Replacing T&G OSB subfloor panels? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Replacing T&G OSB subfloor panels?

Not sure if its within the scope of WWT, but you folks have been helpful so figured I would put it out there.

I've got a smelly room in the new house. Pulled out the carpet and padding. Found some mold between them, with moisture damage to the subfloor. House was built in 2000, and used T&G nailed down OSB subfloor panels - not sure on the thickness. No signs of water damage or repair in the ceiling, house had been foreclosed, then upgraded and flipped - guessing either a pet or angry evicted urinated in the room.

So anyway, naturally the spot is on a seam, and affects about 3 panels. I'll need to rip them out, and replace with new.

I don't know how to remove the subfloor panels since they are tongue and groove - crowbar and prying would likely destroy the tongue on currently undamaged panels. I was thinking of making two diagonal cuts on each panel, then prying up from the center?

More importantly, my concern is how to install the new panels? With the tongue and groove, I won't be able to just drop a panel in. From what I had read, I could just trim off the bottom lip of the groove, which would allow me to slide in the tongue on the opposite side, and what's left of the trimmed groove would just drop into place. I don't know how advisable this is.

Any advice? Only thing I'm sure of is running an extension cord to power the circular saw, and ensuring power is off to the room, just in case I would knick an electric line.

Input or thoughts appreciated. Apologies if this isn't the right place, or if I should take this question to a diy forum.
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 09:05 AM
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Gee's, I wouldn't pull out the subfloor because of some odor. I would thoroughly clean it and paint it. The paint will seal out any odor the wood may have. Use a latex gloss or semi-gloss house and trim paint. The glossier it is will seal better than flat.
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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OSB doesn't cope well with moisture damage... the urine smell is soaked deeply in, and there was also mold in the carpet/padding. Due to gross factor, as well as safety for kids who could be crawling there one day - I don't want to play any games with it. Plus, on a hot day the paint likely wouldn't be good enough, and a slight scent would bake out sometimes. Covering it just is a bad idea, sorry.
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 11:48 AM
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How big a section are we talking about? If not the entire room then you could cut out the damaged sections making your cuts along the joists then nail cleats to the joists and nail the new sheet material to the cleats. Toenail additional cleats across the joists to provide a nailing surface between them. Use construction adhesive and nails. This is pretty much how they sheathed the entire subfloor of my house addition.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
Not sure if its within the scope of WWT, but you folks have been helpful so figured I would put it out there.

I've got a smelly room in the new house. Pulled out the carpet and padding. Found some mold between them, with moisture damage to the subfloor. House was built in 2000, and used T&G nailed down OSB subfloor panels - not sure on the thickness. No signs of water damage or repair in the ceiling, house had been foreclosed, then upgraded and flipped - guessing either a pet or angry evicted urinated in the room.

So anyway, naturally the spot is on a seam, and affects about 3 panels. I'll need to rip them out, and replace with new.

I don't know how to remove the subfloor panels since they are tongue and groove - crowbar and prying would likely destroy the tongue on currently undamaged panels. I was thinking of making two diagonal cuts on each panel, then prying up from the center?

More importantly, my concern is how to install the new panels? With the tongue and groove, I won't be able to just drop a panel in. From what I had read, I could just trim off the bottom lip of the groove, which would allow me to slide in the tongue on the opposite side, and what's left of the trimmed groove would just drop into place. I don't know how advisable this is.

Any advice? Only thing I'm sure of is running an extension cord to power the circular saw, and ensuring power is off to the room, just in case I would knick an electric line.

Input or thoughts appreciated. Apologies if this isn't the right place, or if I should take this question to a diy forum.
Your tentative procedure sounds good to me.

Is this OSB the only thing on the floor or is it on top of another layer of something?

George
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input guys. Also sorry Steve, rereading my last post it didn't come off sounding the way I intended.

@JohnK007: Its a small section. Sort of large if I'm thinking of how big a spot I could make by peeing on the carpet and letting it sit, but not big. Maybe a few feet one direction by a couple feet across. It just happens to sit along a seem where a number of panels come together, which annoys me, as they could have at least hit the middle of a panel and made it a little easier on me. I suppose if you are urinating on the floor of a house you are getting evicted from, you aren't really considering these matters though.

I'm not sure how to ensure I'm cutting along the joists, or where the joists are - where the nails run those are easy to spot, but every joist doesn't have nails going into it. I've got a studfinder, so I'll see if that has the depth to shoot through the OSB and let me know where they are. I'm a n00b, so also bad on terminology, so when you say nail cleats to the joists I'm not entirely clear on application. I'm picturing a 2x4 as the cleat, nailed so that it spans the joists and helps supports the panel I'm installing? Or maybe parrallel to the joist, to give room to nail the board down to, without overlapping the tongue of adjacent panels sitting on the joist. Sorry, I think I need an "explain like I'm five" version. I have no pride - I used a circular saw for the first time a few weeks ago, and used a table saw for the first time last night. I'm learning but have no experience.

@GeorgeC: OSB is the only thing on the floor, I expect. House was built in 2000 and I suspect the carpet I pulled out was original - it wasn't pretty, even ignoring the urine part.

Last edited by I.M.O.G.; 08-02-2013 at 01:22 PM.
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a picture if it helps:
Replacing T&G OSB subfloor panels?-floor.jpg
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 02:12 PM
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I would take your pry bar and put it in the seam and pry up one edge of the affected area to determine the thickness.

Then set the depth of your circular saw at this depth.
Plan on just cutting out the bad area.
Draw a rectangle just big enough to remove your bad area and cut this area out. Now you will be able to locate your joist and cut an area so the cut is on top of the middle of a joist.

On the part that is cut perpendicular to the joist you can screw a 2x4 nailer between the joist.
Then get the same thickness material and cut it to size and drop it in.
Screw down along the perimeter and any in between joists.

This way you use minimal material and don't worry about tongues.

Also if your saw is only set at the thickness of the OSB I woulnt worry about hitting any electrical.
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 04:23 PM
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Dean's explanation is pretty much what I was saying. Assuming the joists in your picture run up and down, you want to cut the old floor out wide enough to be next to or on top of the joist on either side. Using a cleat or nailer gives you a little wiggle room to attach the new panel. Some call this "edge blocking". This assumes they used standard 2X joists (2X12 or 2X10) and not I-joists which would make things more interesting as far as attaching an edge block goes. You can use screws or nails. The construction adhesive will minimize any squeaks. That's not that bad of a patch. Don't fret about the tongues.
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Good deal. Thanks guys. I'm going to try straightening this out tonight, and I'll let you know how it goes. :)
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 06:25 PM
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The reason I suggested the paint is when my house was under construction I had an extra room that was never finished out. It just had the osb subfloor and the stud walls. My wife moved a dozen cats into the room and the entire room became a litter box. After a year with the cats in there we decided we wanted the room and moved the cats out and the odor was so bad in there I couldn't stay in there more than 5 minutes at a time. I just cleaned the floor and painted it and the odor was gone like there were never any cats in there.
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post #12 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. I'm kind of creeped out about the smell/mold and potential health implications, so I could certainly be going further than necessary.

Step 1 complete - create big hole in floor

That picture I posted above didn't actually quantify the amount of moisture well. Once I got a light in there and setup to draw my box around the square that needed cut out, the square turned out much larger than I thought. About 70 inches long, and about 54 inches wide. So its about the size of a bed. The noticeable part in the picture is just the worst patch, there are a few others where it looked like the puddle seeped out from.

The good news is, once the saw cuts were made, I had no problem pounding in a pry bar, breaking the glue bond, and pulling up the screws enough to work my way around without damaging the adjacent panels.

Step 2 in progress - scrape every joist, as almost all of them have glue/OSB fibers stuck to them. I suppose I need to get them scraped fairly well if I'm going to get the new board in there nice and flush.

Step 3 yet to come - I might square up my initial cuts, prior to cutting the board I'm putting in... I couldn't get the nails out until after I cut the box out, and in some places when sawing I worked around nails that were still in place as I didn't trust myself sawing that close to them. I'm not sure what happens if you hit a nail with a circular saw, but I wasn't going to find out.
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post #13 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.M.O.G. View Post
Interesting. I'm kind of creeped out about the smell/mold and potential health implications, so I could certainly be going further than necessary.

Step 1 complete - create big hole in floor

That picture I posted above didn't actually quantify the amount of moisture well. Once I got a light in there and setup to draw my box around the square that needed cut out, the square turned out much larger than I thought. About 70 inches long, and about 54 inches wide. So its about the size of a bed. The noticeable part in the picture is just the worst patch, there are a few others where it looked like the puddle seeped out from.

The good news is, once the saw cuts were made, I had no problem pounding in a pry bar, breaking the glue bond, and pulling up the screws enough to work my way around without damaging the adjacent panels.

Step 2 in progress - scrape every joist, as almost all of them have glue/OSB fibers stuck to them. I suppose I need to get them scraped fairly well if I'm going to get the new board in there nice and flush.

Step 3 yet to come - I might square up my initial cuts, prior to cutting the board I'm putting in... I couldn't get the nails out until after I cut the box out, and in some places when sawing I worked around nails that were still in place as I didn't trust myself sawing that close to them. I'm not sure what happens if you hit a nail with a circular saw, but I wasn't going to find out.
For step 2, if you have a heat gun, it will soften up the glue and make it easier to scrape off.

Step 3- Squaring up the cut is a real good idea. Makes it much easier to cut your new piece. If you have a carbide tooth blade in your saw it will go right through the nails. Only way you'll know is you'll see a few little sparks when you hit it. The blades are made to cut through them, even the cheap ones.

Mike Hawkins
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-02-2013, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately no heat gun... I've got a propane torch, but something tells me its ill advised. I'll see how much trouble I have, maybe I'll borrow the wife's hair dryer if I'm having much trouble.

Good to know about carbide tipped blades and nails. Thanks. :)
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 12:39 AM
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I had a Leaking Toilet and had to cut the Rotten Floor out. Mine was limited to the water closet, but this is what I did.


Oh I also used Bleach to clean up the mold and used a heater and fans to dry






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Last edited by Sleeper; 08-03-2013 at 12:46 AM. Reason: Moved photo in proper order
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post #16 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Nice sleeper. I will post more pictures tomorrow of mine. I may use a little bleach on one of the joists that looks like it may have gotten moisture. Fortunately things look pretty good, but I will have a better idea once I get the joists scraped down.
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The reason I suggested the paint is when my house was under construction I had an extra room that was never finished out. It just had the osb subfloor and the stud walls. My wife moved a dozen cats into the room and the entire room became a litter box. After a year with the cats in there we decided we wanted the room and moved the cats out and the odor was so bad in there I couldn't stay in there more than 5 minutes at a time. I just cleaned the floor and painted it and the odor was gone like there were never any cats in there.
If you are going to use "Paint" for this purpose, I highly recommend Kilz. It is designed to do jobs like that.

G
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post #18 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 09:27 AM
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I just wanted to clarify using the bleach. I had used the bleach or to be precise ĎTilexí for killing the mold.

I didnít have the Urine smell because I cut it all out but I had a neighborhood tom cat that used to spray my front door. I found that a zoo used peroxide in the lion cages so I tried that to remove the urine smell and it did work. You could try that as well

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post #19 of 27 Old 08-03-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
If you are going to use "Paint" for this purpose, I highly recommend Kilz. It is designed to do jobs like that.

G
In the paint world, Zinsser product called BIN is the gold standard for sealing off odors, sap or anything else emanating from wood or wood products. It is the preferred product for fire restoration also. It is basically a pigmented shellac and initially smells to high heaven when first applied, alcohol based. Smell dissipates pretty quickly but is very strong initially.

John

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post #20 of 27 Old 08-04-2013, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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I've got 3 out of 4 exposed joists cleaned off. Didn't get much time to work on it today. Here's some pics of the progress so far:

Replacing T&G OSB subfloor panels?-rps20130804_010843_124.jpg

Replacing T&G OSB subfloor panels?-rps20130804_010817_753.jpg

The top pic is just a hole shot. Hadn't done any scraping yet. Second pic was after most the scraping, you can see the joist in the back corner is clean there.

The board was there just for safety, to be sure I didn't take the express route to my first floor office. Made it easier scraping, which a cat tail works really great for with sufficient elbow grease applied... Looked thru my tools, and realized I had one so put it to good use.

Last edited by I.M.O.G.; 08-04-2013 at 02:14 AM.
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