Water Under Vinyl Flooring? Act Fast & Protect Your Home!

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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Water under your vinyl flooring? Don’t panic! This common issue can be tackled effectively with the right knowledge and tools. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of water under vinyl flooring, how to dry it, and preventive measures to avoid future damage.

We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions on the topic. So, if you’re dealing with this issue or just want to be prepared, keep reading! We promise you’ll find valuable insights that will help you maintain the longevity of your vinyl flooring.

Stay tuned and let’s dive into the world of vinyl flooring maintenance together!

Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Waterproof?

Water on Vinyl Flooring

Often, folks ask us one big question about floor coverings. Is vinyl flooring good at keeping water out? Specifically, many people ask, “Is vinyl plank flooring waterproof?” The answer is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no. Let’s dive in and explore this topic in detail.

Vinyl plank flooring is often touted for its water-resistant properties. It’s mostly because it’s built in many layers, and this keeps the water from soaking in.

But keep in mind, while vinyl floors can stand up to water, they aren’t wholly safe from it.

The difference lies in the extent to which the material can withstand water exposure. Water-resistant means the material can handle occasional splashes or spills, but prolonged exposure to water may cause damage.

On the other hand, waterproof means the material can withstand prolonged exposure to water without suffering any damage.

Here are some key points to remember

  • Water-resistant: Vinyl flooring can handle occasional water exposure. It’s a great choice for areas like the kitchen or bathroom, where spills are common.
  • Not entirely waterproof: While vinyl flooring is highly water-resistant, it’s not completely impervious to water. Prolonged exposure to water, such as water seeping from underneath (often referred to as water under vinyl flooring), can potentially cause damage.
  • Potential damage: If water manages to seep underneath the vinyl planks, it can lead to issues like mould growth, warping of the planks, and even damage to the subfloor.
  • Prevention is key: To prevent water damage, it’s crucial to ensure that your vinyl flooring is properly installed and maintained. This includes sealing the edges and seams effectively to prevent water seepage.

do i need a moisture barrier under vinyl plank flooring?

Yes, a moisture barrier is recommended under vinyl plank flooring. The moisture barrier creates a waterproof layer that protects the flooring from moisture damage caused by spills, leaks or high humidity levels.

This thin plastic sheeting prevents moisture from seeping into the subfloor, which can warp vinyl planks or cause them to separate. A high-quality vinyl plank floor can be installed as a floating floor without glue, but a moisture barrier gives added protection.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions spread the moisture barrier carefully with seams overlapping before laying vinyl planks. Taking this important step helps vinyl flooring maintain its structure and appearance over time.

how to dry up water under vinyl flooring?

If water gets under vinyl flooring, it’s important to dry it as quickly as possible to prevent warping or damage. Immediately lift any removable vinyl planks or tiles to expose the wet subfloor underneath.

Use rags or a wet/dry vacuum to soak up standing water. Place fans directed at the moisture and open windows to improve ventilation and drying. If there are no visible leaks, inject a disinfectant solution into the water-damaged areas using a hypodermic needle.

Continue mopping and using fans in the area for several days. Once completely dry, vinyl tiles or planks can be reinstalled.

For glue-down vinyl, contact a flooring professional as drying and potential replacement may be more complex. Quickly drying water under vinyl flooring prevents further moisture issues.

how to remove water from under vinyl plank flooring

To remove water from under vinyl plank flooring, follow these detailed step-by-step instructions:

  1. Identify the source of the water: Before you can begin removing the water, it’s important to identify where it’s coming from. Whether it’s a leaky pipe, a spill, or flooding, understanding the source will help you address the issue more effectively.
  2. Remove the excess water: Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove as much of the standing water as possible. Work in small sections, overlapping each pass to ensure you’re getting up all the water.
  3. Dry the area: Once you’ve removed as much water as possible with the vacuum, use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the area. It’s important to do this as quickly as possible to prevent mold and mildew from forming.
  4. Lift the affected planks: Carefully lift the vinyl plank flooring in the affected area. Start at one edge and work your way across, being mindful not to damage the planks.
  5. Inspect the subfloor: Once the planks are lifted, inspect the subfloor for any signs of water damage. If you notice any, you may need to replace or repair the subfloor before reinstalling the vinyl planks.
  6. Allow the area to dry: With the planks removed, continue to use fans and dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry out the subfloor and the underside of the vinyl planks.
  7. Reinstall the planks: Once everything is completely dry, carefully reinstall the vinyl plank flooring. Make sure it fits snugly together and that there are no gaps where water could seep in again.
  8. Seal the edges: To provide an extra layer of protection against future water damage, consider using a silicone sealant around the edges of the room where the vinyl planks meet the walls.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively remove water from under vinyl plank flooring and prevent further damage to your floors and subfloor

What Causes Water Under Vinyl Plank Flooring?

Have you ever noticed a strange dampness on your vinyl plank flooring? This could be a sign of water accumulation underneath. It’s a common issue that many homeowners face, and it can lead to serious problems if not addressed promptly.

In this section, we’ll explore the common causes of water under vinyl flooring and discuss the impact of factors like low-quality vinyl flooring, improper installation, chemical exposure, and flooding.

Common Causes of Water Accumulation Under Vinyl Flooring

There are several reasons why water might accumulate under your vinyl flooring:

  • Low-Quality Vinyl Flooring: Not all vinyl flooring is created equal. Some lower-quality options may not provide the same level of water resistance as their higher-quality counterparts. This can lead to water seeping through the seams and accumulating underneath.
  • Improper Installation: If your vinyl flooring was not installed correctly, it could leave gaps where water can seep in. This is particularly common if the flooring was not properly sealed at the edges.
  • Chemical Exposure: Certain chemicals, such as cleaning solutions or other household products, can damage the sealant on your vinyl flooring. This can make it more susceptible to water damage.
  • Flooding: In cases of severe water exposure, such as flooding, water can easily get under vinyl flooring. This can cause significant damage if not addressed quickly.

The Impact of Water Under Vinyl Flooring

Water under vinyl flooring can have several negative impacts:

  • Damage to the Flooring: Over time, water can cause your vinyl flooring to warp or buckle. This can lead to unsightly damage and may require you to replace the flooring.
  • Mould and Mildew: Moist environments are perfect for the growth of mould and mildew. If water is left under your vinyl flooring, it could lead to a serious mould problem.
  • Damage to the Subfloor: If water seeps through your vinyl flooring, it can damage the subfloor underneath. This can be a costly and time-consuming problem to fix.

To prevent these issues, it’s important to address any signs of water under your vinyl flooring as soon as possible. If you notice any warping, buckling, or musty smell, it may be time to inspect your flooring.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. So, ensure your vinyl flooring is of high quality, properly installed, and well-maintained to avoid any water-related issues.

Signs of Moisture under Vinyl Plank Flooring

Water damage is a homeowner’s worst nightmare, and it’s even more frustrating when it’s underneath your beautiful vinyl plank flooring.

It’s like a silent enemy, slowly causing harm without your knowledge. But fear not! There are telltale signs that can alert you to the presence of water under vinyl flooring.

Identifying Signs of Water Damage

tackling this issue is to know what to look for. Here are some common signs of water damage:

  • Lifting of the floor: If your vinyl planks are starting to lift or curl at the edges, this could be a sign of water damage. The adhesive that holds the planks in place can weaken when exposed to moisture, causing the planks to lift.
  • Bubble forming: Bubbles or blisters on the surface of your vinyl flooring can indicate trapped moisture underneath. This is often a result of water seeping up from the subfloor or down from a leak above.
  • Discolouration: If your vinyl flooring is changing colour or showing stains, it could be due to water damage. Water can cause the material to discolour, especially if it’s been sitting for a while.

Importance of Early Detection

Detecting these signs early is crucial to prevent severe damage. Water can cause the adhesive to fail, leading to loose or warped planks.

It can also promote mould growth, which poses health risks. If left unchecked, you may need to replace your entire floor, which can be costly and time-consuming.

So, what should you do if you notice these signs?

try to identify the source of the water. It could be a leaky pipe, a spill that wasn’t cleaned up properly, or even high humidity levels in your home.

Once you’ve identified and addressed the source, it’s time to dry out your floor. This may involve pulling up the affected planks and using fans or dehumidifiers to dry the area.

How to Dry Water Under Vinyl Plank Flooring

Discovering water under your vinyl flooring can be a cause for panic. However, with the right steps, you can address this issue effectively.

This section will guide you through a step-by-step process to dry water under your vinyl plank flooring and discuss the importance of addressing underlying issues such as plumbing leaks.

Step-by-Step Guide to Dry Water Under Vinyl Flooring

  1. Identify the Source of the Water: The first step is to determine where the water is coming from. This could be from a leaky pipe, a spill, or even high humidity levels in your home. Once you’ve identified the source, take immediate steps to stop the water flow.
  2. Remove the Vinyl Planks: Carefully remove the vinyl planks to expose the wet area. Be gentle to avoid causing further damage to the flooring.
  3. Dry the Area: Use a mop or a wet vacuum to remove as much water as possible. Then, use fans, heaters, and dehumidifiers to dry the area thoroughly. This process may take several days, but it’s crucial to ensure all the moisture is gone to prevent mould growth.
  4. Check for Damage: Inspect the vinyl planks and the subfloor for any damage. If the planks are warped or the subfloor is damaged, you may need to replace them.
  5. Reinstall the Vinyl Planks: Once the area is completely dry and any necessary repairs have been made, you can reinstall the vinyl planks. If you had to remove a large area, you might want to consider hiring a professional to ensure the flooring is installed correctly.

The Importance of Addressing Underlying Issues

While drying the water under your vinyl flooring is important, it’s equally crucial to address any underlying issues that caused the problem in the first place.

This could be a plumbing leak, poor installation, or even high humidity levels in your home. By addressing these issues, you can prevent future water damage to your vinyl flooring.

how to fix bubbles in vinyl plank flooring?

  • Use a utility knife to make a small slit in the bubble
  • Inject a small amount of adhesive underneath the vinyl plank
  • Press down firmly on the area to secure the adhesive and flatten the bubble
  • Wipe away any excess adhesive and allow it to dry completely before walking on the area again

Preventing Moisture Build-Up Under Vinyl Planks

Water under vinyl flooring can be a homeowner’s nightmare. It’s a hidden issue that can cause significant damage to your flooring and potentially your home.

But don’t panic! There are ways to prevent this from happening and ensure the longevity of your vinyl planks.

Tips to Avoid Exposing Planks to Water

The first step to preventing water under vinyl flooring is to avoid exposing your planks to water as much as possible. Here are some tips:

  • Clean up spills immediately: Don’t let water sit on your vinyl flooring. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent water from seeping between the planks.
  • Use mats: Place mats at entrances and high-traffic areas to catch water and dirt before they reach your vinyl flooring.
  • Be mindful of appliances: Appliances like washing machines and dishwashers can leak, causing water to seep under your vinyl flooring. Regularly check these appliances for leaks and fix any issues immediately.

Importance of Letting the Concrete Subfloor Dry Well

Before installing vinyl planks, it’s crucial to let the concrete subfloor dry well. Concrete can hold a surprising amount of moisture, which can seep into your vinyl flooring over time.

To prevent this, ensure your concrete subfloor is completely dry before installation. This might mean waiting several days or even weeks after a heavy rain or flood. It’s worth the wait to prevent potential water damage to your vinyl flooring.

Discussion on the Use of a Moisture Barrier

A moisture barrier is a layer of material that prevents moisture from passing through. When it comes to preventing water under vinyl flooring, a moisture barrier can be a game-changer.

It’s typically installed between the concrete subfloor and your vinyl planks. This barrier blocks moisture from the concrete from reaching your vinyl flooring, keeping it dry and damage-free.

Remember, prevention is the best cure. By taking these steps, you can protect your vinyl flooring from water damage and ensure it lasts for years to come.

FAQs for water under vinyl flooring

What happens if water gets under vinyl flooring?

Water under vinyl flooring can lead to several problems. It can cause the vinyl planks to lift or bubble, and over time, it can damage the subfloor beneath. If left untreated, it can also lead to mould growth, which can be a serious health hazard.

Will water evaporate under vinyl flooring?

While some water might evaporate on its own, it’s not a reliable solution for water under vinyl flooring. The water trapped beneath the floor can lead to long-term damage and mould growth. It’s crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent these problems.

What to do if water gets under flooring?

If water gets under your flooring, it’s important to act quickly. Start by identifying the source of the water and stopping it. Then, remove the vinyl planks to expose the subfloor. Dry the area thoroughly using a dehumidifier or fans. Once the area is dry, you can replace the damaged planks.

Will water under vinyl flooring dry?

Water under vinyl flooring may dry over time, but it’s not advisable to leave it to dry on its own. The trapped moisture can lead to damage and mould growth. It’s best to remove the water and dry the area thoroughly to prevent these issues.

Can vinyl withstand water?

Yes, vinyl flooring is designed to be water-resistant and can withstand spills and moisture. However, it’s not completely waterproof, and water can still seep through the seams or edges if not cleaned up promptly.

How do I know if there is water under my vinyl flooring?

Signs of water under vinyl flooring include buckling or lifting of the planks, discolouration, and a musty smell. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to investigate and address the issue promptly.

Is vinyl flooring truly waterproof?

While vinyl flooring is water resistant and can handle spills and moisture well, it’s not completely waterproof. Water can still seep through the seams or edges and cause damage if not addressed promptly.

Is waterproofing required under vinyl flooring?

While not always necessary, a moisture barrier can be beneficial, especially when installing vinyl flooring over concrete subfloors. It can provide extra protection against moisture seeping up from the subfloor.


Knowing how water can hurt your vinyl floor, you see that stopping it before it starts is best. Look for wet signs often, install them the right way, and act fast if water shows up. This way, your floor won’t take a bad hit.

Don’t forget, your house is worth a lot. Everything you do to keep it safe matters. Don’t let water mess up the good looks and use of your vinyl floor. If you’re not sure, get someone who knows what they’re doing to help.

Now you know what to do, it’s time to do it. Make sure your vinyl floor stays dry, safe, and looks good.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More