How to Tell if There Is a Water Leak Under Vinyl Flooring

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Vinyl flooring can be cleaned and maintained with little effort, due to the material it is made of. Water gathering beneath a piece of the vinyl floor will eventually discolor and loosen the vinyl -- leading to an expensive and time-consuming repair job. There are ways to tell if there is a water leak underneath the vinyl flooring. Once you have determined that there is a leak, the water can be removed and the leak repaired at its source.

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight
  • Try to shake the base of a toilet that is surrounding by vinyl flooring back and forth. If the base wobbles, feel around the bottom edge with your hand to see if your fingers get wet. Any moisture discovered indicates that there is a leak in the seal between the toilet's base and the flooring and that water has gotten beneath the vinyl tiles. The toilet will need to be resealed and the tiles removed, the flooring cleaned and new tiles installed.

  • Get down on the vinyl flooring. Shine a flashlight at each of the tiles. Inspect the edges of the vinyl tiles to see if any are discolored and have curled up. The presence of discoloration indicates that there is water beneath the vinyl tile. The tile can be removed, the flooring dried off and a new tile installed.

  • Run your hand over the vinyl tiles on the floor. Feel for raised bumps on the tiles. If you feel a series of raised bumps beneath a tile, there is water beneath the tile pushing it off the flooring. The tile should be removed, the flooring cleaned and a new tile installed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always soak up water that has fallen on vinyl flooring immediately to prevent the chance of water seeping beneath a tile.
  • Old vinyl flooring may contain asbestos and thus requires special attention when removed.

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