To redo completely or repair

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JPfloor

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You did the right thing by replacing the soft plywood and are going above and beyond by replacing all the gypcrete.

If a structural engineer should tell you the supports on the joists are too far apart what are ya gonna do? How would you sure them up if there’s two units below you? How many other units there are built the same way? Maybe you could install columns in the middle of both units under you? Or rip out the joists and install steel beams? You only own the third floor unit. That can’t possibly be all on you… How old is the place? Sue the builder and/or the inspectors that let him get away with it.

Having said all that and looking at the pictures I’d bet dollars to donuts that you’re good to go. Double check that 2 inches, I’ll bet it’s a lot less. Fix the floor and be done with it.🤓
 

Floorist

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Just be careful. Gypcrete was not originally designed for floors. Some builders realized they could cut structural strength because of the lighter weight and save money. I have never worked on a gypcrete floor over 20 years old that had not started to fail. Most are cracked and have started to become powder. You must get rid of all the powder before patch will adhere.
 

Incognito

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Seeing the photos I'm less concerned with the risks. You're basically going back with the repairs exactly the way the original design worked. We don't like the gypsum based substrates for all sorts of reasons but so long as you understand the limitations of that product and find a suitable flooring you should be fine.
 

dopey696

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So I contacted all structural engineers I could find within an hour drive to my area. Not a single one is willing to look at it. Most of them said they wouldn't help me at all, one person asked me to send pictures and they would look at them and get back to me, but they haven't yet. It's crazy how difficult it is to get someone to come look at a condo.

Dollars to donuts made me laugh, it was fun to hear again, been a while but as highup said, we're all geezers, or close to it...lol.

I am just going back to original, not changing it just trying to get it back to how it was. If I didn't have to I wouldn't be doing gypcrete, I hate the stuff and would never use it if I had a choice but I don't really see other options for this project.

As for the age, it was built in 1980, the joists are 24 inches apart with 15 inch height between the second floor ceiling and the floor to my unit. Frame work and really anything outside the walls of my unit is HOA responsibility, however they would probably push back on that saying all damage and deficiencies are my responsibility due to the flood so it would be a fight if an engineer said it was a structural issue.

The floor doesn't flex or anything noticable when I jump on it and I weigh 250 (I'm going to double check with someone standing across the room to see if they see any movement). I believe it will be strong enough. This has been quite the crash course back into construction after being out of it for over ten years, I almost died from a fall and just never went back to it till I was thrown into it with this.

I'm glad that you guys think it'll be ok after seeing the pictures. I've been examining them to and I don't see any rot or anything, and with people's unwillingness to look at it. I'm going to move forward with tearing out the gypcrete and have it repoured new.
 

JPfloor

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To be honest for them to actually "look" at anything they would have to tear out walls and/or ceilings. I can kinda understand why they wouldn't want to sign their name to anything... Most of their work is generally done before or during construction….

Or post collapse…Working for the lawyers…🫣
 
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highup

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So I contacted all structural engineers I could find within an hour drive to my area. Not a single one is willing to look at it. Most of them said they wouldn't help me at all, one person asked me to send pictures and they would look at them and get back to me, but they haven't yet. It's crazy how difficult it is to get someone to come look at a condo.

Dollars to donuts made me laugh, it was fun to hear again, been a while but as highup said, we're all geezers, or close to it...lol.

I am just going back to original, not changing it just trying to get it back to how it was. If I didn't have to I wouldn't be doing gypcrete, I hate the stuff and would never use it if I had a choice but I don't really see other options for this project.

As for the age, it was built in 1980, the joists are 24 inches apart with 15 inch height between the second floor ceiling and the floor to my unit. Frame work and really anything outside the walls of my unit is HOA responsibility, however they would probably push back on that saying all damage and deficiencies are my responsibility due to the flood so it would be a fight if an engineer said it was a structural issue.

The floor doesn't flex or anything noticable when I jump on it and I weigh 250 (I'm going to double check with someone standing across the room to see if they see any movement). I believe it will be strong enough. This has been quite the crash course back into construction after being out of it for over ten years, I almost died from a fall and just never went back to it till I was thrown into it with this.

I'm glad that you guys think it'll be ok after seeing the pictures. I've been examining them to and I don't see any rot or anything, and with people's unwillingness to look at it. I'm going to move forward with tearing out the gypcrete and have it repoured new.
Being the area isnt overly large, it's too bad that reinforcing the floor joists with a sistering process couldn't be done.
It seems an easy process would be something like screwing on some 10-in by 12 ft long pieces of quarter inch steel which would add considerable strength to the system.
I'm supposing the problem isn't just cost but you're going to have to have an engineer approved of whatever is done because this is a condo not a cabin in the backwoods of Tennessee.
 

C.J.

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Ripping up the subfloor and sistering joists isn’t a practical option for most people. What I’ve done in the past in similar situations is to prime the piss outta the floor and pour Schonox APF. It has fiberglass in it to help resist cracking. If you need a little more help you can lay down some Renotex fiber mesh and pour over the top of that but that usually requires a pour of at least about 3/8” to embed the Renotex and still have decent workability with APF. The fiberglass helps with strength but does shorten the working time a bit. It’s a trade off but for a lot of condos build back in the day it’s a realistic solution to get you through another 30+ years.
 

MSLI

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C.J. U R the man ! …. What would you do with this gypcrete subfloor ?… Second floor apartment unit, small hallway leading to bathroom + bedroom.
 

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C.J.

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Flop the pad back and kick it in😝.

That’s not that big of an area to deal with. I’d prolly get all that broken up crap outta there and just repour that area. Is there bounce there? Do you need something like Renotex and a fiberglass reinforced product? Or can you just pour some regular ol leveler back in place.

Ardex GS-4 takes a few days to dry before you can install floor covering over it. Same thing with Schonox AP and APF. You’ll want a rapid setting product if you don’t have the time to wait for a gypsum based product to dry. The trade off is that most rapid setting products cost more but time is money, right. Clean, prime and pour it in the morning and you’re bootin rug back in after a few hours.
 

JPfloor

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C.J. U R the man ! …. What would you do with this gypcrete subfloor ?… Second floor apartment unit, small hallway leading to bathroom + bedroom.
I'd just sweep out the cracks and hit it with some good old fashioned Dashpatch. Maybe a little latex additive. It'll probably out last the carpet. I'd explain to the customer if you start pulling the broken stuff up you could create more trouble if the rest of the floor is failing also.

 

C.J.

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Well if you’re not gonna fix it because it’s only carpet how about doing nothing and installing new carpet over top of it like it is cus after all it’s just carpet in an apartment.
 

JPfloor

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Not saying don’t fix it. Just thinking a quick easy fix would be better for now until it’s time to replace the carpet. Then you could better evaluate where the whole problem begins and ends. Figure out how much time and money the customer wants to spend to get it right.

A quick patch job would probably hold those loose pieces in place…..For a while.
 

C.J.

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It’s a fine line to walk for sure. Not many apartments will want to pay for a proper repair but for an extra $50 I’d sure as heck prime and swipe something across it to make it look better.
 

Floorist

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C.J. U R the man ! …. What would you do with this gypcrete subfloor ?… Second floor apartment unit, small hallway leading to bathroom + bedroom.
That looks good compared to the ones here. The stuff here is so powdery, you can sweep a hole in it. Patching it is like trying to patch dirt.
Loose layed he kitchen vinyl and installed 1/4 round. Would not let me pull the stool in the bathrooms, so just cut around them and stuck it to the old vinyl. Then put 1/4 round on the edges. Used a trim piece that glued to the bathtub. Did them for 10 years. 80 apts.
 
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Incognito

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That looks good compared to the ones here. The stuff here is so powdery, you can sweep a hole in it. Patching it is like trying to patch dirt.
In the '90s we were doing hundreds of thousands of square yards of carpet tile------demo existing glue down over lightweght concrete. The lightweight concrete performs similarly to Gypcrete. From doing research and discussions with experts in the field rather than these products being so much horrible and useless it's more a matter of misuse and misapplication and crappy workmanship. Certainly it had no place in walkways of commercial office space that required heavy rolling traffic for normal operations.

Some architect, designer, GC or end user envisions cost savings and very light use. In reality the actual occupants of the building are not taking off their shoes and carrying one item at a time across hundreds of feet of cubicle corridor to move furniture, deliver mail, supplies and construction activity. When we pulled up the old carpet often huge chunks of the "slab" would be stuck to the back. Also, it was a freakin' dust bowl where both the backing of the carpet and the surface of the substrate just disintegrate into powder.
 

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