Should a Spongy RV Floor Worry You?
Do you have a spongy or soft spot on your RV floor?
If you find a soft spot on your floor, don’t ignore it. It could indicate larger problems.
Today, we’ll investigate what a soft floor could mean and what you should do about it.
Let’s dig in!
Should a Spongy RV Floor Worry You?
In short: yes.
A spongy RV floor is indicative of a serious structural issue, and it should always worry you. Whether it’s your RV or an RV you want to purchase, a spongy floor almost always means water damage and a pricey repair and replacement. So what causes a spongy RV floor?
Causes of Spongy RV Floor
The causes of a spongy or soft RV floor almost always come down to moisture of some type. Here’s what it means when you feel a spongy spot on your RV floor.
The leading cause of a soft spot on your RV floor is water damage. Perhaps it’s rain leaking into the RV, but sometimes it’s your sinks and showers. Runoff from doing dishes and showering can cause soft spots in front of sinks and showers.
When water damages wood, it begins to rot. Rotted wood loses its structural integrity and becomes flaky and soft. Sometimes, termites or other pests can damage the wood in your RV.
Why You Should Worry
A spongy RV floor is almost always indicative of a more significant problem. Here are the main reasons why a soft spot on your floor is a cause for concern.
Water Damage Elsewhere
If your floor has water damage and it’s not from a leaky sink, toilet, or shower, that means there’s water damage elsewhere as well. If the rain caused the damage, it likely also damaged the ceiling and wall. That means that when you feel a soft spot in your RV floor, there’s a good chance it’s going to be a much more extensive repair than just the flooring material.
Mold and Mildew
Water damage rots wood, and rotting wood is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Some mold and mildew are toxic to humans and animals. This means that a spongy floor can be a potentially dangerous health hazard for humans and pets, which is a major cause for concern.
Potential for the Floor to Cave In
Lastly, if you feel a soft spot on an RV floor, be careful. That soft spot likely means that the floor has lost its structural integrity and could cave in under pressure. If you discover a soft spot on your RV floor, avoid walking over it or placing heavy items on it until you can get it fixed.
How to Diagnose RV Water Damage
Water damage is one of the most common issues with used RVs. This is because RVs have a lot of openings on the roof and walls for appliances and windows.
Although manufacturers do their best to waterproof these openings, the constant stress of movement and exposure to the elements can cause seals to crack and fail. This allows in rainwater that causes damage over time. Here’s how to spot it.
Spongy Floor, Walls, or Ceiling
One of the key indicators of water damage in an RV is a spongy or soft spot in the floor, walls, or ceiling. When checking an RV for water damage, use your feet to feel the floor for soft spots. Common trouble spots include in front of the sinks, shower, and toilet, and along walls, especially under windows.
Another common place for water damage is around RV slideouts. Use your hands to feel the walls under windows, and check the ceiling around vents, the AC unit, and any other hole or seam.
Mold or Mildew
Sometimes RVs can acquire a mildewy smell after sitting in storage with no ventilation. Other times a mildew smell is indicative of water damage. Look for mold spots and discoloration on the ceiling, near windows, and in cabinets with plumbing.
Leaks from Ceiling Vents, Seams, Cabinets
If you see leaks from ceiling vents, seams, or cabinets, your RV most likely has water damage. Water damage doesn’t happen immediately, but if it’s a long-time leak, the chances are the damage has begun.
Leaks from Internal Plumbing
Leaks from internal plumbing can cause water damage in your RV storage bays and flooring near sinks, showers, and toilets.
How to Fix a Spongy RV Floor
Fixing a spongy RV floor is a big job. You must replace the rotted subfloor in your RV. It’s best done by a professional, and depending on the extent of the damage, it can be costly. As a result, many RVers choose to try DIY.
You can find many useful videos on YouTube, but keep in mind that this is a challenging project to tackle on your own. Often, a spongy RV floor indicates a bigger problem. But you won’t know until you tear up the flooring. Sometimes, a floor replacement turns into a wall and ceiling replacement, too.
A Spongy RV Floor Is No Laughing Matter
There’s no doubt about it: A spongy RV floor should concern you. RV water damage can scare even the handiest of RVers because of the extent and cost of the repairs. If you discover a spongy spot, it almost always means you have a bigger issue. Stay off the soft spot and have your RV looked at by a professional to decide how to move forward.
Have you ever had to contend with this issue? How did you handle it?
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