How can I use vinyl planks saved from flood damage?

by Cardinal

We had just laid new flooring throughout our house with wood-look vinyl planks, when we got flooded by Hurricane Harvey in 8/2019. We saved the planks because they were brand new and couldn't see them just thrown away. They have been on the covered deck now for over a year. This is probably 1800sf of vinyl, though some edges have been damaged. They have a coated cork signs of mold. We wondered if we could re-use them to replace old carpet upstairs....or some kind of outdoor project. Any ideas?

  12 answers
  • Nicki Petruzzella Kerns Nicki Petruzzella Kerns on Jul 10, 2019

    This is just my opinion, but I'd be extremely wary of reusing any kind of material that was in a flood-damaged home due to the mold/mildew. You can't see it, but it could be hidden inside somewhere. A friend of mine just learned she has to move out of her home due to extensive mold damage underneath; she'd been sick for years and couldn't figure out why. Now she knows. Anyway, again it's just my opinion.

  • Gk Gk on Jul 10, 2019

    I agree a bit with Nicki about the mold/mildew and health issues but my other thought is that after this length of time if you can't see any mold, smell any mold, and there is little to no deterioration it might still be possible to use them to replace old carpeting. I know the mold can be hiding in cracks and crevices and it still may present itself somewhere down the line if you reuse the flooring. I would wash each piece, front and back, several times with products made to alleviate mold, and then I would let them dry in the sun, turning them front and back, for several days before I even considered using them. You don't mention if this flooring was underwater for any amount of time or it was replaced by the insurance company because of other damage in your home--windows and doors breaking, water coming in through windows & doors but not seeping in or flooding in from water rising. Sometimes some things/everything is just replaced in situations like this even though the product may not have been that severely damaged. I would think that had this flooring been underwater for days it would be completely ruined and you couldn't even consider reusing it. It's a lot to consider--good luck!

  • Cardinal Cardinal on Jul 10, 2019

    It's solid vinyl..nothing can get inside! no mold on it and is 2 yrs after flood.

  • William William on Jul 10, 2019

    Solid vinyil with cork backing. Vinyl nor cork will mold. You can use them as flooring, how about an accent wall. Some have used them on countertops.

    • Cardinal Cardinal on Jul 10, 2019

      So I CAN use it for upstairs flooring? Good to know!! Thank you. I've just remodeled whole downstairs of house after flood, so everything there is new. Other than upstairs flooring, and minor craft things, I wasn't sure what else I could use it for. Is there any outside use? Gazebo Flooring over plywood??

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 10, 2019

    Would make a nice looking headboard for your bed or back splash in the kitchen. Also could dress some plain looking planters.

  • William William on Jul 10, 2019

    I wouldn't use it for outdoor use. Wouldn't hold up from weather.

  • Cardinal Cardinal on Jul 11, 2019

    Thanks William. That's what I sort of thought. I have lots of decking I have to replace, and storm destroyed gazebo/spa too. I've decided not to replace expensive spa but to add a simple pre-built gazebo. I wondered if I could use it on an elevated floor on top of PT GC plywood. Still, I wondered if winter and sun temps may ruin it your thoughts are similar. I'll probably use it upstairs. I don't have any place to put it on the walls, but suggestions for wall use are good idea for left overs. Perfect for man-cave or boys room. If anything else comes to mind, let me know. Thanks again.

  • Cardinal Cardinal on Jul 11, 2019

    GK...just so you know....mold needs moisture to grow. And mold does not grow on everything. Also, vinyl is a petroleum product. If it isn't solid vinyl and has a core substance inside, then there would be a concern....but not for solid vinyl.

  • Bett Bett on Jul 11, 2019

    I had vinyl flooring installed on my screened in patio. I'm in Houston too and went thru Harvey. My floors made it through just fine. However, you do have to use an extra heavy duty glue for outside (humid) installation. The first time the floors were installed, they started peeling up in less than a year. The company came back and installed new planks with better glue and they have been fine ever since --- several years (including several floods).

  • Cardinal Cardinal on Jul 16, 2019

    Wow...thank you Bett. Is your patio air-conditioned and was the vinyl put on concrete or plywood? Is there anything between concrete/wood and the vinyl? Also, to clarify...the "better glue" held the vinyl fine during/after Harvey with no problems? No need to take up? Sure wish I knew what that "better glue" was!! The humidity this summer has been insane!! Thank you so much!!

    • See 1 previous
    • Cardinal Cardinal on May 17, 2020

      Hi Carrie. Mine didn't require glue. They just clicked together. I think there I had a floor pad underneath, which is bought in rolls. Didn't save that. My planks came with a sealed cork backing which did not upsorb water or get moldy. I saved mine since it was brand new when I flooded. I decided I am going to use them for the upstairs bedrooms instead of changing the carpet when I'm ready. I will say that i have learned I like vinyl much better that laminate, which I put down instead of vinyl again. Bad decision.

  • MichelleMark MichelleMark on Feb 25, 2022

    I'm not a master at this, but I guess you could reuse these vinyl planks only before you have to make sure their quality has remained as good and if they are not rotten. It has passed already been 2 years, and you have to take care of it. I say that because I've been through the floods in my house. I hope not to go through such situations again. And the same thing happened when we only moved, and everything was new, and not everything was built. The good thing was that we quickly asked for the help of a company that deals with water damage restoration. It made everything look new quickly—and even more, suggested what to do with different parts of the furniture that we did not use. I recommend you to seek the help of specialists.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 11, 2023

    You could use it in a workroom or craftroom if you have one, or maybe line a closet, shelving.