a few days of waiting for the epoxy to cure, you can now replace the flooring.
Since the floor has been damaged, you can consider making the sub-floor sturdier by adding new wood just like how Doug did it. Once it is completed, add another layer of epoxy to the new wood and wait for it to cure again.
After the epoxy is cured, add insulations to the floor — vinyl pieces will be good. Then, place a layer of plywood and again, apply and cure epoxy.
When it has dried out, reinstall the dinette. You can also add in a reclaimed carpet to the newly repaired area.
Sure, learning how to repair water damaged floor in travel trailer and getting it done by yourself may not be the easiest craft but is definitely worth it. You just saved your travel mate with your own endeavor so your next trip will surely be better than before.